Blake

William Blake 1757-1827 Engraver, Painter, and Mystic

It is the last act of the Romantic Era, and a poetic Renascence opens center stage with a new and different character; that character is William Blake. In poetry and art, Blake was aggressive, violent, backed by both physical and mental courage; the forerunner of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats, and the romantic poetry of freedom and of passion which they inaugurated. He “spoke the first word of the nineteenth century writing in the language of the mystics of all ages he was the precursor to the Pre- Raphaelites, J. R. Tolkien and even Harry Potter in the continuous struggle between good and evil. “A fierce republican and denouncer of kings” writes Chesterton that he felt he had received a “divine command” to write and “speak to future generations by allegory.” “Allegory addressed to the intellectual powers hidden from corporeal understanding defines the sublimest poetry” writes Blake . He describes himself as “an enthusiastic, hope-fostered visionary” who reasserted passion imagination, love of nature and a less-restrictive metrical form; a philosopher, lyrist and mystic.

A big owlish head, broad shoulders supported by a “frail, and slight” torso, in many ways like an Irish elf. The 18th century was noted for its love of the supernatural but Blake was a “matured and massive supernaturalist”. He lived his entire life in or near London. He was not a world traveler, gambler, debaucher, or lawless knave as many of his Romantic contemporaries. Married once, faithful for life to a simple illiterate village girl whom he taught to read, write, and draw. Tatham wrote of Catherine Blake: she was “the buttress of his hopes, the stay to his thoughts, the admirer of his genius, the companion of his solitude and the solace of his days.” Their union was recaptured by Amy Lowell in these words:

“Pigments or crystal, what did it matter - when Jehovah sat on a cloud of curled fire over the doorway
And angels with silver trumpets played Hosannas under the wooden groins of the peaked roof!
William and Catherine Blake left the painted windows behind in the newly rebuilt Church of Battersea,
But God and the angels went out with them;
And the angels played on their trumpets under the plaster ceiling of their lodging,
Morning , and evening, and morning, forty-five round years.”

He lived in an imaginary world of imaginary people. A proponent of definitive dualisms: good and evil, semi-realism and pseudo-historicity, action and passivity, innocence and experience, heaven and hell, spiritual and sensual passion, attraction and repulsion, reason and energy “all are necessary to human existence..” He saw before Ruskin, “machinery becoming a genius of enslavement as well as of release.” He argued that “the truths of intuitive art surpass anything that can be achieved by the methods of rationalistic science” to Blake arguing against Newton’s infinitesimals “a line is a line in its minutest subdivisions, straight or crooked. It is itself, not inter-measurable by anything else.” Voltaire, Rousseau, Locke were equally repellant to Blake he wrote this lyric poem:

“Mock on, mock on, Voltaire Rousseau
Mock on, Mock on, ‘tis all in vain!.
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.
The Atoms of Democritus…
And Newton‘s Particles of Light
Are sands upon the Red Sea shore
Where Israel’s tents do shine so bright.”

Tiger, Tiger burning bright deals with “the contrary [opposite] state of the human soul.” It is the companion piece to The Lamb.

“Tiger! Tiger! Burning bright
In the forests of the night.
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

“Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?

He writes in Songs of Experience 1794:

“Ah, Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countests the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done.
Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin, shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my sunflower wishes to go!

He owed little to experience or development he began to write his Songs of Innocence in rhymed short couplets, in gnomic form at the age of twelve and finished them before he was seventeen. They are considered to be his best lyric verse.

In the art of etching he was self-taught, although studying briefly at Pars Drawing School his “faults of anatomy and perspective” were frequent targets of critics. The sequence of his work always followed this order: visualize, draw, write. After his first poetic period of lyric verse he should have refrained from attempting to create stories to explain what he had drawn. G. K. Chesterton wrote “A poet is a man who mixes up heaven and earth unconsciously. A mystic is a man who separates heaven and earth even if he enjoys them both…the English type is he who sees the elves entangled in the forests or Arcady, like Shakespeare and Keats: The Irish type is he who sees the fairies. To Blake imagination is “the sights and voices of the inner sense quite distinct from the forest, like Blake and W. B. Yeats. Charles Lamb regarded him “one of the most extraordinary personages of the age…for both as poet and painter his work was altogether original.” Blake believed strongly that art must lead the Empire not vice versa as Englishmen have written. “Let us teach Bonaparte and whomsoever else it may concern that it is not Arts that follow and attend upon Empire, but Empire that attends and follows the Arts.”

