Why should I care for the Men of Thames

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Notebook 12 - "Why should I care for the men of thames..."


Edited text:[1][edit]


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WHY[2] should I care for the men of Thames
Or the cheating waves of charter’d streams;
Or shrink at the little blasts of fear
That the hireling blows into my ear?
  
5 Tho’ born on the cheating banks of Thames,
Tho’ his waters bathèd my infant limbs,
The Ohio shall wash his stains from me:
I was born a slave, but I go to be free!
 

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The original text:[3][edit]

 
* * *

Why should I care for the men of thames
Or the cheating waves of charterd streams
Or shrink at the little blasts of fear
That the hireling blows into my ear

Tho born on the cheating banks of Thames
Tho his waters bathed my infant limbs
The Ohio shall wash his stains from me
I was born a slave but I go to be free

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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 The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes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. 1. Why should I care, &c.] 7 I spurn’d his waters away from me MS. 1st rdg. del. 8 I go to be free] I long to be free MS. 1st rdg. del.
  3. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 473.

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