Earth's Answer

By William Blake 1757–1827 William Blake
Earth rais'd up her head, 
From the darkness dread & drear.
Her light fled: 
Stony dread!
And her locks cover'd with grey despair.

Prison'd on watry 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. 

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

Poet William Blake 1757–1827

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Trees & Flowers, Philosophy, Arts & Sciences, Nature, Religion, Spring

Poetic Terms Imagery, Allusion

 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 Trees & Flowers, Philosophy, Arts & Sciences, Nature, Religion, Spring

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Imagery, Allusion

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.