A. L. Morton

‘One Law for the Lion and the Ox ...’



Because Blake was a hosier’s son
Instead of herding sheep in Palestine
He should have disciplined his senses
Or looked at life through yours and mine.
If he had been content with beauty
He might have woven a web of song
As passionate, soft and fanciful
As Keats or Shakespeare, and as strong.

Had he but followed out a plan
Laid down for him by friends with sense,
And been an educated man,
He’d not have lifted his eyes far hence
And seen the Golden Builders laying
Their scaffolding upon the air
In spots unsanctioned by the Muses,
Like Paddington and Golden Square.



SOURCE: Morton, A. L. (Arthur Leslie). “‘One Law for the Lion and the Ox ...’” [poem], in History and the Imagination: Selected Writings of A. L. Morton, edited by Margot Heinemann and Willie Thompson (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1990), p. 329.


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