“Now Art has lost its mental charms
France shall subdue the world in arms.”
So spoke an Angel at my birth;
Then said, “Descend thou upon earth;
Renew the Arts on Britain’s shore,
And France shall fall down and adoare,
With works of art their armies meet
And war shall sink beneath thy feet.”

Blake wrote much poetry but the public knew very little of it for two reasons: one, he lived a reclusive life and two, he insisted on publishing his own work. He was self-contained: writer, illustrator, and publisher. His poetry can be divided into four distinct periods. The first period , 1783-1791, is his child lyrics rhymed and unrhymed. Tiriel, Songs of Innocence, Thel, Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and French Revolution. Here is the introduction to Songs of Innocence:

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

‘Pipe a song about a lamb;’
So I piped with merry cheer.
‘Piper pipe that song again:’
So I piped; he wept to hear.

‘Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe,
Sing thy songs of happy cheer:
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

‘Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read’
So he vanished from my sight;
And I plucked a hollow reed.

And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy song,
Every child may joy to hear.

Tiriel was “a good story but not good poetry” say critics. Thel was a mystical meditation of pastoral idealism written in free verse of long seven-foot lines and trochees. It was this “variety in every line” that became known as “Blake’s Measure” and was a relief from the sing-song rhyme of Milton and Shakespeare. But there were critics who challenged it as mere poetic prose not true poetry. Thel is more easily understood than Blake’s later narratives and said to have the mark of the philosopher Swedenborg, who is reported to have experienced a spiritual crisis involving mystical visions and of Blake’s London acquaintances. Here is Thel’s motto in alternating seven and ten foot meter:

Does the Eagle know what is in the pit
Or wilt thou go ask the Mole?
Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod,
Or love in a golden bowl?

Thel is an innocent soul about to be born into the mortal earth (death). According to Blake all souls are innocent at birth . She is comforted by The Lily of the Valley, by a Cloud, a Worm, and a Clod of Clay. He presents man and his world as turning away from the childhood innocence and joy and fallen into materialism which now prevents them from redemption. Clod represents love as selfless, prudent, child-like desperately trying to battle Pebble, who represents love realistically as cynical, selfish, and cold.

Nor for itself has any care.
But for another gives it ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”
So sung a little Clod of Clay,
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,

But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:
Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.”

The Marriage and French Revolution thematically offer sympathetic and enthusiastic support for “contraries” [dualisms].

“Hear, O heavens of France! The voice of the people arising from valley and hill,
O’er clouded with power. Hear the voice of the valleys, the voice of meek cities,
Mourning oppressed on village and field, till the village and field is a waste.
For the husbandman weeps at blights of the fife, and blasting of trumpets consume
The souls of mild France; the pale mother nourishes her child to the deadly slaughter.

From falling, from stifling, from hunger, from cold, from slander, discontent and sloth,
That walk in beasts and birds of night, driven back by the sandy desert,
Like pestilaent fogs round cities of men; and the happy earth sing in its course,
The mild peaceable nations be opened to heaven, and men walk with their fathers in bliss.”

In his second period, 1792-1796, Blake sinks further in narrative myths with themes of individualism and the gospel He composes Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Visions of the Daughters of Albion, America, Europe, Urizen, Ahania, Book of Los, and Song of Los. These works reflect the influence of Macpherson’s Ossian and Milton’s Paradise Lost, especially in unrhymed poetic form using both seven-beat and three-beat line meters:

“Oh bright Ahania
A boy is born of the dark ocean.”

“Walk heavy
Soft and bent
Are the bones of villagers”

“Queen of the vales
The matron clay answer’d
I heard thy sighs.
Oh cruel! O destroyer! O consumer! O avenger!
Laughs at affection, glories in rebellion, scoffs at love.”

The triple meter:

“His cold horrors silent, dark Urizen
Prepar’d his ten thousands of thunders
Rang’d in gloom’d array stretch out across
The Dread world; and the rolling of wheels
As of swelling seas sound in his clouds,
In his hills of stor’d snows, in his mountains
Of hail and ice: voices of terror
Are heard, like thunders of autumn
When the cloud blazes over the harvests.” Urian

And what shall we make of his “aphoristic paradoxes” as this:

“A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.”

In the third period (1797-1804) a darker theme appears with Everlasting Gospel and the use of technical terms in The Mental Traveler. Blake was convinced that his mystical visions exceeded explanation in ordinary words. He set about to invent a new language; somewhat arrogant in this regard, which he regularly denies, preferring the deep attachment to a spriritual God as their source. There was a brief residency at Felpham where the wealthy benefactor William Hayley offered him a cottage on his estate, but after a short time he began to see his patron as stifling his creative imagination.

