poetry, philosophy, science - sifted through me, as I am

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

William Blake: The Human Abstract

Pity 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,
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;
Then humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of mystery over his head;
And the caterpillar and fly
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.

The gods of the earth and sea
Sought through Nature to find this tree;
But their search was all in vain.
There grows one in the human brain.