The Clod and the Pebble

By William Blake 1757–1827 William Blake
"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."

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet William Blake 1757–1827

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Philosophy, Love, Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Religion, Classic Love

Poetic Terms Alliteration, Aphorism

 William  Blake

Biography

In his Life of William Blake (1863) Alexander Gilchrist warned his readers that Blake "neither wrote nor drew for the many, hardly for work'y-day men at all, rather for children and angels; himself 'a divine child,' whose playthings were sun, moon, and stars, the heavens and the earth." Yet Blake himself believed that his writings were of national importance and that they could be understood by a majority of men. Far from being . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Philosophy, Love, Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Religion, Classic Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Alliteration, Aphorism

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.