Oh, William Blake!

by Edgar Lee Masters
(Under pseudonym “Webster Ford”)

The memory is bright with eyes;
That day you read me from a book—
I hear now how your accents shook
With words in meaning like to these:
Love seeketh not itself to please
But for another gives its ease;
Her quiet is his paradise.

Sweet, it was never my delight
To build a hell in heaven's despite,
I can but think your breast is white.
Look at me! Let me see your eyes
Smile for our new-found paradise.
We live, we love—is it not well?
For life I do not grudge the price:
I who took heaven can suffer hell!

SOURCE: Masters, Edgar Lee (under pseudonym “Webster Ford”). “Oh, William Blake!," in: Songs and Sonnets (Chicago: Rooks Press, 1910), p. 57; published as electronic text (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative, 1998).

Note from the University of Michigan: “These texts may be copied freely by individuals for personal use, research, and teaching (including distribution to classes) as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. It may be linked to freely in Internet editions of all kinds, including for-profit works.”

William Blake Study Guide

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Edgar Lee Masters, Esperanto translation by Zane Gilstrap

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