Songs Of Experience

THE TYGER

EARTH'S ANSWER

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

 

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand dare sieze the fire?

 

And what shoulder, & what art,

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand? & what dread feet?

 

What the hammer? what the chain?

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread grasp

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

 

When the stars threw down their spears,

And water'd heaven with their tears,

Did he smile his work to see?

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

 

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye,

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Earth rais'd up her head

From the darkness dread & drear.

Her light fled,

Stony dread!

And her locks covered with grey despair.

 

"Prison'd on wat'ry shore,

Starry Jealousy does keep my den:

Cold and hoar,

Weeping o'er,

I hear the father of the ancient men.

 

"Selfish father of men!

Cruel, jealous, selfish fear!

Can delight,

Chain'd in night,

The virgins of youth and morning bear?

 

"Does spring hide its joy

When buds and blossoms grow?

Does the sower

Sow by night,

Or the plowman in darkness plow?

 

"Break this heavy chain

That does freeze my bones around.

Selfish! vain!

Eternal bane!

That free Love with bondage bound."

 

THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER

 

THE SICK ROSE

 

A little black thing among the snow,

Crying " 'weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!

"Where are thy father & mother? say?"

"They are both gone up to the church to pray.

 

"Because I was happy upon the heath,

And smil'd among the winter's snow,

They clothed me in the clothes of death,

And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

 

"And because I am happy & dance & sing,

They think they have done me no injury,

And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,

Who make up a heaven of our misery."

 

0 Rose, thou art sick!

The invisible worm,

That flies in the night,

In the howling storm,

 

Has found out thy bed

Of crimson joy,

And his dark secret love

Does thy life destroy.

LONDON

I wander thro' each charter'd street,

Near where the charter'd Thames does flow,

And mark in every face I meet

Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

 

In every cry of every Man,

In every Infant's cry of fear,

In every voice, in every ban,

The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.

 

How the Chimney-sweeper's cry

Every black'ning Church appalls;

And the hapless Soldier's sigh

Runs in blood down. Palace walls.

 

But most thro' midnight streets I hear

How the youthful Harlot's curse

Blasts the new born Infant's tear,

And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.