I Heard an Angel

By William Blake 1757–1827 William Blake
I heard an Angel singing
When the day was springing 
Mercy Pity Peace
Is the worlds release 

Thus he sung all day
Over the new mown hay 
Till the sun went down
And haycocks looked brown 

I heard a Devil curse
Over the heath & the furze 
Mercy could be no more 
If there was nobody poor 

And pity no more could be 
If all were as happy as we 
At his curse the sun went down 
And the heavens gave a frown 

Down pourd the heavy rain
Over the new reapd grain 
And Miseries increase
Is Mercy Pity Peace 

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Poet William Blake 1757–1827

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Nature, Religion, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Christianity, Landscapes & Pastorals

Poetic Terms Refrain, 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 Nature, Religion, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Christianity, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Refrain, Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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