The Mental Traveller

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search


William Blake Mental Traveller bb126 1 3 ms 300.jpg

The Mental Traveller

I traveld thro' a Land of Men A Land of Men & Women too And heard & saw such dreadful things As cold Earth wanderers never knew

For there the Babe is born in joy That was begotten in dire woe Just as we Reap in joy the fruit Which we in bitter tears did sow

And if the Babe is born a Boy He's given to a Woman Old Who nails him down upon a rock, Catches his Shrieks in Cups of gold.

She binds iron thorns around his head, She pierces both his hands & feet, She cuts his heart out at his side To make it feel both cold & heat.

Her fingers number every Nerve Just as a Miser counts his gold; She lives upon his shrieks & cries And She grows young as he grows old

William Blake Mental Traveller bb126 1 4 ms 300.jpg

Till he becomes a bleeding youth And she becomes a Virgin bright; Then he rends up his Manacles And binds her down for his delight.

He plants himself in all her Nerves Just as a Husbandman his mould And She becomes his dwelling place And Garden fruitful Seventy fold.

An aged Shadow soon he fades Wandring round an Earthly Cot Full filled all with gems & gold Which he by industry had got

And these are the gems of the Human Soul, The rubies & pearls of a lovesick eye The countless gold of the akeing heart, The martyrs groan & the lovers sigh.

They are his meat, they are his drink; He feeds the Beggar & the Poor And the way faring Traveller, For ever open is his door.

His grief is their eternal joy; They make the roofs & walls to ring Till from the fire on the hearth A little Female Babe does spring

William Blake Mental Traveller bb126 1 5 ms 300.jpg

And she is all of solid fire And gems & gold that none his hand Dares stretch to touch her Baby form Or wrap her in his swaddling-band

But She comes to the Man she loves If young or old or rich or poor; They soon drive out the aged Host A Begger at anothers door.

He wanders weeping far away Untill some other take him in Oft blind & age-bent sore distrest Untill he can a Maiden win

And to allay his freezing Age The Poor Man takes her in his arms; The Cottage fades before his Sight, The Garden & its lovely Charms.

The Guests are scatterd thro' the land For the Eye altering alters all; The Senses roll themselves in fear And the flat Earth becomes a Ball;

The Stars, Sun, Moon all shrink away A desart vast without a bound And nothing left to eat or drink And a dark desart all around.

William Blake Mental Traveller bb126 1 6 ms 300.jpg

The honey of her Infant lips, The bread & wine of her sweet smile, The wild game of her roving Eye Does him to Infancy beguile

For as he eats & drinks he grows Younger & younger every day And on the desart wild they both Wander in terror & dismay.

Like the wild Stag she flees away, Her fear plants many a thicket wild While he pursues her night & day By various arts of Love beguild,

By various arts of Love & Hate Till the wide desart planted oer With Labyrinths of wayward Love Where roams the Lion, Wolf & Boar

Till he becomes a wayward Babe And she a weeping Woman Old. Then many a Lover wanders here; The Sun & Stars are nearer rolld.

The trees bring forth sweet Extacy To all who in the desart roam Till many a City there is Built And many a pleasant Shepherds home

William Blake Mental Traveller bb126 1 7 ms 300.jpg

But when they find the frowning Babe Terror strikes thro the region wide, They cry ‘the Babe the Babe is Born’ And flee away on Every side

For who dare touch the frowning form His arm is witherd to its root; Lions Boars Wolves all howling flee And every Tree does shed its fruit

And none can touch that frowning form Except it be a Woman Old; She nails him down upon the Rock And all is done as I have told.