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Short poem

William Blake (1757-1827)

Infant Sorrow

              1My mother groan'd! my father wept.
              2Into the dangerous world I leapt:
              3Helpless, naked, piping loud,
              4Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

              5Struggling in my father's hands,
              6Striving against my swaddling bands,
              7Bound and weary, I thought best
              8To sulk upon my mother's breast.


1] The companion poem to "Infant Joy" in Poems of Innocence (1789).

4] cloud: the placenta, expelled in childbirth.

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 (W. Blake, 1794). Blake's Illuminated Books, ed. David Bindman (Princeton, NJ: William Blake Trust; London: Tate Gallery, 1991-). See Vol. 2. PR 4142 B46 1991 Robarts Library. Text from William Blake's Writings, ed. G. E. Bentley, Jr. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978): I, 193. PR 4141 B45 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1794
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2003
Recent editing: 1:2003/7/22*1:2003/7/22

Form: quatrains
Rhyme: aabb

Other poems by William Blake