The Poetical Works by William Blake
‘Love seeketh only Self to please, / To bind another to its delight, / Joys in another’s loss of ease, / And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.’
The Clod and the Pebble, ll. 9–12.

The Poetical Works by William Blake

Including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem

William Blake

The Oxford Blake is the highpoint of editions of the great mystical poet of the Romantic era.

Bibliographic Record


Bibliographical Introduction    Chronological Table



Poetical Sketches
To Spring
To Summer
To Autumn
To Winter
To the Evening Star
To Morning
Fair Elenor
Song: How sweet I roam’d from field to field
Song: My silks and fine array
Song: Love and harmony combine
Song: I love the jocund dance
Song: Memory, hither come
Mad Song
Song: Fresh from the dewy hill, the merry year
Song: When early morn walks forth in sober grey
To the Muses
Gwin, King of Norway
An Imitation of Spenser
Blind Man’s Buff
King Edward the Third
Prologue, intended for a Dramatic Piece of King Edward the Fourth
Prologue to King John
A War Song to Englishmen
The Couch of Death
Appendix to Poetical Sketches
Song by a Shepherd
Song by an Old Shepherd
Songs from ‘An Island in The Moon’
Little Phoebus came strutting in
Honour and Genius is all I ask
When Old Corruption first begun
Hear then the pride and knowledge of a sailor!
The Song of Phoebe and Jellicoe
Lo! the Bat with leathern wing
Want Matches?
As I walk’d forth one May morning
Hail Matrimony, made of Love!
To be or not to be
This city and this country has brought forth many mayors
O, I say, you Joe
Leave, O leave me to my sorrows
There’s Doctor Clash
Songs of Innocence and of Experience (Engraved 1789–1794)

Songs of Innocence

The Echoing Green
The Lamb
The Shepherd
Infant Joy
The Little Black Boy
Laughing Song
A Cradle Song
Nurse’s Song
Holy Thursday
The Blossom
The Chimney Sweeper
The Divine Image
A Dream
On Another’s Sorrow
The Little Boy Lost
The Little Boy Found
Songs of Experience
Earth’s Answer
Nurse’s Song
The Fly
The Tiger
The Little Girl Lost
The Little Girl Found
The Clod and the Pebble
The Little Vagabond
Holy Thursday
A Poison Tree
The Angel
The Sick Rose
To Tirzah
The Voice of the Ancient Bard
My Pretty Rose-Tree
Ah! Sun-Flower
The Lily
The Garden of Love
A Little Boy Lost
Infant Sorrow
The Schoolboy
A Little Girl Lost
The Chimney-sweeper
The Human Abstract
Appendix to the Songs of Innocence and of Experience
A Divine Image
Poems from ‘The Rossetti Manuscript’ (circa 1793–1811), Sometimes Called ‘The Manuscript Book’

