Verse > William Blake > Poetical Works
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William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
 
Songs of Experience
London
 
I WANDER 1 thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
 
In every cry of every Man,        5
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.
 
How the chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every black’ning church appals;        10
And the hapless soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down palace walls.
 
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,        15
And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.
 
Note 1. 1, 2 charter’d] dirty MS. 3 And mark] And see MS. 1st rdg. del. 6 In every voice of every child MS. 1st rdg. del. 8 The german forged links I hear MS. 1st rdg. del.
  9, 10
But most the chimney-sweeper’s cry
Blackens o’er the church’s walls MS. 1st rdg. del.
13–16 In the MS. this stanza was at first written:
But most the midnight harlot’s curse
From every dismal street I hear,
Weaves around the marriage hearse,
And blasts the new-born infant’s tear.
This was cancelled and followed by:
But most from every street I hear—
alt. successively to
… through wintry streets I hear
and
… the cry of youth I hear]
How the midnight harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,
And hangs [alt. to smites] with plagues the marriage hearse.
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