Go back to the Blake page for more texts and other resources. The Clod and the Pebble? The Clod, presenting its innocent view of an idealistic and altruistic love; and the Pebble, arguing that love is self-centred, are each given precisely half the poem to preach their message to the reader.
Ode to Rae Wilson Esq. I guess the features: Not one of those self-constituted saints, Quacks—not physicians—in the cure of souls, Censors who sniff out mortal taints, And call the devil over his own coals— Those pseudo Privy Councillors of God, Who write down judgments with a pen hard-nibb'd; Ushers of Beelzebub's Black Rod, Commending sinners, not to ice thick-ribb'd, But endless flames, to scorch them up like flax— Yet sure of heav'n themselves, as if they'd cribb'd Th' impression of St.
Peter's keys in wax! Of such a character no single trace Exists, I know, in my fictitious face; There wants a certain cast about the eye; A certain lifting of the nose's tip; A certain curling of the nether lip, In scorn of all that is, beneath the sky; In brief it is an aspect deleterious, A face decidedly not serious, A face profane, that would not do at all To make a face at Exeter Hall,— That Hall where bigots rant, and cant, and pray, And laud each other face to face, Till ev'ry farthing-candle ray Conceives itself a great gas-light of grace.
I do enjoy this bounteous beauteous earth; And dote upon a jest 'Within the limits of becoming mirth';— No solemn sanctimonious face I pull, Nor think I'm pious when I'm only bilious— Nor study in my sanctum supercilious To frame a Sabbath Bill or forge a Bull.
I pray for grace—repent each sinful act— Peruse, but underneath the rose, my Bible; And love my neighbour far too well, in fact, To call and twit him with a godly tract That's turn'd by application to a libel. My heart ferments not with the bigot's leaven, All creeds I view with toleration thorough, And have a horror of regarding heaven As anybody's rotten borough.
I own I laugh at over-righteous men, I own I shake my sides at ranters, And treat sham-Abr'am saints with wicked banters, I even own, that there are times—but then It's when I've got my wine—I say d——canters!
I've no ambition to enact the spy On fellow souls, a Spiritual Pry— 'Tis said that people ought to guard their noses, Who thrust them into matters none of theirs; And tho' no delicacy discomposes Your Saint, yet I consider faith and pray'rs Amongst the privatest of men's affairs.
I do not hash the Gospel in my books, And thus upon the public mind intrude it, As if I thought, like Otaheitan cooks, No food was fit to eat till I had chewed it. On Bible stilts I don't affect to stalk; Nor lard with Scripture my familiar talk,— For man may pious texts repeat, And yet religion have no inward seat; 'Tis not so plain as the old Hill of Howth, A man has got his belly full of meat Because he talks with victuals in his mouth!
Mere verbiage,—it is not worth a carrot! Why, Socrates—or Plato—where's the odds? A mere professor, spite of all his cant, is Not a whit better than a Mantis,— An insect, of what clime I can't determine, That lifts its paws most parson-like, and thence, By simple savages—thro' sheer pretence— Is reckon'd quite a saint amongst the vermin.
But where's the reverence, or where the nous, To ride on one's religion thro' the lobby, Whether a stalking-horse or hobby, To show its pious paces to 'the house'? I honestly confess that I would hinder The Scottish member's legislative rigs, That spiritual Pinder, Who looks on erring souls as straying pigs, That must be lash'd by law, wherever found, And driv'n to church, as to the parish pound.
I do confess, without reserve or wheedle, I view that grovelling idea as one Worthy some parish clerk's ambitious son, A charity-boy, who longs to be a beadle. On such a vital topic sure 'tis odd How much a man can differ from his neighbour: One wishes worship freely giv'n to God, Another wants to make it statute-labour— The broad distinction in a line to draw, As means to lead us to the skies above, You say—Sir Andrew and his love of law, And I—the Saviour with his law of love.
Spontaneously to God should tend the soul, Like the magnetic needle to the Pole; But what were that intrinsic virtue worth, Suppose some fellow, with more zeal than knowledge, Fresh from St. Andrew's College, Should nail the conscious needle to the north?
I do confess that I abhor and shrink From schemes, with a religious willy-nilly, That frown upon St. Giles's sins, but blink The peccadilloes of all Piccadilly— My soul revolts at such a bare hypocrisy, And will not, dare not, fancy in accord The Lord of Hosts with an Exclusive Lord Of this world's aristocracy.
