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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Night
By William Blake (1757–1827)
 
From ‘Songs of Innocence’

THE SUN descending in the west,
  The evening star does shine,
The birds are silent in their nest,
  And I must seek for mine.
    The moon, like a flower        5
    In heaven’s high bower,
    With silent delight,
    Sits and smiles in the night.
 
Farewell, green fields and happy groves
  Where flocks have ta’en delight;        10
Where lambs have nibbled, silent move
  The feet of angels bright;
    Unseen they pour blessing,
    And joy without ceasing,
    On each bud and blossom,        15
    And each sleeping bosom.
 
They look in every thoughtless nest,
  Where birds are covered warm;
They visit caves of every beast,
  To keep them all from harm;        20
    If they see any weeping
    That should have been sleeping,
    They pour sleep on their head,
    And sit down by their bed.
 
When wolves and tigers howl for prey,        25
  They pitying stand and weep;
Seeking to drive their thirst away,
  And keep them from the sheep.
    But if they rush dreadful,
    The angels most heedful        30
    Receive each wild spirit,
    New worlds to inherit.
 
And there the lion’s ruddy eyes
  Shall flow with tears of gold;
And pitying the tender cries,        35
  And walking round the fold,
    Saying, “Wrath by His meekness,
    And by His health, sickness,
    Are driven away
    From our immortal day.        40
 
“And now beside thee, bleating lamb,
  I can lie down and sleep,
Or think on Him who bore thy name,
  Graze after thee and weep.
    For washed in life’s river,        45
    My bright mane forever
    Shall shine like the gold,
    As I guard o’er the fold.”
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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