Page:Life of William Blake, Gilchrist.djvu/41

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
ÆT. 10— 13.]
11
CHILDHOOD.
 

He shew'd me lilies for my hair,
 And blushing roses for my brow;
He led me through his gardens fair,
 Where all his golden pleasures grow.


With sweet May-dews my wings were wet,
 And Phœbus fir'd my vocal rage;
He caught me in his silken net,
 And shut me in his golden cage.


He loves to sit and hear me sing,
 Then, laughing, sports and plays with me;
Then stretches out my golden wing,
 And mocks my loss of liberty.

This may surely be reckoned equal precocity to that so much lauded of Pope and Cowley. It is not promise, but fulfilment. The grown man in vain might hope to better such sweet playfulness,—playfulness as of a 'child-angel's' penning—any more than noon can reproduce the tender streaks of dawn. But criticism is idle. How analyse a violet's perfume, or dissect the bloom on a butterfly's wing?