William Cowper Esqre

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Blake manuscript - Notebook - page 050

Edited text:[1][edit]


[William Cowper Esqre]

—FOR[2] this is being a friend just in the nick,
Not when he’s well, but waiting till he’s sick;
He calls you to his help; be you not mov’d
Until, by being sick, his wants are prov’d.
  
5You see him spend his soul in prophecy:
Do you believe it a confounded lie,
Till some bookseller, and the public fame,
Prove there is truth in his extravagant claim.
  
For ’tis atrocious[3] in a friend you love
10To tell you anything that he can’t prove,
And ’tis most wicked in a Christian nation
For any man to pretend to inspiration.

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The original text:[4][edit]


William Cowper Esqre

For this is being a Friend just in the nick
Not when hes well but waiting till hes sick
He calls you to his help be you not movd
Untill by being Sick his wants are provd

5You see him spend his Soul in Prophecy
Do you believe it a Confounded lie
Till some Bookseller & the Public Fame
Proves there is truth in his extravagant claim

For tis atrocious in a Friend you love
10 To tell you any thing that he cant prove
And tis most wicked in a Christian Nation
For any Man to pretend to Inspiration

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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 The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes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. Following a wholly erased stanza in the MS.
  3. 9 atrocious] most wicked MS. 1st rdg. del.
  4. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 507.

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