Earth's Answer

Original Text: 
William Blake, Songs of Experience (1794). Blake's Illuminated Books, ed. David Bindman (Princeton, NJ: William Blake Trust; London: Tate Gallery, 1991-). See Vol. 2. PR 4142 B46 1991 ROBA.
1Earth rais'd up her head
2From the darkness dread and drear.
3Her light fled,
4Stony dread!
5And her locks cover'd with grey despair.
6"Prison'd on wat'ry shore,
8Cold and hoar,
9Weeping o'er,
11Selfish father of men!
12Cruel, jealous, selfish fear!
13Can delight,
14Chain'd in night,
15The virgins of youth and morning bear?
16Does spring hide its joy
17When buds and blossoms grow?
18Does the sower
19Sow by night,
20Or the plowman in darkness plow?
21Break this heavy chain
22That does freeze my bones around.
23Selfish! vain!
24Eternal bane!
25That free Love with bondage bound."


7] Starry Jealousy. The stars represent the exile of Earth from Heaven, often thought of as in the stars. There is also an allusion to the myth of Argus and Io. Back to Line
10] Father: not God but the old man in the sky represented in Blake's symbolism as Urizen (see note on "The Book of Urizen" below). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Northrop Frye
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.281.