4] Holy Word: Christ, who here, as in Milton's Paradise Lost, discovers the fall of Adam in Eden.
5] ancient trees: cf. Gen. 3: 8.
6] Soul: not Adam or Eve, but the female Earth (Heb. adamah) out of which Adam was made (Gen. 2: 7). It is the division of the human from the non-human world that for Blake is the essential aspect of the fall.
11] O Earth return!: cf. Jer. 22: 29 and Isa. 21: 12.
16] Turn away. The allusion is to the rotation of the spherical earth away from the light (cf. "Mad Song").
19] wat'ry shore: cf. Job 38: 11.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: William Blake, Songs of Experience (1794). Blake's Illuminated Books, ed. David Bindman (Princeton, NJ: William Blake Trust; London: Tate Gallery, 1991-). See Vol. 2. PR 4142 B46 1991 ROBA.
First publication date: 1794
RPO poem editor: Northrop Frye
RP edition: 3RP 2.281.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/14
Other poems by William Blake