Mad Song

Original Text: 
William Blake, Poetical Sketches (London, 1783). D-10 1987 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
2      And the night is a-cold;
3Come hither, Sleep,
4      And my griefs infold:
5But lo! the morning peeps
6      Over the eastern steeps,
7And the rustling birds of dawn
8The earth do scorn.
10      Of paved heaven,
11With sorrow fraught
12      My notes are driven:
13They strike the ear of night,
14      Make weep the eyes of day;
15They make mad the roaring winds,
16      And with tempests play.
17Like a fiend in a cloud,
18      With howling woe,
19After night I do crowd,
20      And with night will go;
21I turn my back to the east,
22From whence comforts have increas'd;
23For light doth seize my brain
24With frantic pain.


1] This was first published in Poetical Sketches, a collection of Blake's juvenile poetry, printed by private subscription in 1783. This song is said on contemporary authority to have been written by Blake at about the age of fourteen. The 1783 edition has "unfold" in line 4 and "beds" in line 7: the readings here are from corrections made on early copies in Blake's handwriting. Back to Line
9] vault. The madman thinks of nature as an imprisoning tomb. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Northrop Frye
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.275.