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Slow slides the painted snail, the gilded fly
Smooths his fine down, to charm thy curious eye;
On twinkling fins my pearly nations play,
Or win with sinuous train their trackless way;
My plumy pairs, in gay embroidery dressed,
Form with ingenious bill the pensile nest,
To love's sweet notes attune the listening dell,
And Echo sounds her soft symphonious shell.

And if with thee some hapless maid should stray,
Disastrous love companion of her way,
Oh, lead her timid steps to yonder glade,
Whose arching cliffs depending alders shade;
There, as meek evening wakes her temperate breeze,
And moonbeams glimmer through the trembling trees,
The rills that gurgle round shall soothe her ear,
The weeping rocks shall number tear for tear;
There as sad Philomel, alike forlorn,
Sings to the night from her accustomed thorn;
While at sweet intervals each falling note
Sighs in the gale, and whispers round the grot;
The sister-woe shall calm her aching breast,
And softer slumbers steal her cares to rest.

[THE SENSITIVE PLANT]

Weak with nice sense, the chaste Mimosa stands,
From each rude touch withdraws her timid hands;
Oft as light clouds o'erpass the summer-glade,
Alarmed she trembles at the moving shade;
And feels, alive through all her tender form,
The whispered murmurs of the gathering storm;
Shuts her sweet eyelids to approaching night,
And hails with freshened charms the rising light.
Veiled, with gay decency and modest pride,
Slow to the mosque she moves, an eastern bride,
There her soft vows unceasing love record,
Queen of the bright seraglio of her lord.

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WILLIAM BLAKE

TO WINTER

'O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.'

He hears me not, but o'er the yawning deep
Rides heavy; his storms are unchained, sheathèd
In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes,
For he hath reared his sceptre o'er the world.

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o'er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and in his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.

He takes his seat upon the cliffs, the mariner
Cries in vain. Poor little wretch, that deal'st
With storms!-till heaven smiles, and the monster
Is driven yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.

SONG

Fresh from the dewy hill, the merry year

Smiles on my head and mounts his flaming car; Round my young brows the laurel wreathes a shade, And rising glories beam around my head.

My feet are winged, while o'er the dewy lawn,

I meet my maiden risen like the morn:

O bless those holy feet, like angels' feet;
O bless those limbs, beaming with heavenly light.

Like as an angel glittering in the sky
In times of innocence and holy joy;
The joyful shepherd stops his grateful song
To hear the music of an angel's tongue.

So when she speaks, the voice of Heaven I hear;
So when we walk, nothing impure comes near;
Each field seems Eden, and each calm retreat;
Each village seems the haunt of holy feet.

But that sweet village where my black-eyed maid
Closes her eyes in sleep beneath night's shade,
Whene'er I enter, more than mortal fire
Burns in my soul, and does my song inspire.

TO THE MUSES

Whether on Ida's shady brow,

Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the sun, that now

From ancient melody have ceased;

Whether in Heaven ye wander fair,

Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air,

Where the melodious winds have birth;

Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
Beneath the bosom of the sea
Wandering in many a coral grove
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!

How have you left the ancient love
That bards of old enjoyed in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move!
The sound is forced, the notes are few!

INTRODUCTION TO SONGS OF INNOCENCE

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

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THE LAMB

Little Lamb, who made 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,
Softest clothing, woolly, 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 callèd by His name.

Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

THE LITTLE BLACK BOY

My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black, as if bereaved of light.

My mother taught me underneath a tree,
And, sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissèd me,
And, pointing to the east, began to say:

'Look on the rising sun,-there God does live,
And gives His light, and gives His heat away;
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.

'And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love;
And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.

'For when our souls have learned the heat to bear,
The cloud will vanish; we shall hear His voice,
Saying: "Come out from the grove, my love and care,
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.”

Thus did my mother say, and kissèd me;
And thus I say to little English boy.

When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy,

I'll shade him from the heat, till he can bear
To lean in joy upon our Father's knee;
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him, and he will then love me.

A CRADLE SONG

Sweet dreams, form a shade
O'er my lovely infant's head;
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams
By happy, silent, moony beams.

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