Europe a Prophecy

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Europe a Prophecy
by William Blake
CONTENTS:

Inroduction [Plate iii]

Preludium

A Prophecy


EUROPE a PROPHECY



[Plate iii][1]

‘Five windows light the cavern’d Man: thro’ one he breathes the air;
Thro’ one hears music of the spheres; thro’ on the eternal vine
Flourished, that he may receive the grapes; thro’ one can look
And see small portions of the eternal world that ever growth;
5 Thro’ one himself pass out what time he please, but he will not;
For stolen joys are sweet, & bread eaten in secret pleasant.’

So sang a Fairy mocking as he sat on a streak’d Tulip,
Thinking none saw him; when he ceas’d I started from the trees,
And caught him in my hat as boys knock down a butterfly.
10 ‘How know you this,’ said I, ‘small Sir? where did you learn this song?’
seeing himself in my possession, thus he answer’d me:
‘My Master, I am yours; command me, for I must obey.’

‘Then tell me what is the material world, and is it dead?’
He laughing answer’d: ‘I will write a book on leaves of flowers,
15 If you will feed me on love-thoughts, & give me now and then
A cup of sparkling poetic fancies. So, when I am tipsie,
I’ll sing to you to this soft lute, and shew you all alive
The world, where every particle of dust breathes forth its joy.’

I took him home in my warm bosom. As we went along
20 Wild flowers I gather’d, & he shew’d me each eternal flower.
He laugh’d aloud to see them whimper because they were pluck’d.
They hover’d round me like a cloud of incense. When I came
Into my parlour and sat down, and took my pen to write,
My Fairy sat upon the table, and dictated ‘EUROPE.’




Notes

  1. This Introduction was included only in two existing copies.