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William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
 
Poems from the Rossetti MS.: Later Poems
The Caverns of the Grave I’ve seen
 
THE CAVERNS 1 of the Grave I’ve seen,
And these I show’d to England’s Queen.
But now the Caves of Hell I view,
Who shall I dare to show them to?
What mighty soul in Beauty’s form        5
Shall dauntless view the infernal storm?
Egremont’s Countess can control
The flames of Hell that round me roll;
If she refuse, I still go on
Till the Heavens and Earth are gone,        10
Still admir’d by noble minds,
Follow’d by Envy on the winds,
Re-engrav’d time after time,
Ever in their youthful prime,
My designs unchang’d remain.        15
Time may rage, but rage in vain.
For above Time’s troubled fountains,
On the great Atlantic Mountains,
In my Golden House on high,
There they shine eternally.        20
 
Note 1. The Caverns, &c.] Apparently dedicatory verses to accompany Blake’s large water-colour painting of ‘The Last Judgement,’ executed for the Countess of Egremont, being an elaboration of the earlier design for Blair’s Grave, dedicated to Queen Charlotte. See Blake’s description of this picture in a letter to Ozias Humphrey, dated 18th Feb., 1808 (Letter, ed. Russell, p. 198). These lines are found on a page of the MS. Book containing part of Blake’s interpretative account of the work, headed ‘For the Year 1810: Addition to Blake’s Catalogue of Pictures, &c.’ 1 Caverns] Visions MS. 1st rdg. del. 3 But] And MS. 1st rdg. del. 6 dauntless] dare to MS. 1st rdg. del. 7 can] dare MS. 1st rdg. del. 8 flames] doors MS. 1st rdg. del. 11 noble] worthy MS. 1st rdg. del. 15 unchang’d] shall still MS. 1st rdg. del. [back]
 
 
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