William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

Auguries Of Innocence - Poem by William Blake

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill'd with doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his Master's Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus'd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear.
A Skylark wounded in the wing,
A Cherubim does cease to sing.
The Game Cock clipp'd and arm'd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright.
Every Wolf's & Lion's howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul.
The wild deer, wand'ring here & there,
Keeps the Human Soul from Care.
The Lamb misus'd breeds public strife
And yet forgives the Butcher's Knife.
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that won't believe.
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belov'd by Men.
He who the Ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by Woman lov'd.
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spider's enmity.
He who torments the Chafer's sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night.
The Catterpillar on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mother's grief.
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly,
For the Last Judgement draweth nigh.
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar.
The Beggar's Dog & Widow's Cat,
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat.
The Gnat that sings his Summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envy's Foot.
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artist's Jealousy.
The Prince's Robes & Beggars' Rags
Are Toadstools on the Miser's Bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for Joy & Woe;
And when this we rightly know
Thro' the World we safely go.
Joy & Woe are woven fine,
A Clothing for the Soul divine;
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
The Babe is more than swadling Bands;
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made, & born were hands,
Every Farmer Understands.
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity.
This is caught by Females bright
And return'd to its own delight.
The Bleat, the Bark, Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heaven's Shore.
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of death.
The Beggar's Rags, fluttering in Air,
Does to Rags the Heavens tear.
The Soldier arm'd with Sword & Gun,
Palsied strikes the Summer's Sun.
The poor Man's Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Afric's Shore.
One Mite wrung from the Labrer's hands
Shall buy & sell the Miser's lands:
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole Nation sell & buy.
He who mocks the Infant's Faith
Shall be mock'd in Age & Death.
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the Infant's faith
Triumph's over Hell & Death.
The Child's Toys & the Old Man's Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons.
The Questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to Reply.
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out.
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesar's Laurel Crown.
Nought can deform the Human Race
Like the Armour's iron brace.
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow.
A Riddle or the Cricket's Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply.
The Emmet's Inch & Eagle's Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile.
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you Please.
If the Sun & Moon should doubt
They'd immediately Go out.
To be in a Passion you Good may do,
But no Good if a Passion is in you.
The Whore & Gambler, by the State
Licenc'd, build that Nation's Fate.
The Harlot's cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old England's winding Sheet.
The Winner's Shout, the Loser's Curse,
Dance before dead England's Hearse.
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet Delight.
Some ar Born to sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro' the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to Perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light.
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in the Night,
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day.

Comments about Auguries Of Innocence by William Blake

  • (10/22/2018 5:46:00 AM)

    To see a world in again of sand (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • (9/6/2018 11:36:00 AM)

    I like William Blake (Report) Reply

  • Britte Ninad (5/29/2018 10:25:00 PM)


    The Catterpillar on the Leaf
    Repeats to thee thy Mother's grief.
    Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly,
    For the Last Judgement draweth nigh.
    (Report) Reply

  • Henry Tong (1/25/2018 9:11:00 AM)

    If you observe an infinitesimal detail, you would harvest the whole picture. Nowadays people need to stop and observe the truth instead of indulging themselves into confusion. (Report) Reply

  • (12/28/2017 11:48:00 AM)

    A poem of immense craft and structure. It's complexity ensures, I will have to read it many many times to gleam some profound understanding. On a superficial level it carries a powerful, simple, insightful message. (Report) Reply

  • Bjpafa Meragente (7/19/2017 5:24:00 PM)

    Forgive me for time is not understood, all my comments, in accordance to my demand, live in a moment that never arrives. It is not pride, is the great divide. Blake is great. First comment. (Report) Reply

  • (5/25/2017 2:16:00 AM)

    We should read it and feel the truth of Blake's empathy for all beings. AM (Report) Reply

  • Sylvaonyema Uba (2/6/2017 11:46:00 PM)

    Those who dwell in Realms of day.

    A well expressed poem.

    (Report) Reply

  • (1/4/2017 5:12:00 PM)

    words of wisdom bright and shining for all to see. (Report) Reply

  • (7/2/2016 3:03:00 PM)

    This is a beautiful poem. I think the beginning is especially nice! (Report) Reply

  • (4/6/2016 8:05:00 AM)

    The introduction of this poem has been ringing in my memory since the first time I read it in elementary school. This is a great introduction to a poem which springs alive by virtue of its imagery (Report) Reply

  • (3/11/2016 11:28:00 PM)

    ................beautiful poem...the first stanza is amazing...and so is the line ★ God is Light (Report) Reply

    (7/16/2018 8:25:00 PM)

    Amen...1st John.. God is Light

    The & Gambler, by the State
    Licenc'd, build that Nation's Fate.

    All that is legal is not good... Bravo Blake

  • (12/2/2015 7:11:00 AM)

    this man does not speak joyfully but a passion full of woe with of how we all treat animals a like and how the innocent become committed to coursing sin while also allowing relief with one simple line towards the end some of misery are born this almost relinquishes responsibility (Report) Reply

  • Kinyua Karanja (6/19/2015 5:34:00 AM)

    Introduction was one of the greatest i have ever read but i was lost as i went down. It has one of the best symbolic language and hard to understand what is going on. It's too long for me. (Report) Reply

  • Musfiq Us Shaleheen (5/5/2015 11:00:00 PM)

    Ah! that's great! ! vivid imagery those reflect from small to large,
    Earth to Heaven ...
    (Report) Reply

  • Mr Salte (5/5/2015 1:50:00 AM)

    Seems I had never read a poem since i was birthed.swsst! Yummy! Witty! . A prominent poet was missed.Sleep well, Brother Blake (Report) Reply

  • Afrooz Jafarinoor (5/5/2015 1:18:00 AM)

    A great environmentalist manifesto as well as humanitarian! What a wonderful man! May God bless Blake! (Report) Reply

  • (7/4/2014 4:10:00 AM)

    The words of the poems comes in such a beauty of entertainment and I felt I am perfectly reading a great poem and that too in its curiosity and wordpower. He who doubts what he sees will never believe do what you please the poet sings. It is a wonderful poem with word power, meanings and concerns. (Report) Reply

  • (10/5/2012 6:09:00 PM)

    haha..didn't know I was going to be reading a book..a brilliant write..great imagery..alot of these lines I find to be true..adding to my favourites..thank you William Blake.. :) (Report) Reply

  • (3/31/2012 1:58:00 PM)

    Auguries Of Innocence is a masterpiece... a litany of humankind's unspeakable cruelty to animals and other voiceless beings. (Report) Reply

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# 74 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: believe, horse, dog, innocence, heaven, grief, passion, joy, faith, night, howl, summer, butterfly, snake, death, child, soldier, cat, sun, light

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 9, 2001

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