London

By William Blake 1757–1827 William Blake
I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. 
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear 

How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls, 
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls 

But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear 
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse 

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

Poet William Blake 1757–1827

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Living, Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries, Activities, Jobs & Working

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 . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries, Activities, Jobs & Working

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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.