Lectures on William Blake, the Poet and the Artist

A comprehensive analysis of the collection of poems in William Blake's "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience."
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  • Lectures 110
  • Length 4 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
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About This Course

Published 9/2013 English

Course Description

Providence eLearning English Professor William Lasseter analyzes William Blake’s "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience" along with several additional poems and paintings. Published first in 1789, Songs of Innocence revealed one half of a two part thesis by Blake on the state of human perception. Blake saw the world as composed of two contrary and complementary states, calling them respectively “Innocence” and “Experience”. "Songs of Experience" was bound together with "Songs of Innocence" and printed in 1794. In it Blake sets forth the second part of his two part thesis on human perception.

What are the requirements?

  • High School Reading Level

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn how to read poetry
  • Learn how to understand and appreciate works of art
  • By the end of this course the student will have gained a deep appreciation for the work of William Blake and the time period in which he lived.

What is the target audience?

  • High School and College Students, Adult Learners

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction
01:31

An introduction video to the course, "William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Experience".

Section 2: Preface
05:39

A preface video for William Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience".

1 question

A quiz based on the preface video lecture.

William Blake Biography
Article
6 pages

A timeline of the life and works of William Blake.

Themes to Look for in Blake's Work
Article
Section 3: Songs of Innocence
Article

A bit of background on William Blake's "Songs of Innocence" poems.

03:09

A video analysis of the cover plate of "Songs of Innocence" by William Blake.

00:45

Introduction

Piping down the valleys wild

Piping songs of pleasant glee

On a cloud I saw a child.

And he laughing said to me.

————————————

“Pipe a song about a Lamb:”

So I piped with merry chear,

“Piper, pipe that song again—”

So I piped, he wept to hear.

————————————

“Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe

Sing thy songs of happy chear,”

So I sung the same again

While he wept with joy to hear.

—————————————

“Piper sit thee down and write

In a book that all may read—”

So he vanished from my sight

And I pluck'd a hollow reed.

——————————————

And I made a rural pen,

And I stained the water clear,

And I wrote my happy songs,

Every child may joy to hear.

04:31

A video lecture based on the "Introduction" to "Songs of Innocence" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "Introduction" by William Blake.

00:23

The Shepherd


How sweet is the shepherd’s sweet lot!

From the morn to the evening he strays;

He shall follow his sheep all the day,

And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

——————————————————

For he hears the lambs’ innocent call,

And he hears the ewes’ tender reply;

He is watchful while they are in peace.

For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.

00:22

An audio footnote based on "The Shepherd" by William Blake.

00:52

The Echoing Green


The Sun does arise,

And make happy the skies;

The merry bells ring

To welcome the Spring;

The skylark and thrush,

The birds of the bush,

Sing louder around

To the bells’ cheerful sound,

While our sports shall be seen

On the Echoing 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 Echoing 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 sports no more seen

On the darkening Green.

00:29

An audio footnote based on "The Echoing Green" by William Blake.

00:47

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!

05:03

A video lecture based on "The Lamb" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Lamb" by William Blake.

01:33

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 bereav’d of light.

——————————————————

My mother taught 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 these black bodies and this sunburnt face

Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.

—————————————————————

“For when our souls have learn’d the heat to bear,

The cloud will vanish; we shall hear his voice,

Saying: ‘Come out from the grove, my love & care,

And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.’”

——————————————————————

Thus 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.

00:50

An audio footnote based on "The Little Black Boy" by William Blake.

00:20

The Blossom


Merry, merry sparrow!

Under leaves so green

A happy blossom

Sees you, swift as arrow,

Seek your cradle narrow,

Near my bosom.

————————————

Pretty, pretty robin!

Under leaves so green

A happy blossom

Hears you sobbing, sobbing,

Pretty, pretty robin,

Near my bosom.

04:20

A video lecture based on "The Blossom" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Blossom" by William Blake.

01:30

The Chimney Sweeper


When my mother died I was very young,

And my father sold me while yet my tongue

Could scarcely cry “ ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep!”

