Shevek (shevek) wrote,
Shevek
shevek

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?


In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


Hearing Steven Fry reading part of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam reminded me of this, and I had to read it again. When I was young, I felt that this poem captured the very essence of power and strength. I loved watching the blacksmith work on the yard, and the imagery of furnace and anvil in the poem still recreates the memory of colour and noise and heat. Perhaps that's what Blake intended. As a child, it was only a small step from that power to believing in a greater one.
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