Verse > William Blake > Poetical Works
William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
Songs of Experience
The Human Abstract
PITY 1 would be no more
If we did not make somebody poor;
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.
And mutual fear brings peace,        5
Till the selfish loves increase;
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.
He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the ground with tears;        10
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.
Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head;
And the caterpillar and fly        15
Feed on the Mystery.
And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat;
And the raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.        20
The Gods of the earth and sea
Sought thro’ Nature to find this tree;
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the Human brain.

Note 1. Title] ‘The Earth’ 1st rdg. cancelled, and changed to ‘The Human Image’. 1 would] could MS. 2 If there was nobody poor MS. 1st rdg. del. 20 thickest] blackest MS.
  23, 24
But their search was all in vain
Till they sought in the human brain.
MS. 1st rdg., last line del.
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