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Home > English Literature > Poetry CCEA > CCEA Poetry: Nature and war > William Blake: From - Auguries of Innocence

English Literature

William Blake: From - Auguries of Innocence

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William Blake, an English poet and artist, was born in 1757.

He became part of the famous Romantic Movement along with poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Romantic poetry is characterised by lyrical, descriptive language and central ideas which embody Nature and Art. Its themes often examine the principles of Freedom and Equality.

Blake’s poetry often rebelled against injustice, rigid class systems and the hypocrisy inherent in organised religion at the time.

We see some of this in Auguries of Innocence.

Poem

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From: Auguries of Innocence (Extract)

To see a World in a Grain of Sand,And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,And Eternity in an hour.

A Robin Red breast in a CagePuts all Heaven in a Rage.A dovehouse fill'd with doves and PigeonsShudders Hell thro' all its regions.A dog starv'd at his Master's GatePredicts the ruin of the State.A Horse misus’d upon the RoadCalls to Heaven for Human blood.Each outcry of the hunted HareA fibre from the Brain does tear.A Skylark wounded in the wing,A Cherubim does cease to sing.The Game Cock clip’t and arm'd for fightDoes the Rising Sun affright.

Every Wolf's and Lion's howlRaises from Hell a Human Soul.The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,Keeps the Human Soul from Care.The Lamb misus'd breeds Public strife,And yet forgives the Butcher's Knife.The Bat that flits at close of EveHas left the Brain that won't Believe.The Owl that calls upon the NightSpeaks the Unbeliever's fright.He who shall hurt the little WrenShall never be belov'd by Men.He who the Ox to wrath has mov'dShall never be by woman lov'd.The wanton Boy that kills the FlyShall feel the Spider's enmity.He who torments the Chafer's spriteWeaves a Bower in endless Night.The Caterpiller on the LeafRepeats to thee thy Mother's grief.Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly,For the Last Judgement draweth nigh.

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