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William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
 
Songs of Experience
The Little Girl Lost
 
IN 1 futurity
I prophetic see
That the earth from sleep
(Grave the sentence deep)
 
Shall arise and seek        5
For her Maker meek;
And the desert wild
Become a garden mild.
 
In the southern clime,
Where the summer’s prime        10
Never fades away,
Lovely Lyca lay.
 
Seven summers old
Lovely Lyca told;
She had wander’d long        15
Hearing wild birds’ song.
 
‘Sweet sleep, come to me
Underneath this tree.
Do father, mother, weep?
Where can Lyca sleep?        20
 
‘Lost in desert wild
Is your little child.
How can Lyca sleep
If her mother weep?
 
‘If her heart does ache        25
Then let Lyca wake;
If my mother sleep,
Lyca shall not weep.
 
‘Frowning, frowning night,
O’er this desert bright,        30
Let thy moon arise
While I close my eyes.’
 
Sleeping Lyca lay
While the beasts of prey,
Come from caverns deep,        35
View’d the maid asleep.
 
The kingly lion stood,
And the virgin view’d,
Then he gamboll’d round
O’er the hallow’d ground.        40
 
Leopards, tigers, play
Round her as she lay,
While the lion old
Bow’d his mane of gold
 
And her bosom lick,        45
And upon her neck
From his eyes of flame
Ruby tears there came;
 
While the lioness
Loos’d her slender dress,        50
And naked they convey’d
To caves the sleeping maid.
 
Note 1. The Little Girl Lost] This song and its sequel, ‘The Little Girl Found,’ were included in the early issues of the Songs of Innocence, but were transferred by Blake to the Songs of Experience, on the completion of the latter. [back]
 
 
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