“I hear a voice you cannot hear, that says I must not stay,
I see a Hand you cannot see, that beckons me away”

He hurried back to London leaving behind this epitaph:

“Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache:
Do be my Enemy for friendships’s sake.”

“I struck the thistle with my foot,
And broke him up from his delving root.
‘Must the duties of life each other cross?
Must every joy be dung and dross?
Most my dear Butts feel cold and neglect
Because I give Hayley his due respect?
The curses of Los, the terrible shade,
And his dismal terrors make me afraid.’
So I spoke, and struck in my wrath
The old man weltering upon my path.”

The final, our fourth period (1804-1827) was marked by increasing darkness in The Four Zoas, Jerusalem, and Milton, in Gothic style and standing against reason and science. Blake creates a character world of fours based on his vision of the nature of man in eternity. In Jerusalem he writes “every man stood fourfold each four faces had, One to the West, One toward the East, One to the South, One to the north.: North, South, East, and West. Thus there were four zoas: North is Los , South is Urizen, East is Luvah, West is Tharmas. Four emanations: North is Enitharmon, South is Ahania, East is Vala, West is Enion. And so on through each: directions, senses, towns, metals, spiritual states, arts, elements, spirits, emotions. Thus the reader faces The Lament of Ahania:

“The lamenting voice of Ahania [South],
Weeping upon the void!
And round the Tree of Fuzon,
Distant in solitary night,
Her voice was heard, but no form
Had she; but her tears from clouds
Eternal fell round the tree.
And the voice cred: “Ah, Urizen [also South]! Love!

“Now I a fourfold vision see,
And a fourfold vision is given to me;
‘Tis fourfold in my supreme delight,
And threefold in soft Beulah’s night,
And twofold always. May God us keep
From single vision and Newton’s sleep.

Blake once wrote in the Rossetti Manuscript:

“O! why was I born with a different face?
Why was I not born like the rest of my race?
When I look, each one starts; when I speak, I offend;
Then I’m silent and passive, and lose every friend.

Then my verse I dishonor, my pictures despise,
My person degrade, and my temper chastise;
And the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame;
All my talents I bury, and dead is my fame.

I am either too low, or too highly priz’d;
When elate I’m envied; when meek I’m despis’d.”

Our first characteristic is intellectual invention.

“I cry, Arise, O Theotormon! For the village dog
Barks at the breaking day; the nightingale has done lamenting;
The lark does rustle in the ripe corn; and the eagle returns
From nightly prey, and lifts his golden beak to the pure east,
Shaking the dust from his immortal pinions to awake
The sun that sleeps too long. Arise, my Theotormon! I am pure,
Because the night is gone that clos’d me in its deadly black.

“What voice is that I hear?
That voice like the summer wind?
I sit not by the nodding rushes;
I hear not the fount of the rocks.
Afar, Vinvela, afar,
I go to the wars of Fingal.
My dogs attend me no more;
No more I tread the hill.
No more from on high I see thee,
Fair-moving by the stream of the plain;
Bright as the bow of heaven; as the moon on the western wave.”

“To cast aside from poetry all that is not inspiration,
That it no longer shall dare to mock with the aspersion of madness
Cast on the inspired by the tame high finisher of paltry blots,
Indefinite or paltry rhymes, or paltry harmonies:

“This they sing creating the three classes among Druid Rocks
Charles calls on Milton for Atonement. Cromwell is ready
James calls for fires in Golgonoza, For heaps of smoking ruins
In the night of prosperity and wantonness which he himself Created
Among the Daughters of Albion among the rocks of the Druids
When Satan fainted beneath the arrows of Elynittria
And Mathematic Proportion was subdued by Living Proportion.” Milton

Comments from critics, colleagues, and himself:

“Blake’s verse has indeed, both in regards intellectual invention and executive skill, a kind of unpremeditated charm that forces comparison with the things of inanimate life.” J. Comyns Carr

“He literally saw these figures; they are not mere inventions.” Elton

“Mr. Blake’s powers of invention very early engaged the attention of many persons of eminence and fortune.” Bruce

“Not only does he introduce extravagant, invented names and radically reworked conceptions he makes even the most familiar places and things ominously unfamiliar.” Fox

Our second characteristic is imagination, double vision.

“With a thousand angels upon the wind,
Pouring disconsolate from behind
To drive them off, and before my way
A frowning thistle implores my stay.
What to others a trifle appears
Fills me full of smiles or tears;
For a double vision my eyes do see,
And a double vision is always with me.
With my inward eye, ‘tis an old man grey,
With my outward, a thistle across my way.”

