Reading Aloud (#22 and #23): William Blake’s “The Lamb” and “The Tyger”

William Blake

The Lamb

Little lamb who made thee?
Does thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead,
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright,
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little lamb who made thee,
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For He calls himself a lamb;
He is meek and He is mild,
He became a little child.
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name—
Little lamb God bless thee,
Little lamb God bless thee!

– from Songs of Innocence (1784-89); text from Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry, pp. 361-62

The Tyger

Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of they heart?
And when they heart began to beat,
What dread hand? And what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tyger, tyger burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

– from Songs of Experience (1791-92); text from Penguin Book of RP, pp. 369-70

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s