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William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
 
Songs of Innocence
Laughing Song
 
WHEN 1 the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;
 
When the meadows laugh with lively green,        5
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing ‘Ha, Ha, He!’
 
When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread,        10
Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of ‘Ha, Ha, He!’
 
Note 1. Laughing Song] In an early MS, version of this song, written between 1783 and May 1784 (see Bibliographical Introduction), with the title ‘Song 2d by a Young Shepherd’, the first two stanzas run as follows, the third being identical with that of the engraved version:
When the trees do laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;
When the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene;
  
When the greenwood laughs with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by,
When Edessa and Lyca and Emilie
With their sweet round mouths sing ‘Ha, Ha, He!’
The name Lyca of stanza 2 reappears ten years later in ‘The Little Girl Lost’ and ‘The Little Girl Found’ of the Songs of Experience. [back]
 
 
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