by William Blake (1757 - 1827)

Pity would be no more
Language: English 
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 Catterpiller 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.

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Ahmed E. Ismail

This text was added to the website: 2005-01-17
Line count: 24
Word count: 136