Page:Life of William Blake, Gilchrist.djvu/306

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244
[1804.
LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE.

These are the sports of love, and these the sweet delights of amorous play;
Tears of the grape, the death-sweet of the cluster, the last sigh
Of the mild youth who listens to the luring songs of Luvah.

With the following sweet reminiscence of life at Felpham, which occurs in the Second Book of Milton, and with the quaint and pretty lines à propos of which Blake introduces the idealized view of his cottage, given at the end of this chapter, let these gleanings from the 'Prophetic Books' conclude.

Thou hearest the nightingale begin the song of spring;
The lark, sitting upon his earthy bed, just as the morn
Appears, listens silent; then, springing from the waving corn-field, loud
He leads the choir of day: trill—trill—trill—trill—
Mounting upon the wings of light into the great expanse.
Re-echoing against the lovely blue and shining heavenly shell.
His little throat labours with inspiration; every feather
On throat, and breast, and wing, vibrates with the effluence divine.
All nature listens to him silent; and the awful Sun
Stands still upon the mountains, looking on this little bird
With eyes of soft humility, and wonder, love, and awe.
Then loud, from their green covert, all the birds begin their song,—
The thrush, the linnet and the goldfinch, robin and the wren,
Awake the sun from his sweet reverie upon the mountains;
The nightingale again essays his song, and through the day
And through the night warbles luxuriant; every bird of song
Attending his loud harmony with admiration and love.


(This is a vision of the lamentation of Beulah over Ololon.)


Thou perceivest the flowers put forth their precious odours.
And none can tell how from so small a centre come such sweets,
Forgetting that within that centre Eternity expands
Its ever-during doors that Og and Anak fiercely guard.
First, ere the morning breaks, joy opens in the flowery bosoms,
Joy even to tears, which the sun, rising, dries; first the wild thyme
And meadow-sweet, downy and soft, waving among the reeds,