So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

———————————————————————

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,

That curl'd like a lamb’s back. was shav’d: so I said

“Hush. Tom! never mind it, for when your head’s bare

You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.”

————————————————————————

And so he was quiet & that very night,

As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight!

That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned and Jack,

Were all of them lock’d up in coffins of black.

————————————————————————

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,

And he open’d the coffins & set them all free;

Then down a green plain leaping, laughing, they run,

And wash in a river. and shine in the Sun.

————————————————————————

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,

They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind;

And the Angel told Tom, if he’d be a good boy,

He’d have God for his father & never want joy.

————————————————————————

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark.

And got with our bags & our brushes to work.

Tho’ the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;

So if all do their duty they need not fear harm.

05:08

A video lecture based on "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake.

00:23

The Little Boy Lost


“Father, father, where are you going?

O do not walk so fast!

Speak, father, speak to your little boy,

Or else I shall be lost.”

——————————————————

The night was dark, no father was there,

The child was wet with dew;

The mire was deep, and the child did weep,

And away the vapour flew.

04:46

A video lecture based on "The Little Boy Lost" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Little Boy Lost" by William Blake.

00:24

The Little Boy Found


The little boy lost in the lonely fen,

Led by the wand’ring light,

Began to cry; but God, ever nigh,

Appear’d like his father in white.

————————————————

He kissed the child & by the hand led

And to his mother brought,

Who in sorrow pale, thro’ the lonely dale,

Her little boy weeping sought.

04:31

A video lecture based on "The Little Boy Found" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Little Boy Found" by William Blake.

00:34

Laughing Song


When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,

And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;

When the air does laugh with our merry wit,

And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

————————————————————

When the meadows laugh with lively green,

And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,

When Mary and Susan and Emily

With their sweet round mouths sing “Ha, Ha, He!”

—————————————————————

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,

Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread,

Come live & be merry, and join with me,

To sing the sweet chorus of “Ha, Ha, He!”

00:27

An audio footnote based on "Laughing Song" by William Blake.

01:38

A Cradle Song


Sweet dreams, form a shade

O’er my lovely infant’s head;

Sweet dreams of pleasant streams

By happy, silent, moony beams.

———————————————

Sweet sleep, with soft down

Weave thy brows an infant crown.

Sweep sleep, Angel mild,

Hover o’er my happy child.

———————————————

Sweet smiles, in the night

Hover over my delight;

Sweet smiles, Mother’s smiles,

All the livelong night beguiles.

————————————————

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,

Chase not slumber from thy eyes.

Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,

All the dovelike moans beguiles.

————————————————

Sleep, sleep, happy child,

All creation slept and smil’d;

Sleep, sleep, happy sleep,

While o’er thee thy mother weep.

————————————————

Sweet babe, in thy face

Holy image I can trace.

Sweet babe, once like thee,

Thy maker lay and wept for me,

—————————————————

Wept for me, for thee, for all,

When he was an infant small

Thou his image ever see,

Heavenly face that smiles on thee,

—————————————————

Smiles on thee, on me, on all;

Who became an infant small.

Infant smiles are his own smiles;

Heaven & earth to peace beguiles.

00:42

An audio footnote based on "A Cradle Song" by William Blake.

00:55

The Divine Image


To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

All pray in their distress;

And to these virtues 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

00:37

An audio footnote based on "The Divine Image" by William Wordsworth.

00:57

Holy Thursday


’Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,

The children walking two & two, in red & blue & green,

Grey-headed beadles walk’d before, with wands as white as snow,

Till into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames’ waters flow.

————————————————————————————

O what a multitude they seem’d, these flowers of London town!

Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own.

The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs,

Thousands of little boys & girls raising their innocent hands.

————————————————————————————

Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song,

Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of Heaven among.

Beneath them sit the aged men, wise guardians of the poor;

Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.

01:14

An audio footnote based on "Holy Thursday" by William Blake.

01:51

Night


The sun descending in the west,

The evening star does shine;

The birds are silent in their nest,

And I must seek for mine.

The moon like a flower

In heaven’s high bower,

With silent delight

Sits and smiles on the night.

