Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 57. Broken Love
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
57. Broken Love
By William Blake  (1757–1827)
  
MY Spectre around me night and day
Like a wild beast guards my way;
My Emanation far within
Weeps incessantly for my sin.
 
‘A fathomless and boundless deep,        5
There we wander, there we weep;
On the hungry craving wind
My Spectre follows thee behind.
 
‘He scents thy footsteps in the snow
Wheresoever thou dost go,       10
Thro’ the wintry hail and rain.
When wilt thou return again?
 
’Dost thou not in pride and scorn
Fill with tempests all my morn,
And with jealousies and fears       15
Fill my pleasant nights with tears?
 
‘Seven of my sweet loves thy knife
Has bereavèd of their life.
Their marble tombs I built with tears,
And with cold and shuddering fears.       20
 
‘Seven more loves weep night and day
Round the tombs where my loves lay,
And seven more loves attend each night
Around my couch with torches bright.
 
‘And seven more loves in my bed       25
Crown with wine my mournful head,
Pitying and forgiving all
Thy transgressions great and small.
 
‘When wilt thou return and view
My loves, and them to life renew?       30
When wilt thou return and live?
When wilt thou pity as I forgive?’
 
‘O’er my sins thou sit and moan:
Hast thou no sins of thy own?
O’er my sins thou sit and weep,       35
And lull thy own sins fast asleep.
 
‘What transgressions I commit
Are for thy transgressions fit.
They thy harlots, thou their slave;
And my bed becomes their grave.       40
 
‘Never, never, I return:
Still for victory I burn.
Living, thee alone I’ll have;
And when dead I’ll be thy grave.
 
‘Thro’ the Heaven and Earth and Hell       45
Thou shalt never, quell:
I will fly and thou pursue:
Night and morn the flight renew.’
 
‘Poor, pale, pitiable form
That I follow in a storm;       50
Iron tears and groans of lead
Bind around my aching head.
 
‘Till I turn from Female love
And root up the Infernal Grove,
I shall never worthy be       55
To step into Eternity.
 
‘And, to end thy cruel mocks,
Annihilate thee on the rocks,
And another form create
To be subservient to my fate.       60
 
‘Let us agree to give up love,
And root up the Infernal Grove;
Then shall we return and see
The worlds of happy Eternity.
 
‘And throughout all Eternity       65
I forgive you, you forgive me.
As our dear Redeemer said:
“This the Wine, and this the Bread.”’

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