Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Human Abstract

The Human Abstract

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody poor;
And mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.
And mutual fear brings peace,
Till the selfish loves increase:
Then cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.

He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the grounds with tears;
Then humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of mystery over his head;
And the caterpiller and fly
Feed on the mystery.

And it bears the fruit of deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat;
And the raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.

The gods of the earth and sea
Sought thro' nature to find this tree;
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the human brain. 

William Blake 1794

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