——————————————————

Farewell, green fields and happy groves,

Where flocks have took delight.

Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves

The feet of angels bright;

Unseen they pour blessing

And joy without ceasing,

On each bud and blossom,

And each sleeping bosom.

————————————————————

They look in every thoughtless nest,

Where birds are cover’d warm;

They visit caves of every beast,

To keep them all from harm.

If they see any weeping

That should have been sleeping,

They pour sleep on their head,

And sit down by their bed.

————————————————————

When wolves and tygers howl for prey,

They pitying stand and weep;

Seeking to drive their thirst away,

And keep them from the sheep;

But if they rush dreadful,

The angels, most heedful,

Receive each mild spirit,

New worlds to inherit.

——————————————————

And there the lion’s ruddy eyes

Shall flow with tears of gold,

And pitying the tender cries,

And walking round the fold,

Saying “Wrath, by his meekness,

And by his health, sickness

Is driven away

From our immortal day.

—————————————————

“And now beside thee, bleating lamb,

I can lie down and sleep;

Or think on him who bore thy name,

Graze after thee and weep.

For, wash’d in life’s river,

My bright mane for ever

Shall shine like the gold

As I guard o'er the fold.”

00:35

An audio footnote based on "Night" by William Blake.

00:39

Spring


Sound the Flute!

Now it’s mute.

Birds delight

Day and Night;

Nightingale

In the dale,

Lark in Sky,

Merrily,

Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the Year.

———————————————————

Little Boy,

Full of joy;

Little Girl,

Sweet and small;

Cock does crow,

So do you;

Merry voice,

Infant noise,

Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the Year.

———————————————————

Little Lamb,

Here I am;

Come and lick

My white neck;

Let me pull

Your soft Wool;

Let me kiss

Your soft face:

Merrily, Merrily, we welcome in the Year

00:40

An audio footnote based on "Spring" by William Blake.

00:46

Nurse’s Song


When the voices of children are heard on the green

And laughing is heard on the hill,

My heart is at rest within my breast

And everything else is still.

——————————————————————

“Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down

And the dews of night arise;

Come, come, leave off play, and let us away

Till the morning appears in the skies.”

———————————————————————

“No, no, let us play, for it is yet day

And we cannot go to sleep;

Besides, in the sky the little birds fly

And the hills are all cover’d with sheep.”

————————————————————————

“Well, well, go & play till the light fades away

And then go home to bed.”

The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh’d

And all the hills echoed.

00:32

An audio footnote based on "Nurse's Song" by William Blake.

00:25

Infant Joy


“I have no name;

I am but two days old.”

What shall I call thee?

“I happy am,

Joy is my name.”

Sweet joy befall thee!

———————————

Pretty joy!

Sweet joy, but two days old.

Sweet Joy I call thee:

Thou dost smile,

I sing the while;

Sweet joy befall thee!

04:06

A video lecture based on "Infant Joy" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "Infant Joy" by William Blake.

00:54

A Dream


Once a dream did weave a shade

O’er my Angel-guarded bed,

That an Emmet lost its way

Where on grass methought I lay.

———————————————

Troubled, ’wilder’d, and forlorn,

Dark, benighted, travel-worn,

Over many a tangled spray,

All heart-broke I heard her say:

———————————————

“O, my children! do they cry?

Do they hear their father sigh?

Now they look abroad to see:

Now return and weep for me.”

————————————————

Pitying, I drop’d a tear;

But I saw a glow-worm near,

Who replied: “What wailing wight

Calls the watchman of the night?

————————————————

“I am set to light the ground,

While the beetle goes his round:

Follow now the beetle’s hum;

Little wanderer, hie thee home.”

00:41

An audio footnote based on "A Dream" by William Blake.

01:30

On Another’s Sorrow


Can I see another’s woe,

And not be in sorrow too?

Can I see another’s grief,

And not seek for kind relief?

—————————————

Can I see a falling tear,

And not feel my sorrow’s share?

Can a father see his child

Weep, nor be with sorrow fill’d?

———————————————

Can a mother sit and hear

An infant groan an infant fear?

No, no! never can it be!

