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< Theme 13. The Seasons (vi) >

William Blake

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< The School-Boy >

 Songs of Innocence (1789, 32) 
later moved to Songs of Experience (1794, 37)

I love to rise in a summer morn 
When the birds sing on every tree; 
The distant huntsman winds his horn, 
And the sky-lark sings with me. 
O! what sweet company! 

But to go to school on a summer morn, 
O! it drives all joy away; 
Under a cruel eye outworn, 
The little ones spend the day 
In sighing and dismay. 

Ah! then at times I drooping sit, 
And spend many an anxious hour, 
Nor in my book can I take delight, 
Nor sit in learning's bower, 
Worn thro' with the dreary shower. 

How can the bird that is born for joy 
Sit in a cage and sing? 
How can a child, when fears annoy, 
But droop his tender wing, 
And forget his youthful spring? 

O! father and mother, if buds are nip’d 
And blossoms blown away, 
And if the tender plants are strip’d 
Of their joy in the springing day, 
By sorrow and care's dismay,

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy
Or bless the mellowing year
When the blasts of winter appear.


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