Auguries of Innocence

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Auguries of Innocence (lett. Voortekenen van de onschuld) is een gedicht van de Engelse dichter, prozaschrijver en beeldend kunstenaar William Blake. Het gedicht maakt deel uit van het zogeheten 'Pickering Manuscript', een reeks gedichten die in de nalatenschap van de dichter werden aangetroffen en pas decennia later zouden worden gepubliceerd.

Het manuscript werd vermeld in de in 1863 verschenen biografie 'Life of William Blake' van Alexander Gilchrist. In 1866 waren de gedichten in handen van de uitgever Basil Montagu Pickering, naar wie het manuscript is vernoemd en die ze in dat jaar publiceerde in zijn uitgave van Songs of Innocence and of Experience, with Other Poems.[1] De gedichten zijn vermoedelijk ontstaan in de jaren 1801-1803.

Auguries of Innocence telt 132 regels. De eerste vier vertonen het rijmschema abab, de rest volgt het rijmschema aabbcc etc. Het gedicht bevat een groot aantal aforismen, paradoxen en als spreekwoord te interpreteren uitspraken, waarin 'onschuld' wordt geplaatst tegenover het 'kwaad' in de wereld, zoals ook in de Songs of Innocence and Experience het geval is. De gedichten in dit manuscript zijn niet voorzien van gravures. De regels zijn vaak satirisch of kritisch van aard.[2]

Bepaalde regels uit dit gedicht hebben grote bekendheid verworden en worden nog altijd geciteerd, ook in de populaire cultuur. Met name bekend zijn de openingsregels “To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour”. Andere veel aangehaalde regels zijn “Every Night and every Morn / Some to Misery are Born. / Every Morn and every Night / Some are Born to sweet delight. / Some are Born to sweet delight, / Some are Born to Endless Night.”

Het gedicht[bewerken]

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill'd with doves and Pigeons
Shudders Hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his Master's Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus'd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear.
A Skylark wounded in the wing,
A Cherubim does cease to sing.
The Game Cock clip'd and arm'd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright.
Every Wolf's and Lion's howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul.
The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the Human Soul from Care.
The Lamb misus'd breeds Public strife
And yet forgives the Butcher's Knife.
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that won't Believe.
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belov'd by Men.
He who the Ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by Woman lov'd.
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spider's enmity.
He who torments the Chafer's sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night.
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mother's grief.
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly,
For the Last Judgement draweth nigh.
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar.
The Beggar's Dog and Widow's Cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.
The Gnat that sings his Summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the Snake and Newt
Is the sweat of Envy's Foot.
The Poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artist's Jealousy.
The Prince's Robes and Beggar's Rags
Are Toadstools on the Miser's Bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent.
Beats all the Lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for Joy and Woe;
And when this we rightly know
Thro' the World we safely go.
Joy and Woe are woven fine,
A Clothing for the Soul divine;
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
The Babe is more than swaddling Bands;
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made, and Born were hands,
Every Farmer Understands.
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity;
This is caught by Females bright
And return'd to its own delight.
The Bleat, the Bark, Bellow and Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heaven's Shore.
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of death.
The Beggar's Rags, fluttering in Air,
Does to Rags the Heavens tear.
The Soldier, arm'd, with Sword and Gun,
Palsied strikes the Summer's Sun.
The poor Man's Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Afric's Shore.
One Mite wrung from the Labrer's hands
Shall buy and sell the Miser's Lands:
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole Nation sell and buy.
He who mocks the Infant's Faith
Shall be mock'd in Age and Death.
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the Infant's faith
Triumphs over Hell and Death.
The Child's Toys and the Old Man's Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons.
The Questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to Reply.
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out.
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesar's Laurel Crown.
Nought can deform the Human Race
Like to the Armour's iron brace.
When Gold and Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow.
A Riddle or the Cricket's Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply.
The Emmet's Inch and Eagle's Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile.
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er Believe, do what you Please.
If the Sun and Moon should doubt,
They'd immediately Go out.
To be in a Passion you Good may do,
But no Good if a Passion is in you.
The Whore and Gambler, by the State
Licenc'd, build that Nation's Fate.
The Harlot's cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old England's winding Sheet.
The Winner's Shout, the Loser's Curse,
Dance before dead England's Hearse.
Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight.
Some are Born to sweet delight,
Some are Born to Endless Night.
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro' the Eye,
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light.
God Appears and God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night,
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day.

Externe links[bewerken]

Wikisource Meer bronnen die bij dit onderwerp horen, kan men vinden op de pagina Auguries of Innocence op de Engelstalige versie van Wikisource.
Wikisource Meer bronnen die bij dit onderwerp horen, kan men vinden op de pagina The Ballads (or Pickering) Manuscript op de Engelstalige versie van Wikisource.
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