Never, never can it be!

——————————————

And can he who smiles on all

Hear the wren with sorrows small,

Hear the small bird’s grief & care,

Hear the woes that infants bear,

———————————————

And not sit beside the nest,

Pouring pity in their breast;

And not sit the cradle near,

Weeping tear on infant’s tear;

———————————————

And not sit both night & day,

Wiping all our tears away?

O, no! never can it be!

Never, never can it be!

———————————————

He doth give his joy to all;

He becomes an infant small;

He becomes a man of woe;

He doth feel the sorrow too.

————————————————

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh

And thy maker is not by;

Think not thou canst weep a tear

And thy maker is not near.

————————————————

O! he gives to us his joy

That our grief he may destroy;

Till our grief is fled & gone

He doth sit by us and moan.

00:32

An audio footnote based on "On Another's Sorrow" by William Blake.

15 questions

A quiz based on all the poems in "Songs of Innocence" by William Blake.

Section 4: Songs of Experience
Article

A bit of background information to William Blake's "Songs of Experience".

05:17

A video analysis of the cover plate of "Songs of Experience" by William Blake.

04:01

An analysis video based on the "Frontispiece" for "Songs of Experience" by William Blake.

00:46

Introduction


Hear the voice of the Bard,

Who present, past, and future, sees;

Whose ears have heard

The Holy Word

That walk’d among the ancient trees;

————————————————

Calling the lapsèd soul,

And weeping in the evening dew;

That might control

The starry pole,

And fallen, fallen light renew!

————————————————

“O Earth, O Earth, return!

Arise from out the dewy grass!

Night is worn,

And the morn

Rises from the slumbrous mass.

————————————————

“Turn away no more;

Why wilt thou turn away?

The starry floor,

The watery shore,

Is given thee till the break of day.”

03:26

A video lecture based on the "Introduction" for "Songs of Experience" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for the "Introduction" to "Songs of Experience" by William Blake.

01:05

Earth’s Answer


Earth raised up her head

From the darkness dread and drear,

Her light fled,

Stony, dread,

And her locks covered with grey despair.

——————————————————

“Prisoned on watery shore,

Starry jealousy does keep my den

Cold and hoar;

Weeping o’er,

I hear the father of the ancient men.

——————————————————

“Selfish father of men!

Cruel, jealous, selfish fear!

Can delight,

Chained in night,

The virgins of youth and morning bear.

——————————————————

“Does spring hide its joy,

When buds and blossoms grow?

Does the sower

Sow by night,

Or the ploughman in darkness plough?

——————————————————

“Break this heavy chain,

That does freeze my bones around!

Selfish, vain,

Eternal bane,

That free love with bondage bound.”

00:48

An audio footnote based on "Earth's Answer" by William Blake.

00:37

The Clod and 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.”

00:37

An audio footnote based on "The Clod and the Pebble" by William Blake.

00:41

Holy Thursday


Is this a holy thing to see

In a rich and fruitful land,

Babes reduced to misery,

Fed with cold and usurous hand?


Is that trembling cry a song?

Can it be a song of joy?

And so many children poor?

It is a land of poverty!


And their sun does never shine,

And their fields are bleak and bare,

And their ways are filled with thorns:

It is eternal winter there.


For where’er the sun does shine,

And where’er the rain does fall,

Babes should never hunger there,

Nor poverty the mind appall.

00:41

An audio footnote based on "Holy Thursday" by William Blake.

01:32

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.

05:42

A video lecture based on "The Little Girl Lost" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Little Girl Lost" by William Blake.

01:36

The Little Girl Found


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.

05:13

A video lecture based on "The Little Girl Found" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Little Girl Found" by William Blake.

00:37

The Chimney Sweeper


A little black thing among the snow,

Crying! ‘weep! weep!’ in notes of woe!

‘Where are thy father and mother? Say!’ -

‘They are both gone up to the church to pray.


‘Because I was happy upon the heath,

And smiled among the winter’s snow,

They clothed me in the clothes of death,

And taught me to sing the notes of woe.


