Three poems by William Blake

Laughing Song

When the greenwoods laugh with the voice of joy,

And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;

When the air does laugh with our merry wit,

And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

When the meadows laugh with lively green,

And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene;

When Mary and Susan and Emily

With their sweet round mouths sing ‘Haha he!’

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,

Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread;

Come live, and be merry, and join with me,

To sing the sweet chorus of ‘Ha ha he!’

The Fly

                       Little Fly,

    Thy summer’s play

My thoughtless hand

       Has brushed away.

       Am not I

A fly like thee?

Or art not thou

A man like me?

                   For I dance,

    And drink, and sing,

   Till some blind hand

    Shall brush my wing.

              If thought is life

And strength and breath,

                    And the want

        Of thought is death;

                         Then am I

                          A happy fly.

                                 If I live,

                             Or if I die.

The Clod and the Pebble

‘Love seeketh not itself to please,

Nor for itself hath any care,

But for another gives its ease,

And builds a heaven in hell’s despair’

So sung a little clod of clay,

Trodden with the cattle’s feet,

But a pebble of the brook

Warbled out these metres meet;

‘Love seeketh only Self to please,

To bind another to its delight,

Joys in another’s loss of ease,

And builds a hell in heaven’s despite.’

from  ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’      Project Gutenberg


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