Holy Thursday: 'Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean

By William Blake 1757–1827 William Blake
Twas on a Holy Thursday their innocent faces clean 
The children walking two & two in red & blue & green 
Grey-headed beadles walkd before with wands as white as snow,
Till into the high dome of Pauls they like Thames waters flow 

O what a multitude they seemd these flowers of London town 
Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own 
The hum of multitudes was there but multitudes of lambs 
Thousands of little boys & girls raising their innocent hands 

Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song 
Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of Heaven among 
Beneath them sit the aged men wise guardians of the poor 
Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door 

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Poet William Blake 1757–1827

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Religion, Living, Social Commentaries, Youth, Class, Christianity

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Simile, Allusion, Imagery, Couplet

 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 . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Living, Social Commentaries, Youth, Class, Christianity

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Simile, Allusion, Imagery, Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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