“I’ll pour upon the stream
Where sighing lovers dream,
And fish for fancies as they pass
Within the watery glass.”

“O Winter! Bar thine adamantine doors;
The north is thine; there hast thou built tjhy dark,
Deep-founded abitation, Shake not thy roofs,
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car. To Winter

“To the eye of the Man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself”

Comments from critics, colleagues, and himself:

“What he spake, though it lacked form a little, was not like madness.”

“Reason and logic were to him ‘spectrous fiends’ to be destroyed; the real man was imagination.”

“I was walking alone in my garden; there was a great stillness among the branches and flowers, and more than common sweetness in the air; I heard a low and pleasant sound, and I knew not whence it came. At last I saw the broad leaf of a flower move, and underneath I saw a procession of creatures, of the size and colour of green and grey grasshoppers, bearing a body laid out on a rose-leaf, which they buried with songs and then disappeared. It was a fairy funeral!” Blake

“To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy or imagination.” Blake

“There is no shadow of doubt in him that he was inspired, and that his visions were as authentic as those of the prophets of old?” Selincourt

“I feel that a Man may be happy in this world, and I know that this world is a World of Imagination and Vision. I see everything I paint in this World: but everybody does not see alike…Some see Nature all Ridicule and deformity, …and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the Man of Imagination Nature is Imagination itself.” Blake

“Blake’s theory of the imagination is one of the chief corner-stones of his system.” Selincourt,

Blake imagination is “ the sights and voices of the inner sense quite distinct from the forest.”

“After huge struggles and vicissitudes, the reign of imagination and the renewal of the human spirit are assured.The gospel of courage and energy makes ‘self-annihilation’ perfect; free invention triumphs over cold, laborious art, and the aim is attained.” Oliver Elton

“Yet there is something in the madness of this man which interests me more that the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott.” Wordsworth

“The first fact to be grasped in our study of Blake, is that he, is absolutely sincere in his faith in the imagination and more, in what was presented before him through the medium of his imagination.” Nicoll

“If this function of vision, enriching, deepening experience, giving beauty and significance to the thistle, the tree, and the rising sun, is not the creative imagination, the poetic impulse, and no other, what is it?” Bruce

Our third characteristic is moral character, intolerance of injustice, courage:

“For the commons convene in the hall of the nation. France shakes! And the heavens of France
Perplex’d vibrate round each careful countenance!
Darkness of old times around them
Utters loud despair, shadowing Paris; her grey towers groan, and the Bastille trembles.” The French Revolution

“The prince’s robes and beggar’s rags
Are toadstools on the miser’s bags.” Auguries of Innocence

“Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself has any car,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.” Songs of Experience

“They compel the Poor to live upon a crust of bread by soft mild arts;
They reduce the Man to want, then give with pomp and ceremony.
The praise of Jehovah is chaunted from lips of hunger and thirst.”

Comments from critics, colleagues, and himself:

“Once referred to as the “king of righteousness.”

“You might call him a solid maniac or a solid liar; but you could not possible call him a wavering hysteric or a weak dabbler in doubtful things.”

“Goodness or badness has nothing to do with character. An apple-tree, a pear-tree, a horse, a lion, are characters; but a good apple-tree or a bad one is an apple-tree still. A horse is not more a lion for being a bad horse – that is its character; its goodness or fondness in another consideration.”

“William Blake was not the man to stand idle when any injustice, or what he thought was injustice, was around him. He was too fiery to remain a passive onlooker at any great event in progress”

“His sympathy is extended, to the caged robin, the stagved dog, the misused horse, the hunter hare, the wounded skylark, the clipped game cock. And his wrath extends to man’s misuse of man.” MacGill

“Many of his finest passages inspired by a realization of the misery of the poor and the oppressed.” Nicoll

“Courage which is, with kindness, the only fundamental virtue in man is present and prodigious in both works.” Chesterton

Our fourth characteristic is symbolic lexicon and mysticism.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.
How do you know but every Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, closed by your senses five?
One thought fills immensity.
What is now proved was once only imagined.
The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses,
calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged and numerous senses could perceive.” Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“There is a momen in each Day that Satan cannot find
Nor can his Watch Fiends find it, but the Industrious find
Thisi moment and it multiply.
And when it once is found
It renovates every Moment of the Day if rightly placed.
In this moment Ololon descended to Los and Enitharmon
Unseen beyond the Mundane shell Southward in Miltons track
Juyst in shi moment when the mourning odours fries abroad
And first from the wilde thytme stands a Fountain in a rock
Of crystal flowijng into two streams, one flows thro Golgonooza
And thro Beulah to eden beneath Los’s western Wall
The other Flows thro the Aerrial Void and all the Churches
Meeting again in Golgonnoza beyond Satans Seat. The vision of time and space Milton

