Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, by William BlakeOld John, with white hair, Does laugh away care, Sitting under the oak, Among the old folk. Round the laps of their mothers Many sisters and brothers, Like birds in their nest, Are ready for rest, And sport no more seen On the darkening green. Little lamb, who made thee? Does thou know who made thee? He is meek, and He is mild, He became a little child. Little lamb, God bless thee!
Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience
HOWEVER, copyright law varies in other countries, and the work may still be under copyright in the country from which you are accessing this website. It is your responsibility to check the applicable copyright laws in your country before downloading this work. Songs of Innocence was the first of Blake's illuminated books published in The poems and artwork were reproduced by copperplate engraving and colored with washes by hand. In he expanded the book to include Songs of Experience.
Thus the collection as a whole explores the value and limitations of two different perspectives on the world. Many of the poems fall into pairs, so that the same situation or problem is seen through the lens of innocence first and then experience. Blake does not identify himself wholly with either view; most of the poems are dramatic—that is, in the voice of a speaker other than the poet himself. Blake stands outside innocence and experience, in a distanced position from which he hopes to be able to recognize and correct the fallacies of both. In particular, he pits himself against despotic authority, restrictive morality, sexual repression, and institutionalized religion; his great insight is into the way these separate modes of control work together to squelch what is most holy in human beings.
Little Lamb, who make thee. Dost 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.
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About this book
Songs of Innocence and of Experience  is an illustrated collection of poems by William Blake. It appeared in two phases. A few first copies were printed and illuminated by William Blake himself in ; five years later he bound these poems with a set of new poems in a volume titled Songs of Innocence and of Experience Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul.