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The Tyger
by
William Blake


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Tyger! Tyger! 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?

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

 

This poem is in the public domain.

 

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William Blake (1757 - 1827) was an English poet and painter. Best known today for his poem, "The Tyger," Blake enjoyed virtually no acclaim as a poet during his lifetime. Today, however, he is considered an immense talent in both literary and artistic circles. Trained as an engraver, Blake produced all but one of his poetry books himself. His wife—whom Blake himself taught to read, write, and draw—was a valued partner and critic. Much of Blake’s work focused on religious themes, with a colorful swirl of fantasy tossed in.

 


Post New Comment:
transitions:
Today,tigers are severely threatened with extinction from poachers, I treasure this poem and hope the beautiful tiger will always be 'burning bright' ~ right before our eyes and not in zoos or, worse yet, museums.
Posted 05/25/2015 11:15 AM
pwilliam:
I believe in Blake's time and place "symmetry" would have been pronounced "sim eh TRY" rather than sim eh TREE". P.Williams
Posted 05/25/2015 08:27 AM
KevinArnold:
Yes, Blake always had that theological edge, one that powers the penultimate stanza: 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?//
Posted 05/25/2015 08:16 AM
Katrina:
I admire the way William Blake rises above rhyming jingles - even if only for one line. Ho else could he do justice to a tyger?
Posted 05/25/2015 04:33 AM
Supa:
I've always loved this one.
Posted 05/24/2015 06:18 AM


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