Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
Extracts from Songs of Innocence: Introduction
By William Blake (1757–1827)
PIPING down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:—
‘Pipe a song about a lamb:’        5
So I piped with merry cheer.
‘Piper, pipe that song again:’
So I piped; he wept to hear.
‘Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe,
Sing thy songs of happy cheer:’        10
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.
‘Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read’—
So he vanished from my sight;        15
And I plucked a hollow reed,
And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear.        20

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