London, By: William Blake

William Blake in his ‘Songs of Innocence and of Experience’ showed us the contrast between the idyllic world of innocence and the truths of real world. Here’s one of the most appreciated poem from his ‘Experience’ verses. It’s really wonderful to see how in so few lines this great poet has expressed the combined misery of human life.

All the paths, even the Thames river is bound and controlled by man. Humanity itself is trapped in its self-created traps. The ‘King’ and the ‘Church’ are blind and deaf to the suffering of people and innocence is daily poisoned by the ills that surround us.

That, in brief is what this poem is about. But how beautifully expressed! Especially the third stanza.

Do let me know what you think about this poem.


I wandered through each chartered street,

Near where the chartered Thames does flow,

A mark in every face I meet,

Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every man,

In every infant’s cry of fear,

In every voice, in every ban,

The mind-forged manacles I hear:

How the chimney-sweeper’s cry

Every blackening church appals,

And the hapless soldier’s sigh

Runs in blood down palace-walls.

But most, through midnight streets I hear

How the youthful harlot’s curse

Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,

And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.


Jyoti Arora
Author of Dream’s Sake, Samsung Mobiler

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