A Cradle Song (Blake, 1794)

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For works with similar titles, see A Cradle Song.

From Blake’s Notebook, p. 114, reversed. See also: Songs and Ballads. It was probably intended for Songs of Experience, since there is a poem with the same title in Songs of Innocence, however it was not engraved or included into the cycle, but left in a very rough sketchy manuscript.

Blake's manuscript: A cradle song..."

A Cradle Song

Sleep, Sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming o'er the joys of night;
Sleep, Sleep; in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit & weep.

Sweet Babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel,
Smiles as of the morning steal
O’er thy cheek & o’er thy breast
Where thy little heart doth rest.

O, the cunning wiles that creep
In thy little heart asleep.
When thy little heart doth wake,
Then the dreadful lightnings break.

From thy cheek & from thy eye
O'er the youthful harvests nigh
Infant wiles & infant smiles
Heaven & Earth of peace beguiles.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.