My spectre around me night and day Like a wild beast guards my way; My Emanation far within Weeps incessantly for my sin. "A fathomless and boundless deep, There we wander, there we weep; On the hungry craving wind My Spectre follows thee behind. "He scents thy footsteps in the snow, Wheresoever thou dost go, Thro' the wintry hail and rain. When wilt thou return again? "Dost thou not in pride and scorn Fill with tempests all my morn, And with jealousies and fears Fill my pleasant nights with tears? "Seven of my sweet loves thy knife Has bereaved of their life. Their marble tombs I built with tears, And with cold and shuddering fears. "Seven more loves weep night and day Round the tombs where my loves lay, And seven more loves attend each night Around my couch with torches bright. "And seven more loves in my bed Crown with wine my mournful head, Pitying and forgiving all Thy transgressions great and small. "When wilt thou return and view My loves, and them to life renew? When wilt thou return and live? When wilt thou pity as I forgive?" "O'er my sins thou sit and moan: Hast thou no sins of thy own? O'er my sins thou sit and weep, And lull thy own sins fast asleep. "What transgressions I commit Are for thy transgressions fit. They thy harlots, thou their slave; And my bed becomes their grave. "Never, never, I return: Still for victory I burn. Living, thee alone I'll have; And when dead I'll be thy grave. "Thro' the Heaven and Earth and Hell Thou shalt never, never quell: I will fly and thou pursue: Night and morn the flight renew." "Poor, pale, pitiable form That I follow in a storm; Iron tears and groans of lead Bind around my aching head. "Till I turn from Female love And root up the Infernal Grove, I shall never worthy be To step into Eternity. "And, to end thy cruel mocks, Annihilate thee on the rocks, And another form create To be subservient to my fate. "Let us agree to give up love, And root up the Infernal Grove; Then shall we return and see The worlds of happy Eternity. "And throughout all Eternity I forgive you, you forgive me. As our dear Redeemer said: This the Wine, and this the Bread."
About the headline (FAQ)
- by William Blake (1757 - 1827) [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by William Henry Bell (1873 - 1946), "My spectre around me", 1940, from Twelve Blake Songs, no. 11 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Vincent Sauter Frohne (b. 1936), "My spectre", op. 32 (1975) [ chorus a cappella ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Vincent Sauter Frohne (b. 1936), "My spectre", op. 30a no. 4 (1971), first performed 1976 [ soprano, narrator, and chamber orchestra ], from Sacred Songs of William Blake, no. 4, excerpts [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 68
Word count: 393