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