Poetry Sunday: Auguries of Innocence by William Blake

William Blake, he of "Tyger tyger, burning bright in the forests of the night..." fame, seems to have had a particular empathy for the things of Nature and especially for the animals of Nature as he expressed in this poem. He leaves little doubt as to what he felt for those who would abuse them. As someone else once told his followers, "If you have done it to one of the least of these..." 

Auguries of Innocence

by William Blake

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood

The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd

It is right it should be so
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go


  1. It is a long time since I first read this, Dorothy, and it reflects my sentiments exactly regarding love and respect for all of nature. I must read it again and use it!

    1. Those were exactly my thoughts when I came across the poem again last week after many years.

  2. Thanks for reminding me of Blake. When I read Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, in which Blake is a feature, I resolved to read some of his poetry again. Then I forgot. I will get my hands on one of his collections and read there for Poetry Month.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry Sunday: Don't Hesitate by Mary Oliver

Overboard by Sara Paretsky: A review

The Investigator by John Sandford: A review