When you look at a picture you always can see

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Blake manuscript - Notebook - page 041

Edited text:[1][edit]

* * *

WHEN you look at a picture, you always can see
If a man of sense has painted he.
Then never flinch, but keep up a jaw
About freedom, and ‘Jenny sink awa’.’[2]
5As when it smells of the lamp, we can
Say all was owing to the skilful man;
For the smell of water is but small:
So e’en let ignorance do it all.

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The original text:[3][edit]

 
* * *

When you look at a picture you always can see
If a Man of Sense has Painted he
Then never flinch but keep up a Jaw
About freedom & jenny suck awa'[4]
5 And when it smells of the Lamp we can[5]
Say all was owing to the Skilful Man
For the smell of water is but small
So een let Ignorance do it all

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Notes[edit]

  1. The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes by John Sampson, Hon. D.Litt. Oxon., 1862–1931. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1908.
  2. 4 Jenny sink awa’] i. e. ‘Je ne sais quoi’. 5 we] all MS. 1st rdg. del.
  3. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 510.
  4. 4 Jenny suck awa'] for Je ne sais quois
  5. 5 can] will 1st rdg del

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