In Memoriam A. H. H. 16. I Envy Not In Any Moods
I envy not in any moods
The captive void of noble rage,
The linnet born within the cage,
That never knew the summer woods:
I envy not the beast that takes
His license in the field of time,
Unfetter’d by the sense of crime,
To whom a conscience never wakes;
Nor, what may count itself as blest,
The heart that never plighted troth
But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
Nor any want-begotten rest.
I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
These are the opening lines of a 128 line poem about environmental issues that are well ahead of their time. Auguries of Innocence wasn’t published until 1863, thirty-six years after Blake’s death.
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 fill’d with doves & pigeons
Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions.
A dog starved at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A horse misused upon the road
Calls to Heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
William Blake (1757-1827)