The Tyger

Original Text: 
William Blake, Songs of Experience (1794). Cf. Blake's Illuminated Books, ed. David Bindman (Princeton, NJ: William Blake Trust; London: Tate Gallery, 1991-). See Vol. 2. PR 4142 B46 1991 ROBA.
1Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
2In the forests of the night,
3What immortal hand or eye
4Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
5In what distant deeps or skies
6Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
7On what wings dare he aspire?
9And what shoulder, and what art,
10Could twist the sinews of thy heart,
11And when thy heart began to beat,
12What dread hand? and what dread feet?
13What the hammer? what the chain?
14In what furnace was thy brain?
15What the anvil? what dread grasp
16Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
18And water'd heaven with their tears,
19Did he smile his work to see?
20Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
21Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
22In the forests of the night,
23What immortal hand or eye,
24Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Notes

8] seize the fire: a reference to the myth of Prometheus. Back to Line
17] stars: i.e., angels, fighting in the original war in heaven. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1794
RPO poem Editors: 
Northrop Frye
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.283.
Rhyme: