My Spectre around me night & day

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Notebook c.1800-1803: Page 3 (N 13)
Notebook c.1800-1803: Page 2 (N 12)

 * * *[1]

My Spectre around me night & day
Like a Wild beast guards my way
My Emanation far within
Weeps incessantly for my Sin

A Fathomless & boundless deep
There we wander there we weep
On the hungry craving wind
My Spectre follows thee behind

He scents thy footsteps in the snow
Wheresoever thou dost go
Thro the wintry hail & rain
When wilt thou return again

Dost thou not in Pride & scorn
Fill with tempests all my morn
And with jealousies & fears
Fill my pleasant nights with tears

Seven of my sweet loves thy knife
Has bereaved of their life
Their marble tombs I built with tears
And with cold & shuddering fears

Seven more loves weep night & day
Round the tombs where my loves lay
And seven more loves attend each night
Around my couch with torches bright

And seven more Loves in my bed
Crown with wine my mournful head
Pitying & forgiving all
Thy transgressions great & small

When wilt thou return & view
My loves & them to life renew
When wilt thou return & live
When wilt thou pity as I forgive

Never Never I return
Still for Victory I burn
Living thee alone Ill have
And when dead Ill be thy Grave

Thro the Heavn & Earth & Hell
Thou shalt never never quell
I will fly & thou pursue
Night & Morn the flight renew

Till I turn from Female Love
And root up the Infernal Grove
I shall never worthy be
To Step into Eternity

And to end thy cruel mocks
Annihilate thee on the rocks
And another form create
To be subservient to my Fate

Let us agree to give up Love
And root up the infernal grove
Then shall we return & see
The worlds of happy Eternity

& Throughout all Eternity
I forgive you you forgive me
As our dear Redeemer said
This the Wine & this the Bread[2]


  1. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 475.
  2. "My Spectre around me night & day..." N 13, 12
    Canceled stanzas b and c, with revisions and numbering, read:

    [Her]<Thy> weeping [She]<thou> shall neer give oer
    I sin against [her]<thee> more—& more
    [El]<And> never will from sin be free
    Till she forgives & comes to me
    [4] [<5>]
    Thou hast parted from my side
    Once thou wast a virgin bride
    Never shalt thou a [lover]<true love> find
    My Spectre follows thee Behind
    One and then another replacement was written for stanza b, thus (as numbered for various arrangements):

    [3] <4>
    1 When my Love did first begin
    2 Thou didst call that Love a Sin
    3 Secret trembling night & day
    4 Driving all my Loves away
    [[To]<In> a dark cold winter night]
    A deep winter [night] dark <&> cold
    [Within my [loves] Heart]
    Within my heart thou didst unfold
    A Fathomless & boundless deep
    There we wander there we weep

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.