I. Earlier Poems (Written circa 1793)

Never seek to tell thy Love
I laid me down upon a Bank
I saw a Chapel all of Gold
I askèd a Thief
I heard an Angel singing
A Cradle Song
Silent, silent Night
I fear’d the fury of my wind
Infant Sorrow
Why should I care for the men of Thames
Thou hast a lap full of seed
In a Myrtle Shade
To my Myrtle
To Nobodaddy
Are not the joys of morning sweeter
The Wild Flower’s Song
The Fairy
Motto to the Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Appendix to the Earlier Poems in the Rossetti MS.
A Fairy leapt upon my knee
II. Later Poems (Written circa 1800–1810)
My Spectre around me night and day
When Klopstock England defied
Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau
I saw a Monk of Charlemaine
The Birds
You don’t believe
If it is true what the Prophets write
I will tell you what Joseph of Arimathea
Why was Cupid a boy
Now Art has lost its mental charms
I rose up at the dawn of day
The Caverns of the Grave I’ve seen
Addendum to the Later Poems in the Rossetti MS.
To the Queen
III. (Written circa 1810) The Everlasting Gospel
The Pickering Manuscript (circa 1801–1803)
The Smile
The Golden Net
The Mental Traveller
The Land of Dreams
The Crystal Cabinet
The Grey Monk
Auguries of Innocence
Long John Brown and Little Mary Bell
William Bond
Poems from Letters (1800–1803)
To my Dearest Friend, John Flaxman, these lines
To my dear Friend, Mrs. Anna Flaxman
[To Thomas Butts]: To my friend Butts I write
To Mrs. Butts
[To Thomas Butts]: With Happiness stretch’d across the hills
[To Thomas Butts]: O! why was I born with a different face?
Gnomic Verses, Epigrams, and Short Satirical Pieces (Chiefly from ‘The Rossetti Manuscript’ circa 1793–1810) Gnomic Verses
Great things are done when men and mountains meet
To God
They said this mystery never shall cease
An Answer to the Parson
Lacedaemonian Instruction
Nail his neck to the cross: nail it with a nail
Love to faults is always blind
There souls of men are bought and sold
Soft Snow
Abstinence sows sand all over
Merlin’s Prophecy
If you trap the moment before it’s ripe
An Old Maid early ere I knew
The sword sung on the barren heath
O lapwing! thou fliest around the heath
Terror in the house does roar
Several Questions Answered
If I e’er grow to man’s estate
Since all the riches of this world
The Angel that presided o’er my birth
Grown old in love from seven till seven times seven
Do what you will this life’s a fiction
On Art and Artists
Advice of the Popes who succeeded the Age of Raphael
On the great encouragement given by English nobility and gentry to Correggio, Rubens, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Catalani, Du Crow, and Dilbury Doodle
I askèd my dear friend Orator Prig
O dear Mother Outline! of wisdom most sage
[On the Foundation of the Royal Academy]
These are the idiots’ chiefest arts
The cripple every step drudges and labours
You say their pictures well painted be
When you look at a picture, you always can see
The Washerwoman’s Song
English Encouragement of Art: Cromek’s opinions put into rhyme
When I see a Rubens, Rembrandt, Correggio
Give pensions to the learned pig
[On Sir Joshua Reynolds’ disappointment at his first impressions of Raphael]
Sir Joshua praisèd Rubens with a smile
Sir Joshua praises Michael Angelo
Can there be anything more mean
To the Royal Academy
Florentine Ingratitude
No real style of colouring ever appears
When Sir Joshua Reynolds died
A Pitiful Case
[On Sir Joshua Reynolds]
I, Rubens, am a statesman and a saint
[On the school of Rubens]
To English Connoisseurs
A Pretty Epigram for the encouragement of those who have paid great sums in the Venetian and Flemish ooze
Raphael, sublime, majestic, graceful, wise
On the Venetian Painter
A pair of stays to mend the shape
Venetian! all thy colouring is no more
To Venetian Artists
All pictures that ’s painted with sense and with thought
Call that the public voice which is their error!
On Friends and Foes
I am no Homer’s hero you all know
Anger and wrath my bosom rends
If you play a game of chance, know, before you begin
[Of Hayley’s birth]: Of H——’s birth this was the happy lot
[On Hayley]: To forgive enemies H—— does pretend
To H[ayley]: Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache
On H[ayle]y’s Friendship: When H——y finds out what you cannot do
On H[ayley] the Pickthank: I write the rascal thanks, till he and I
