Then She bore Pale desire/rearranged

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746816then She bore Pale desire… (Rearranged)William Blake

            then She bore Pale desire...           

(as edited by Nelson Hilton)[2]

then She bore Pale desire father of Curiosity
a Virgin ever young.
And after.
         Leaden Sloth from whom came Ignorance.
who brought forth wonder.
5 These are the Gods which Came from fear.
for Gods like these.
        nor male nor female are
but Single Pregnate or if they list together
mingling bring forth mighty powrs[.]
She knew them not yet they all war with Shame
10 and Strengthen her weak arm.
But Pride awoke nor knew that Joy was born.
and taking Poisnous Seed from her own Bowels.
in the Monster Shame infusd.
forth Came Ambition Crawling like a toad
Pride Bears it in her Bosom.
15        and the Gods.
all bow to it.
        So great its Power.
that Pride inspird by it Prophetic Saw
the Kingdoms of the World & all their Glory.
Giants of Mighty arm before the flood.
Cains City.
20        built with Murder.
Then Babel mighty Reard him to the Skies.
Babel with thousand tongues
Confusion it was calld.
        and Givn to Shame.
this Pride observing inly Grievd.
        but knew not that.
25 the rest was Givn to Shame as well as this.
Then Nineva & Babylon & Costly tyre.
And evn Jerusalem was Shewn.
         the holy City.
Then Athens Learning & the Pride of Greece.
and further from the Rising Sun.
30 was Rome Seated on Seven hills the mistress of the world.
Emblem of Pride She Saw the Arts their treasures Bring
and luxury his bounteous table Spread.
but now a Cloud oercasts.
        and back to th'East.
to Constantines Great City Empire fled.
35 Ere long to bleed & die
a Sacrifice Done by a Priestly hand
So once the Sun his.
        Chariot drew.
to prolong a Good kings life.
The Cloud oer past & Rome now Shone again
40 Miterd & Crown'd with triple crown.
Then Pride was better Pleasd She Saw
the World fall down in Adoration [.]
But now full to the Setting Sun
a Sun arose out of the Sea.
it rose & shed Sweet Influence
45        oer the Earth
Pride feared for her City, but not long.
for looking Stedfastly She saw that Pride Reignd here.
Now Direful Pains accost her.
         and Still pregnant.
so Envy came & Hate.
        twin progeny
50 Envy hath a Serpents head of fearful bulk
hissing with hundred tongues,
her poisnous breath breeds Satire foul
Contagion from which none are free.
oer whelmd by ever During Thirst
55 She Swalloweth her own Poison.
which consumes her nether Parts.
from whence a River Springs.
Most Black & loathsom through the land it Runs
Rolling with furious Noise.
60 but at the last it Settles in a lake called Oblivion.
tis at this Rivers fount where evry mortals Cup is Mix't
My Cup is fill'd with Envy's Rankest Draught
a miracle No less can set me Right.
Desire Still pines but for one Cooling Drop and tis Deny'd.
65 while others in Contentments downy Nest do sleep,
it is the Cursed thorn wounding my breast that makes me sing.
however sweet tis Envy that Inspires my Song.
        by the fame of others how I mourn
and my complaints are Sweeter than their Joys
70 but O could I at Envy Shake my hands.
my notes Should Rise to meet the New born Day.
Hate Meager hag Sets Envy on
unable to Do ought herself.
but Worn away a Bloodless Daemon
75 The Gods all Serve her at her will
So great her Power is[.] like.
        fabled hecate
She doth bind them to her law.
Far in a Direful Cave She lives
unseen Closd from the Eye of Day.
80 to the hard Rock transfixt by fate
and here She works her witcheries
that when She Groans She Shakes the Solid Ground
Now Envy She controlls with numming trance
& Melancholy Sprung from her dark womb
85 There is a Melancholy, O how lovely tis
whose heaven is in the heavenly Mind
for she from heaven came,
and where She goes heaven still doth follow her.
She brings true Joy once fled.
& Contemplation is her Daughter.
90        Sweet Contemplation.
She brings humility to man
Take her She Says & wear her in thine heart
lord of thy Self thou then art lord of all.
Tis Contemplation teacheth knowledge truly how to know.
95 and Reinstates him on his throne once lost
how lost I'll tell.
        But Stop the motley Song.
I'll Shew.
        how Conscience Came from heaven.
But O who listens to his Voice
T'was Conscience who brought Melancholy down
100 Conscience was sent a Guard to Reason.
Reason once fairer than the light
till fould in Knowledges dark Prison house.
For knowledge drove sweet Innocence away.
and Reason would have followd but fate sufferd not
105 Then down Came Conscience with his lovely band
The Eager Song Goes on telling
how Pride against her father Warrd & Overcame.
Down his white Beard the Silver torrents Roll.
and Swelling Sighs burst forth his Children all
110 in arms appear to tear him from his throne
Black was the deed.
         most Black.
Shame in a Mist Sat Round his troubled head.
& filld him with Confusion.
Fear as a torrent wild Roard Round his throne
115 the mighty pillars shake
Now all the Gods in blackning Ranks appear.
like a tempestuous thunder Cloud Pride leads.
             them on.
Now they Surround the God.
        and bind him fast.
Pride bound him, then usurpd oer all the Gods.
120 She Rode upon the Swelling wind
and Scatterd all who durst t'oppose.
but Shame opposing fierce and hovering.
over her in the darkning Storm.
She brought forth Rage.
125 Mean while Strife Mighty Prince was born
Envy in direful Pains him bore.
then Envy brought forth Care.
Care Sitteth in the wrinkled brow.
Strife Shapeless Sitteth under thrones of kings like Smouldring fire.
130 or in the Buzz of Cities flies abroad
Care brought forth Covet Eyeless & prone to th' Earth,
and Strife brought forth Revenge
Hate brooding in her Dismal den grew Pregnant
& bore Scorn, & Slander.
         Scorn waits on Pride.
but Slander.
135        flies around the World
to do the Work of hate her drudge & Elf.
but Policy doth drudge for hate as well as Slander.
& oft makes use of her.
        Policy Son of Shame.
Indeed Hate Controlls all the Gods.
             at will.
140 Policy brought forth Guile & fraud.
these Gods last namd live in the Smoke of Cities.
on Dusky wing breathing forth Clamour & Destruction.
alas in Cities wheres the man
whose face is not a mask unto his heart
Pride made a Goddess.
145        fair or I mage rather
till knowledge animated it.
         'twas Calld Selflove.
The Gods admiring loaded her with Gifts
as once Pandora She 'mongst men was Sent.
and worser ills attended her by far.
150 She was a Goddess Powerful & bore Conceit
and Shame bore honour & made league with Pride
& Policy doth dwell with her
by whom she [had] Mistrust & Suspition.
Then bore a Daughter called Emulation.
155             honour
these follow her around the World[.]
Go See the City friends Joind Hand in Hand.
Go See.
      the Natural tie of flesh & blood.
Go See more strong the tie of marriage love
160 thou Scarce Shall find but Self love Stands Between

<Before 1777>


  1. The 7-page manuscript is now in the New York Public Library. First printed by W. M. Rossetti, divided into lines, in The Monthly Review for August, 1903, with the title "The Passions".
  2. See: Nelson Hilton: The Rankest Draught (Article) in Greenberg, Mark, ed., Speak Silence: Rhetoric and Culture in Blake's Poetical Sketches. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1996.

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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