Representative Poetry Online
  Poet Index   Poem Index   Random   Search  
  Introduction   Timeline   Calendar   Glossary   Criticism   Bibliography  
  RPO   Canadian Poetry   UTEL  
by Name
by Date
by Title
by First Line
by Last Line
Short poem

William Blake (1757-1827)

To the Muses

              1Whether on Ida's shady brow,
              2      Or in the chambers of the East,
              3The chambers of the sun, that now
              4      From ancient melody have ceas'd;

              5Whether in Heav'n ye wander fair,
              6      Or the green corners of the earth,
              7Or the blue regions of the air,
              8      Where the melodious winds have birth;

              9Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
            10      Beneath the bosom of the sea
            11Wand'ring in many a coral grove,
            12      Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!

            13How have you left the ancient love
            14      That bards of old enjoy'd in you!
            15The languid strings do scarcely move!
            16      The sound is forc'd, the notes are few!


1] This poem 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 2.275.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/15

Form: Long Hymnal Measure
Rhyme: abab

Other poems by William Blake