My title as a genius thus is prov’d
To F[laxman]: You call me mad, ’tis folly to do so
To F[laxman]: I mock thee not, though I by thee am mockèd
To Nancy F[laxman]: How can I help thy husband’s copying me?
To F[laxman] and S[tothard]: I found them blind: I taught them how to see
To S[tothar]d: You all your youth observ’d the golden rule
Cromek speaks: I always take my judgement from a fool
On S[tothard]: You say reserve and modesty he has
[On Stothard]: S——, in childhood, on the nursery floor
Mr. Stothard to Mr. Cromek: For Fortune’s favours you your riches bring
Mr. Cromek to Mr. Stothard: Fortune favours the brave, old proverbs say
[On Cromek]: Cr—— loves artists as he loves his meat
[On Cromek]: A petty sneaking knave I knew
[On P——]: P—— lovèd me not as he lov’d his friends
[On William Haines]: The Sussex men are noted fools
[On Fuseli]: The only man that e’er I knew
[To Hunt]: ‘Madman’ I have been call’d
To H[unt]: You think Fuseli is not a great painter
[On certain Mystics]: Cosway, Frazer, and Baldwin of Egypt’s lake
And his legs carried it like a long fork
For this is being a friend just in the nick
Was I angry with Hayley who us’d me so ill
Having given great offence by writing in prose
Miscellaneous Epigrams
His whole life is an epigram, smart, smooth, and neatly penn’d
He has observ’d the golden rule
And in melodious accents I
Some people admire the work of a fool
He’s a blockhead who wants a proof of what he can’t perceive
Great men and fools do often me inspire
Some men, created for destruction, come
An Epitaph: Come knock your heads against this stone
Another: I was buried near this dyke
Another: Here lies John Trot, the friend of all mankind
When France got free, Europe, ’twixt fools and knaves
On the virginity of the Virgin Mary and Johanna Southcott
Imitation of Pope: a compliment to the Ladies
When a man has married a wife, he finds out whether
To Chloe’s breast young Cupid slyly stole
The Book of Thel
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
The French Revolution
A Song of Liberty
Visions of the Daughters of Albion
America: A Prophecy
Europe: A Prophecy
The [First] Book of Urizen
The Song of Los: Africa
The Song of Los: Asia
The Book of Los
The Book of Ahania
Selections from ‘The Four Zoas’
[Introduction to Night the First]
[The Wanderer]
[A Vision of Eternity]
[The Song sung at the Feast of Los and Enitharmon]
[The Song of Enitharmon over Los]
[The Wail of Enion]
[The Woes of Urizen in the Dens of Urthona]
[Los in his Wrath]
[The War-Song of Orc]
[Vala’s Going Forth]
[Urizen’s Words of Wisdom]
[The Shade of Enitharmon]
[The Serpent Orc]
[The Last Judgement]
[The Lament of Albion]
[Accuser and Accused]
[The Tillage of Urizen]
[Song of the Sinless Soul]
[Vala in Lower Paradise]
Selections from ‘Milton’ (Engraved 1804–1809)
[The Invocation]
[The Mills of Satan]
[The Sin of Leutha]
[Milton’s Journey to Eternal Death]
[The Nature of Infinity]
[The Sea of Time and Space]
[The Mundane Shell]
[A River in Eden]
[Whitefield and Wesley]
[The Forge of Los]
[The Wine-Press of Los]
[The Building of Time]
[The Heavens and the Earth]
[The Birds and the Flowers]
[Love and Jealousy]
[Reason and Imagination]
[The Song of the Shadowy Female]
Selections from ‘Jerusalem’ (Engraved 1804–? 1820)
To the Public
[The Reasoning Power]
[The Words of Los]
[The Builders of Golgonooza]
[A Vision of Albion]
[Punishment and Forgiveness]
[The Lament of Albion]
To the Jews
[A Female Will]
[The Universal Family]
[Man’s Spectre]
[Fourfold and Twofold Vision]
[The Remembrance of Sin]
To the Deists
[Albion’s Spectre]
[The Holiness of Minute Particulars]
[A Vision of Joseph and Mary]
[The Warrior and the Daughter of Albion]
[Men and States]
To the Christians
[A Vision of Jerusalem]
[The Worship of God]
[The Cry of Los]
[Albion upon the Rock]
[The Wrath of God]
[The Divine Image]
[The End of the Song of Jerusalem]
Verses from ‘For the Sexes’ and ‘The Gates of Paradise’ (circa 1810)

Verses from ‘The Gates of Paradise’

The Keys of the Gates
[Epilogue]. To the Accuser who is The God of this World
The Ghost of Abel
Appendix to the Prophetic Books
There is No Natural Religion
All Religions are One
[From Blake’s Engraving of the Laocoon]
On Homer’s Poetry
On Virgil
From Blake’s ‘Descriptive Catalogue’ (1809)
Sir Geffrey Chaucer and the Nine and twenty Pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury