Page:Nollekens and His Times, Volume 2.djvu/475

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BLAKE.

so well of them, as to request the Rev. Henry Mathew, her husband, to join Mr. Flaxman in his truly kind offer of defraying the expense of printing them; in which he not only acquiesced, but, with his usual urbanity, wrote the following advertisement, which precedes the poems.

"The following sketches were the production of an untutored youth, commenced in his twelfth, and occasionally resumed by the author till his twentieth year; since which time, his talents having been wholly directed to the attainment of excellence in his profession, he has been deprived of the leisure requisite to such a revisal of these sheets, as might have rendered them less unfit to meet the public eye.

"Conscious of the irregularities aad defects to be found in almost every page, his friends have still believed that they possessed a poetical originality, which merited some respite from oblivion. These, their opinions, remain, however, to be now reproved or confirmed by a less partial public."

The annexed Song is a specimen of the juvenile playfulness of Blake's muse, copied from page 10 of these Poems.[1]

SONG.

"How sweet I roam'd from field to field.
 And tasted all the Summer's pride,
Till I the Prince of Love beheld.
 Who in the sunny beams did glide!


  1. The whole copy of this little work, entitled "Poetical Sketches, by W. B." containing seventy pages, octavo, bearing the date of 1783, was given to Blake to sell to friends, or publish, as he might think proper.