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Short poem

William Blake (1757-1827)

Song: How sweet I roam'd from field to field

              1How sweet I roam'd from field to field,
              2      And tasted all the summer's pride,
              3'Till I the prince of love beheld,
              4      Who in the sunny beams did glide!

              5He shew'd me lilies for my hair,
              6      And blushing roses for my brow;
              7He led me through his gardens fair,
              8      Where all his golden pleasures grow.

              9With sweet May dews my wings were wet,
            10      And Phœbus fir'd my vocal rage;
            11He caught me in his silken net,
            12      And shut me in his golden cage.

            13He loves to sit and hear me sing,
            14      Then, laughing, sports and plays with me;
            15Then stretches out my golden wing,
            16      And mocks my loss of liberty.


1] This and the four poems following were first published in Poetical Sketches, a collection of Blake's juvenile poetry, printed by private subscription in 1783, This song is said on contemporary authority to have been written by Blake at about the age of fourteen.

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, Poetical Sketches (London, 1783.) D-10 1987 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
First publication date: 1783
RPO poem editor: Northrop Frye
RP edition: 3RP 2.274.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/14

Composition date: 1771
Form: Long Hymnal Measure
Rhyme: abab

Other poems by William Blake