I heard an Angel singing

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Notebook 8. I heard an Angel singing
by William Blake
From Blake’s Notebook (c.1793), p. 114, reversed
Blake's manuscript: "I heard an Algel singing..."


 * * *

I heard an Angel singing
When the day was springing,
‘Mercy, Pity, Peace,
Is the world’s 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 pour’d the heavy rain
Over the new-reap’d grain;
And Miserie’s increase
Is Mercy, Pity, Peace.


This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.