‘And because I am happy and dance and sing,

They think they have done me no injury,

And are gone to praise God and His priest and king,

Who made up a heaven of our misery.’

05:13

A video lecture based on "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake.

00:32

Nurse’s Song


When the voices of children are heard on the green

And whisp’rings are in the dale,

The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind,

My face turns green and pale.

———————————————————————

Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,

And the dews of night arise;

Your spring & your day are wasted in play,

And your winter and night in disguise.

00:44

An audio footnote based on "Nurse's Song" by William Blake.

00:16

The Sick Rose


O Rose, thou art sick!

The invisible worm

That flies in the night,

In the howling storm,

——————————

Has found out thy bed

Of crimson joy:

And his dark secret love

Does thy life destroy.

11:09

A video lecture based on "The Sick Rose" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Sick Rose" by William Blake.

00:34

The Fly


Little Fly,

Thy summer’s 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.

00:54

An audio footnote based on "The Fly" by William Blake.

00:47

The Angel


I dreamt a Dream! what can it mean!

And that I was a maiden Queen,

Guarded by an Angel mild:

Witless woe was ne’er beguil’d!

———————————————

And I wept both night and day,

And he wip’d my tears away,

And I wept both day and night,

And hid from him my heart’s delight.

————————————————

So he took his wings and fled;

Then the morn blush’d rosy red;

I dried my tears, & arm’d my fears

With ten thousand shields and spears.

—————————————————

Soon my Angel came again:

I was arm’d, he came in vain;

For the time of youth was fled,

And grey hairs were on my head.

00:41

An audio footnote based on "The Angel" by William Blake.

01:02

The Tyger


Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

———————————————

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand dare seize the fire?

————————————————

And what shoulder, & what art.

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand? & what dread feet?

——————————————————

What the hammer? what the chain?

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread grasp

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

———————————————————

When the stars threw down their spears,

And watered heaven with their tears,

Did he smile his work to see?

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

————————————————————

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

05:21

A video lecture based on "The Tyger" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Tyger" by William Blake.

00:21

My Pretty Rose Tree


A flower was offered to me,

Such a flower as May never bore;

But I said “I’ve a pretty rose tree,”

And I passed the sweet flower o’er.

————————————————

Then I went to my pretty rose tree,

To tend her by day and by night;

But my rose turned away with jealousy,

And her thorns were my only delight.

00:24

Ah Sun-Flower


Ah! sunflower, 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 sunflower wishes to go.

00:13

The Lilly


The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,

The humble sheep a threat’ning horn:

While the Lily white shall in love delight,

Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

06:41

A video lecture based on "My Pretty Rose Tree," "Ah Sun-Flower" and "The Lilly" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the texts and the video for "My Pretty Rose Tree," "Ah Sun-Flower," and "The Lilly" by William Blake.

00:36

The Garden of Love


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 turn’d to the Garden of Love,

That so many sweet flowers bore,

—————————————————

And I saw it was filled with graves,

And tomb-stones where flowers should be:

And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,

And binding with briars my joys and desires.

05:51

A video lecture based on "The Garden of Love" by William Blake.

1 question

A quiz based on the text and video for "The Garden of Love" by William Blake.

01:01

The Little Vagabond


Dear mother, dear mother, the Church is cold;

But the Alehouse is healthy, and pleasant, and warm.

Besides, I can tell where I am used well;

Such usage in heaven will never do well.

———————————————————————

But, if at the Church they would give us some ale,

And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,

We’d sing and we’d pray all the livelong day,

Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.

————————————————————————

Then the Parson might preach, and drink, and sing,

And we’d be as happy as birds in the spring;

And modest Dame Lurch, who is always at church,

Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.

————————————————————————

And God, like a father, rejoicing to see

His children as pleasant and happy as He,

Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the barrel,

But kiss him, and give him both drink and apparel.

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Instructor Biography

Mr. Lasseter has more than fifteen years teaching experience. He holds both a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Dallas. He has an accomplished professional background, including directing the men’s chant choir at the University of Dallas and producing and directing various dramatic performances in Irving, Texas. Mr. Lasseter currently serves as a teacher of high school literature.

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