Blake, “The Ecchoing Green,” various readers

1) Read Colin McRoberts. Source: Librivox.org. Download

2) Read by Rhonda Federman. Source: Librivox.org. Download

3) Read by Annie Coleman. Source: Librivox.org. Download

Ecchoing Green

The Sun does arise,
And make happy the skies;
The merry bells ringTo welcome the Spring;
The sky-lark and thrush,
The birds of the bush.
Sing louder around
To the bells’ chearful sound,
While our sports shall be seen
On the Ecchoing Green.

Old John, with white hair.
Does laugh away care,
Sitting under the oak,
Among the old folk.

They laugh at our play,
And soon they all say:
“Such, such were the joys
When we all, girls & boys,
In our youth time were seen
On the Ecchoing Green.”

Till the little ones, weary.
No more can be merry;
The sun does descend,
And our sports have an end.
Round the laps of their mothers
Many sisters and brothers.
Like birds in their nest.
Are ready for rest,
And sport no more seen
On the darkening Green.

Blake, “The Lamb,” various readers

1) Read by Paula Bohince. Source: Romantic Circles Poets on Poets. Includes introduction. Download

2) Read by Aldon Hynes. Source: Librivox.org. Download

3) Read by Hit Picker (David Butler). Source: LibriVox.org. Download

4) Read by Annie Coleman. Source: LibriVox.org. Download

The Lamb

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee.
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

Blake, “The Little Black Boy,” various readers

1) Read by Mary Crockett Hill. Source: Romantic Circles
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2) Read by Denny Sayers. Source: LibriVox.org. Download

The Little Black Boy

My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black, as if bereaved of light.

My mother told me underneath a tree,
And sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And pointing to the east, began to say:

“Look on the rising sun: there God does live,
And gives His light, and gives His heat away;
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.

“And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love;
And the black bodies and this sunburnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.

“For when our souls have learned the heat to bear,
The cloud will vanish; we shall hear His voice,
Saying: ‘Come out from the grove, my love and care,
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.’”

This did my mother say, and kissed me;
And thus I say to little English boy:
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy,

I’ll shade him from the heat, till he can bear
To lean in joy upon our Father’s knee;
And then I’ll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him, and he will then love me.

My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black, as if bereaved of light.

Blake, “The Divine Image” (Songs of Innocence), various readers

1) Read by Theresia Szepesi Blair. Source: LibriVox.org. Download

2) Read by Sarah Chiles Denby. Source: UMW. blake-the-divine-image-sarah-denby

3) Read by Chip. Source: LibriVox.org. Download

The Divine Image

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, turk, or jew;
Where Mercy, Love, & Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

Blake, “The Clod and the Pebble” (Songs of Experience), various readers

1) Read by Shabana Stanakzai. Source: UMW. Download

2) Read by Glenn Milich. Source: UMW. Download

3) Read by Leon Mire. Source: Librivox.org. Download

The Clod & the Pebble

Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a heaven in hell’s despair.”

So sung a little Clod of Clay,
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:

“Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a hell in heaven’s despite.

Blake, “The Little Girl Lost” (Songs of Experience) read by Colin McRoberts

Source: Librivox.org. Download

The Little Girl Lost
In futurity
I prophesy
That the earth from sleep
(Grave the sentence deep)

Shall arise, and seek
For her Maker meek;
And the desert wild
Become a garden mild.

In the southern clime,
Where the summer’s prime
Never fades away,
Lovely Lyca lay.

Seven summers old
Lovely Lyca told.
She had wandered long,
Hearing wild birds’ song.

‘Sweet sleep, come to me,
Underneath this tree;
Do father, mother, weep?
Where can Lyca sleep?

‘Lost in desert wild
Is your little child.
How can Lyca sleep
If her mother weep?

‘If her heart does ache,
Then let Lyca wake;
If my mother sleep,
Lyca shall not weep.

‘Frowning, frowning night,
O’er this desert bright
Let thy moon arise,
While I close my eyes.’

Sleeping Lyca lay,
While the beasts of prey,
Come from caverns deep,
Viewed the maid asleep.

The kingly lion stood,
And the virgin viewed:
Then he gambolled round
O’er the hallowed ground.

Leopards, tigers, play
Round her as she lay;
While the lion old
Bowed his mane of gold,

And her bosom lick,
And upon her neck,
From his eyes of flame,
Ruby tears there came;

While the lioness
Loosed her slender dress,
And naked they conveyed
To caves the sleeping maid.

Blake, “The Little Girl Found” (Songs of Experience) read by Colin McRoberts

Source: Librivox.org. Download

All the night in woe
Lyca’s parents go
Over valleys deep,
While the deserts weep.

Tired and woe-begone,
Hoarse with making moan,
Arm in arm, seven days
They traced the desert ways.

Seven nights they sleep
Among shadows deep,
And dream they see their child
Starved in desert wild.

Pale through pathless ways
The fancied image strays,
Famished, weeping, weak,
With hollow piteous shriek.

Rising from unrest,
The trembling woman pressed
With feet of weary woe;
She could no further go.

In his arms he bore
Her, armed with sorrow sore;
Till before their way
A couching lion lay.

Turning back was vain:
Soon his heavy mane
Bore them to the ground,
Then he stalked around,

Smelling to his prey;
But their fears allay
When he licks their hands,
And silent by them stands.

They look upon his eyes,
Filled with deep surprise;
And wondering behold
A spirit armed in gold.

On his head a crown,
On his shoulders down
Flowed his golden hair.
Gone was all their care.

‘Follow me,’ he said;
‘Weep not for the maid;
In my palace deep,
Lyca lies asleep.’

Then they followed
Where the vision led,
And saw their sleeping child
Among tigers wild.

To this day they dwell
In a lonely dell,
Nor fear the wolvish howl
Nor the lion’s growl.

Blake, “The Fly” (Songs of Experience), various readers

1) Read by Ken Cormier. Source: Romantic Circles Download

2) Read by Ross Clement. Source: Librivox.org. Download

Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush’d away,

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing;
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath;
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

Blake, “Ah! Sun-flower” (Songs of Experience) read by Jonah Raskin

Source: Romantic Circles
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Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow
Arise from their graves and aspire
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.

Blake, “The Garden of Love” (Songs of Experience), various readers

1) Read by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Source: Romantic Circles Download Title

2) Sung by Anne Waldman. Source: Romantic Circles Download

3) Source: Classic Poetry Aloud. Download

4) Read by Caroline Schumacher. Source: UMW for LibriVox.org. Download

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And “Thou shalt not” writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore;

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.