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“The Schoolboy”- A Summer Poem by William Blake

It’s been awhile since I posted a poem, but when I heard someone talking about doing school through summer, I just had to post this one! Enjoy!

The proper joys of summer.

The proper joys of summer.

I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me:
O what sweet company!

But to go to school in a summer morn, —
O it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.

Ah then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour;
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning’s bower,
Worn through with the dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring!

O father and mother if buds are nipped,
And blossoms blown away;
And if the tender plants are stripped
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care’s dismay, —

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy,
Or bless the mellowing year,
When the blasts of winter appear?

From Songs of Experience, 1794

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2 Responses

  1. Dirk Radloff says:

    This poem is praising the freedom of children and a free education. The child should enjoy his own life without suppression of teachers and parents and follow a natural way of development. So in my opinion Blake is blowing here the trumpet of Rousseau. By the way I have respectfully tried to set this poem to music, some kind of progressive rock.

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