Comments from critics, colleagues, and himself:

“I look back into the regions of reminiscence, and behold our ancient days before the earth appeared in its vegetated mortality to my mortal vegetated eyes. I see our houses of eternity, which can never be separated, though our mortal vehicles should stand at the remotest corners of heaven from each other.” Blake

“Many have tried to clear the jungle of technical terms in which Blake embodies his cosmogony, his moral code, his picture of mankind, and his eschatology [concerned with the end of the world or end of life]. But the lexicon of his symbolism is still to seek.”

“He gives nicknames to Time, Space, Jehovah, reason or Passion and forgets to explain. In most of his letters this dialect is used quite naturally. ‘Vegetated’ and ‘eternity’ are words with special connotations.“ Oliver Elton

“Traditional though Blake’s vocabulary may be he does emply it in a startling innovative way. Not only does he introduce extravagant, invented names like Lucenta, Golgonooza, Ololon and radically reworked conceptions of Innocence, Spectre, Eternity, he makes even the most familiar places and things ominously unfamiliar.”

“Blake accepted unintelligibility as part of the evidence of their supernatural origin.” Selincourt

“the man who, in his sense of lyric appropriateness of speech, ranks with the greatest in a morass of futile terminology, and wasting unique powers of imaginative design in representation of subjects, which, having no recognisable relation to life as men commonly understand and live it, can never carry the full significance of conception he aimed at giving them...” Selincourt

Our fifth characteristic is regard for the unfortunate and weak.

“Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow’s share?
No, No! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!...

He doth give His joy to all;
He becomes an infant small;
He becomes a man of woe;
He doth feel the sorrow tool.” On Another’s Sorrow

“A horse misused upon the road
Calls to Heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubin does cease to sing.
He who shall hurt the little wren
Chall never be belov’d by men.
The santon boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider’s enmity.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother’s grief
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgment draweth nigh.” Auguries of Innocence

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakeness, marks of woe
In every cry of every man,
In every infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind forg’d manacles I hear.

How the chimney sweeper’s cry
Every black’ning church appals;
And the hapless soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down palace walls.

But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s ear,
And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.”

Comments from critics, colleagues, and himself:

“Blake was thus fortified…by the fact that it was impossible to him to be consciously the cause of unhappiness in another.” Selincourt

“The innocent unbounded selflessness is the only sure principle of artistic workmanship, and in applying to Blake’s own work, we are at once able to distinguish false from true.”

“He refused to believe in the existence of an unholy impulse.” Selincourt

Our sixth characteristics is mysticism: ineffability, Noetic quality; union with God; transiency; passivity; unity of opposites; timelessness; mystic copula.

“And the voice faded mild;
I remain’d as a child;
All I ever had known
Before me bright shone.”

“The lions in evening sport upon the plains;
They raise their faces from the earth, conversing with the man;
‘How is it that all things are changed, even as in ancient time?’
The sun arises from his dewy bed, and the fresh airs
Play in his smiling beamsw, giving the seeds of life to grow,
And the fresh earth beams forth ten thousand thousand springs of life: The Four Zoas

O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Doees thy life destroy. The Sick Rose

“To see the world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.”

Comments from critics, colleagues and himself:

“To mount to God is to enter into one’s self. For he who inwardly entereth and intimately penetrateth into himself gets above and beyond himself and truly mounts up to God.”

“How can you take your soul to Him if you carry with you your soul [consciousness of self]”

“Man has no Body distinct from his soul, for that called body is a portion of soul discerned aby the five senses, the chief inlets of soul in this age… If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is infinite.”

“In my brain are studies and chambers full of books and pictures of old, which I wrote and painted in ages of eternity before my mortal life, and those works are the delight and study of archangels.”

We close this discussion with this verse from William Benet written in 1916.

Blake, they say, was mad; And Space’s Pandora-box
Loosed its secrets upon him, devils and angels, indeed!
I, they say, am sane; but no key of mine unlocks
One lock of one gate where through Heaven’s glory is freed
And I hark and I hold my breath daylong, yearlong,
Out of comfort and easy dreaming evermore starting awake.
Yearning beyond all sanity for some echo of that song
Of songs, that was sung to the soul of the madman, Blake.