Page:Facsimile of the original outlines before colouring of The songs of innocence and of experience executed by William Blake.djvu/20

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xiv

Naturally, there are two sorts of love in us, as there are two selves. The clod and the pebble, soft dark earth and hard dark earth, tell each other of the two loves in the next poem. Even children are made prisoners to cold charity, as our infant emotions are to the chill restraints that hardly allow them food. A spiritual Holy Thursday utters this terrible complaint and reproach. Those who would break through the bondage are lost. A little girl—a soft, feminine emotion—goes wandering among the wild-beast passions. But they are good to her, for she is no accuser of sin. Yet her parents mourn and seek her, believing that evil will come to her. Yet when they go where she is (when do parents in real life make this journey?) they also find that what was called evil and destruction is neither the one nor the other. But when once they have allowed sympathy to take them to the desert, there must be no return if they are to live fearless, while the wolves and lions howl and growl. The lion, it will be noted, is here distinctly said to be himself a "vision."

Then follow songs in the voice, not of the clod, but of the pebble. Mere selfishness is unmasked in the suffering inflicted on the Chimney Sweeper. The Nurse, moved by envy, not by care for their good, seeks to put a stop to the playing of children, and the worm of jealousy destroys the crimson joy of the Sick Rose.

As a relief comes the little song of the Fly. Symbolism goes to sleep. A plain suggestion as to what life and death are takes its place. But if

       "The want
Of thought is death,"

then, in a certain sense, we are always in that state, for none think with perfect vividness. But Blake, for once, does not limit the application of his question. Yet if we wish to know what else was in his mind as he wrote this we must read again the lines

"Art not thou
 A man like me?"

along with the passages already referred to about the human form, even of insects, and this from "Milton," p. 18, 1. 27:

"Seest thou the little winged fly smaller than a grain of sand?
 It has a heart like thee, a brain open to heaven and hell,
 Withinside wondrous and expansive. Its gates are not closed.
 I hope thine are not. Hence it clothes itself in rich array."

In "the Angel," the story of youth arming itself with modesty and hiding from its own spirit the delight of its own heart, until the helplessness of old age makes all arming and hiding unneeded, requires no explanation. The