Page:Shelley, a poem, with other writings (Thomson, Debell).djvu/124

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
106
THE POEMS OF WILLIAM BLAKE.

ungoverned so long that it is now quite ungovernable. The first gives us such lines as these—

In the lovely lofts of Bedlam,
In stubble soft and dainty;
 Brave bracelets strong,
 Sweet whips ding-dong,
And a wholesome hunger plenty.

The second such as these—

Of thirty bare years have I
Twice twenty been enragéd;
 And of forty been
 Three times fifteen
In durance soundly cagéd.

The third such as these, which Edgar Allan Poe (a fine artist even in the choice of his mottoes) prefixed to his Unparalleled Adventure of one Hans Pfaall

With a heart of furious fancies,
Whereof I am commander;
 With a burning spear,
 And a horse of air,
To the wilderness I wander.

Or these—

I know more than Apollo;
For oft when he lies sleeping,
 I behold the stars
 At mutual wars,
And the rounded welkin weeping.

As Tom o' Bedlams did not wander the country when Blake wrote, the elements of vagabondage and mountebankism are not in his piece. But as an expression of lunacy—the government of reason overthrown, and wild imagination making the anarchy more anarchic by its reign of terror—it is thoroughly of the old Elizabethan