Holy Thursday: Is this a holy thing to see

By William Blake 1757–1827 William Blake
Is this a holy thing to see, 
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reducd to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?

Is that trembling cry a song?
Can it be a song of joy?
And so many children poor?
It is a land of poverty!

And their sun does never shine. 
And their fields are bleak & bare. 
And their ways are fill'd with thorns. 
It is eternal winter there.

For where-e'er the sun does shine, 
And where-e'er the rain does fall: 
Babe can never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.

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Poet William Blake 1757–1827

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Nature, Class, Winter, Infancy, Living, Social Commentaries, Youth

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 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 Nature, Class, Winter, Infancy, Living, Social Commentaries, Youth

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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