Earth raised up her head
From the darkness dread and drear,
Her light fled,
And her locks covered with grey despair.
"Prisoned on watery shore,
Starry jealousy does keep my den
Cold and hoar;
I hear the father of the ancient men.
"Selfish father of men!
Cruel, jealous, selfish fear!
Chained 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 plough?
"Break this heavy chain,
That does freeze my bones around!
That free love with bondage bound."
* * *
(On this day, August 12, 1827, William Blake died at the age of sixty-nine.)
* * *