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Short poem

William Blake (1757-1827)

Song: My silks and fine array

              1My silks and fine array,
              2      My smiles and languish'd air,
              3By love are driv'n away;
              4      And mournful lean Despair
              5Brings me yew to deck my grave:
              6Such end true lovers have.

              7His face is fair as heav'n,
              8      When springing buds unfold;
              9O why to him was't giv'n,
            10      Whose heart is wintry cold?
            11His breast is love's all worship'd tomb,
            12Where all love's pilgrims come.

            13Bring me an axe and spade,
            14      Bring me a winding sheet;
            15When I my grave have made,
            16      Let winds and tempests beat:
            17Then down I'll lie, as cold as clay,
            18True love doth pass away!


1] This was 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 2.276.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/14

Rhyme: ababcc

Other poems by William Blake