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DaveInDenver
04-20-2009, 08:45 AM
Poem of the day? Anyway, I like this poem and it's meanings have been rattling around in the back of mind for a little while now after reading it a few years ago. Finally remembered to look up the actual text and thought others might like reading it. According to Wikipedia (or at least the 14 year old kid writing all the entries), Jim Morrison and some others also liked it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auguries_of_Innocence

Auguries of Innocence
by William Blake (17571827)

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell through all its regions.
A dog starved at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-**** clipped and armed for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.
The wild deer wandering here and there
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misused breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.
The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be beloved by men.
He who the ox to wrath has moved
Shall never be by woman loved.
The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of Envy's foot.
The poison of the honey-bee
Is the artist's jealousy.

The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so:
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
The babe is more than swaddling bands,
Throughout all these human lands;
Tools were made and born were hands,
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;
This is caught by females bright
And returned to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.
The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes Revenge! in realms of death.
The beggar's rags fluttering in air
Does to rags the heavens tear.
The soldier armed with sword and gun
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.
One mite wrung from the labourer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands,
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole nation sell and buy.
He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mocked in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.
The questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.
The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.
When gold and gems adorn the plough
To peaceful arts shall Envy bow.
A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply.
The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.
If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.
The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding sheet.
The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born.
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.
We are led to believe a lie
When we see not through the eye
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.
God appears, and God is light
To those poor souls who dwell in night,
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

Hulk
04-20-2009, 11:00 AM
Cool poem. Never read it before.

Makes me wonder: did these words rhyme when the poem was written?

road - blood
howl - soul
moved - loved
fly - enmity
newt - foot
eye - eternity
beneath - death
faith - death
known - crown

DaveInDenver
04-20-2009, 11:40 AM
Cool poem. Never read it before.

Makes me wonder: did these words rhyme when the poem was written?

road - blood
howl - soul
moved - loved
fly - enmity
newt - foot
eye - eternity
beneath - death
faith - death
known - crown
Keep in mind he was British and I believe not from a particularly well to-do family (what would be middle class, shop owners). So his accent would likely not be highly educated British, but not as thick as a Scot or something. I would guess more or less that yes, in 18th century English that most of those words would be pronounced fairly similarly. Not to mention us midwesterners tend to make words more harsh anyway. Like newt and foot sound a lot closer when someone from St. Louis isn't saying them...

Hulk
04-20-2009, 11:55 AM
I read a story on common pronunciation a few years back that claimed that the mid-U.S. "accent-free" English as it is spoken now is the closest to English as it was spoken 300 years ago. Pronunciation in England has continued to evolve, and places like Atlanta, NYC and Chicago have their own accents. The English language as it is spoken in, say, Iowa is the least changed since settlers arrived on U.S. soil.

DaveInDenver
04-20-2009, 11:57 AM
I read a story on common pronunciation a few years back that claimed that the mid-U.S. "accent-free" English as it is spoken now is the closest to English as it was spoken 300 years ago. Pronunciation in England has continued to evolve, and places like Atlanta, NYC and Chicago have their own accents. The English language as it is spoken in, say, Iowa is the least changed since settlers arrived on U.S. soil.
Cool, never knew that. I'd always thought our accent was pretty harsh and heavy on the nasal passages.

Hulk
04-20-2009, 12:03 PM
I just wonder how they support that claim. It's not like they have old reel-to-reel tapes from 1776 that they can review. How do you research how something sounded when all you have is written evidence?

DaveInDenver
04-20-2009, 12:08 PM
I just wonder how they support that claim. It's not like they have old reel-to-reel tapes from 1776 that they can review. How do you research how something sounded when all you have is written evidence?
Maybe by looking at poems and songs from the period and seeing which words used to rhyme? ;-)