Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

William Blake: The Fly

Little fly,
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath,
And the want
Of thought is death,

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.


Public Domain. From Songs of Experience. First published in 1794.

William Blake was born in London in 1757. Two of his six siblings died in infancy. From early childhood, Blake spoke of having visions—at four he saw God “put his head to the window”; around age nine, while walking through the countryside, he saw a tree filled with angels.

5 comments on “William Blake: The Fly

  1. Bartholomew Barker
    September 10, 2021

    Can’t go wrong with Blake.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. webmaster3c0059d9fa
    September 10, 2021

    I think this is the first time I’ve seen this particular Blake verse. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Huntington
    September 10, 2021

    I don’t think I ever read this one ( the burden of being a science major with one English class—Shakespeare ( loved it) It is so me worrying about whether I hurt an ant when I flicked it off my arm.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 10, 2021 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged .

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