Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/34

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
20
MINOR POEMS.

— if not Kate at once, if such were the intention. The introduction of the "sister Jane" is also obscure. Blake's sister formed part of his household at Felpham, but there is no record of the concubine incident as having to do with his life there.

Mary, having heard that William loves another, proposes to be her servant, while this other is to be the wife of William. It is never supposed that Mrs. Blake made any such impossible proposition. William accepts this from Mary Green who is not Mrs. Bond, and explains that the reason is that she is melancholy and pale. This equally puts Mrs. Blake out of the caste, for she was a bright brunette, and never was known to be melancholy during Blake's life.

Finding her sacrifice accepted, Mary faints away and nearly dies. She is laid by William. The fairies go to her. The angels leave him. William and Mary then love each other and are happy. William, in the moral of the poem, incidentally hints that Mary was "naked and outcast." Once more, not Mrs. Blake.

The poem of "William Bond" should be read with the poem called "Mary." Here is the "Mary Green," though her surname is not given. Here are lines about Mary —

"Oh, why was I born with a different face;
Why was I not born like this envious race?"

which occur also in one of Blake's letters from Felpham, August lGth, 1803, where they are added to and used by Blake as referring to himself. In the letter the lines run thus : —

"Oh, why was I born with a different face?
Why was I not born like the rest of my race?
When I look, each one starts, when I speak, I offend;
Then I'm silent and passive and lose every friend.
Then my verse I dishonour, my pictures despise,
My person degrade and my temper chastise;
And the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame;
All my talents I bury, and dead is my fame.
I am either too low or too highly priz'd;
When elate I'm envied ; when meek I'm despised.