Verse > William Blake > Poetical Works
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William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
 
The Pickering MS.
William Bond
 
I WONDER whether the girls are mad,
And I wonder whether they mean to kill,
And I wonder if William Bond will die,
For assuredly he is very ill.
 
He went to church in a May morning,        5
Attended by Fairies, one, two, and three;
But the Angels of Providence drove them away,
And he return’d home in misery.
 
He went not out to the field nor fold,
He went not out to the village nor town,        10
But he came home in a black, black cloud,
And took to his bed, and there lay down.
 
And an Angel of Providence at his feet,
And an Angel of Providence at his head,
And in the midst a black, black cloud,        15
And in the midst the sick man on his bed.
 
And on his right hand was Mary Green,
And on his left hand was his sister Jane,
And their tears fell thro’ the black, black cloud
To drive away the sick man’s pain.        20
 
‘O William, if thou dost another love,
Dost another love better than poor Mary,
Go and take that other to be thy wife,
And Mary Green shall her servant be.’
 
‘Yes, Mary, I do another love,        25
Another I love far better than thee,
And another I will have for my wife;
Then what have I to do with thee?
 
‘For thou art melancholy pale,
And on thy head is the cold moon’s shine,        30
But she is ruddy and bright as day,
And the sunbeams dazzle from her eyne.’
 
Mary trembled and Mary chill’d,
And Mary fell down on the right-hand floor,
That William Bond and his sister Jane        35
Scarce could recover Mary more.
 
When Mary woke and found her laid
On the right hand of her William dear,
On the right hand of his loved bed,
And saw her William Bond so near,        40
 
The Fairies that fled from William Bond
Dancèd around her shining head;
They dancèd over the pillow white,
And the Angels of Providence left the bed.
 
I thought 1 Love lived in the hot sunshine,        45
But O, he lives in the moony light!
I thought to find Love in the heat of day,
But sweet Love is the comforter of night.
 
Seek Love in the pity of others’ woe,
In the gentle relief of another’s care,        50
In the darkness of night and the winter’s snow,
In the naked and outcast, seek Love there!
 
Note 1. 45–52 All editors place the last two stanzas in inverted commas, as though the speech were William Bond’s. I treat it rather as that of the narrator of the story, who begins the poem in the first person. [back]
 
 
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