Songs of Innocence and Experience. (1794)
by William Blake.
Songs of Innocence
Introduction
Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:
Pipe a song about a Lamb:
So I piped with merry chear.

Piper, pipe that song again –
So I piped: he wept to hear.
Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe,
Sing thy songs of happy chear:
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.
Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read –
So he vanish’d from my sight
And I pluck’d a hollow reed,
And I made a rural pen
And I stain’d the water clear
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear.
The Shepherd
How sweet is the Shepherd’s sweet lot!
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.
For he hears the lambs innocent call,
And he hears the ewes tender reply.

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He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.
The Ecchoing Green
The Sun does arise
And make happy the skies,
The merry bells ring
To welcome the Spring:
The skylark and thrush
The birds of the bush
Sing louder around
To the bells’ chearful sound,
While our sports shall be seen
On the Ecchoing Green.
Old John with white hair
Does laugh away care
Sitting under the oak
Among the old folk.

They laugh at our play,
And soon they all say:
Such, such were the joys
When we all girls ; boys
In our youth-time were seen
On the Ecchoing Green
Till the little ones weary
No more can be merry,
The sun does descend,
And our sports have an end:
Round the laps of their mothers
Many sisters and brothers,
Like birds in their nest,
Are ready for rest:
And sport no more seen
On the darkening Green.
The Lamb
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life ; bid thee feed
By the stream ; o’er the mead:
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright:
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice:
Little Lamb, who made thee,
Dost thou know who made thee?
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee:
He is called by thy name
For he calls himself a Lamb.

He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name:
Little Lamb god bless thee,
Little Lamb god bless thee!
The Little Black Boy
My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black, as if bereav’d of light.
My mother taught me underneath a tree
And sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And pointing to the east began to say:
Look on the rising sun: there God does live
And gives his light, and gives his heat away:
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning, joy in the noon day.
And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love:
And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove:
For when our souls have learn’d the heat to bear
The cloud will vanish; we shall hear his voice,
Saying: Come out from the grove, my love & care,
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.
Thus did my mother say and kissed me:
And thus I say to little English boy;
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy,
I’ll shade him from the heat, till he can bear
To lean in joy upon our father’s knee:
And then I’ll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me.
The Blossom
Merry Merry Sparrow
Under leaves so green,
A happy Blossom
Sees you swift as arrow
Seek your cradle narrow
Near my Bosom.


Pretty Pretty Robin
Under leaves so green,
A happy Blossom
Hears you sobbing sobbing
Pretty Pretty Robin
Near my Bosom.
The Chimney-Sweeper
When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry weep weep! weep weep!’
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.
There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb’s back, was shav’d, so

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