Note 1. To Tirzah] This poem, of which there is no first draft in the MS. Book, bears intrinsic evidence in its symbolism of having been composed at a much later date than any of the other songs, the earliest issue in which it occurs being a copy of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, formerly in the possession of Mr. Butts, and now in the Rowfant Library. Further proof of this song being a late addition is found in Russells Engravings of William Blake (no. 16, pp. 723), where he refers to a copy of the Songs, which, in place of To Tirzah, contains an engraving in colours representing a nude figure born aloft by winged cherubs. Perhaps, in spite of Blakes habit of repeating lines after a long interval of time, we may see some evidence of the approximate date of this poem in the fact that the final line of the first and last stanzas:
Then what have I to do with thee?
occurs also in the last poem of the Pickering MS. written circa 18013. [back]