It will not own a notion so unholy, As thinking that the rich by easy trips May go to heav'n, whereas the poor and lowly Must work their passage, as they do in ships. One place there is—beneath the burial sod, Where all mankind are equalized by death; Another place there is—the Fane of God, Where all are equal, who draw living breath;— Juggle who will elsewhere with his own soul, Playing the Judas with a temporal dole— He who can come beneath that awful cope, In the dread presence of a Maker just, Who metes to ev'ry pinch of human dust One even measure of immortal hope— He who can stand within that holy door, With soul unbow'd by that pure spirit-level, And frame unequal laws for rich and poor,— Might sit for Hell and represent the Devil!
Such are the solemn sentiments, O Rae, In your last Journey-Work, perchance you ravage, Seeming, but in more courtly terms, to say I'm but a heedless, creedless, godless savage; A very Guy, deserving fire and faggots,— A Scoffer, always on the grin, And sadly given to the mortal sin Of liking Maw-worms less than merry maggots!
The humble records of my life to search, I have not herded with mere pagan beasts; But sometimes I have 'sat at good men's feasts,' And I have been 'where bells have knoll'd to church. Now loud as welcomes! And trembling all about the breezy dells As flutter'd by the wings of Cherubim.
Meanwhile the bees are chanting a low hymn; And lost to sight th' ecstatic lark above Sings, like a soul beatified, of love,— With, now and then, the coo of the wild pigeon;— O Pagans, Heathens, Infidels and Doubters!
If such sweet sounds can't woo you to religion, Will the harsh voices of church cads and touters? A man may cry 'Church! The Temple is a good, a holy place, But quacking only gives it an ill savour; While saintly mountebanks the porch disgrace, And bring religion's self into disfavour! Behold yon servitor of God and Mammon, Who, binding up his Bible with his Ledger, Blends Gospel texts with trading gammon, A black-leg saint, a spiritual hedger, Who backs his rigid Sabbath, so to speak, Against the wicked remnant of the week, A saving bet against his sinful bias— 'Rogue that I am,' he whispers to himself, 'I lie—I cheat—do anything for pelf, But who on earth can say I am not pious?
One Sunday morning— at the day don't fret — In riding with a friend to Ponder's End Outside the stage, we happened to commend A certain mansion that we saw To Let.
But being so particular religious, Why, that, you see, put master on his guard! As for the rest,—intolerant to none, Whatever shape the pious rite may bear, Ev'n the poor Pagan's homage to the Sun I would not harshly scorn, lest even there I spurn'd some elements of Christian pray'r— An aim, tho' erring, at a 'world ayont,' Acknowledgment of good—of man's futility, A sense of need, and weakness, and indeed That very thing so many Christians want— Humility.
Such, may it please you, is my humble faith; I know, full well, you do not like my works! I have not sought, 'tis true, the Holy Land, As full of texts as Cuddie Headrigg's mother, The Bible in one hand, And my own commonplace-book in the other— But you have been to Palestine—alas!
Some minds improve by travel, others, rather, Resemble copper wire, or brass, Which gets the narrower by going farther! Worthless are all such Pilgrimages—very! A sorry sight it is to rest the eye on, To see a Christian creature graze at Sion, Then homeward, of the saintly pasture full, Rush bellowing, and breathing fire and smoke, At crippled Papistry to butt and poke, Exactly as a skittish Scottish bull Hunts an old woman in a scarlet cloak!
Why leave a serious, moral, pious home, Scotland, renown'd for sanctity of old, Far distant Catholics to rate and scold For—doing as the Romans do at Rome? With such a bristling spirit wherefore quit The Land of Cakes for any land of wafers, About the graceless images to flit, And buzz and chafe importunate as chafers, Longing to carve the carvers to Scotch collops?Sep 05, · The Clod and the Pebble is amongst one of William Blake’s most renowned Romantic works.
Typical to the Romantic Movement, Blake has used pastoral settings to explicate two views on the nature of love by personifying a clod and pebble. The Clod and the Pebble by William Blake is from a collection of poems called the Songs of Experience. Succeeding the Songs of Innocence, Blake explores the themes of love and the human spirit through the personification of a clod of clay and a pebble in a brook.
The Clod and The Pebble is the exemplification of Blake's statement at the beginning of Songs of Innocence and of Experience that it is the definition of the "Contrary States of the Human Soul." It shows two contrary types of love.
Songs of Innocence and of Experience Infant Joy, The Lamb, Laughing Song and Nurse's Song from Songs of Innocence, and Introduction, The Clod & the Pebble, The Tyger, Multiple digital copies of Blake's illustrated versions of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience at the William Blake Archive; Songs of Innocence and of Experience.
Songs of Innocence and of Experience is an illustrated collection of poems by William Blake. It appeared in two phases. A few first copies were printed and illuminated by William Blake himself in ; five years later he bound these poems with a set of new poems in a volume titled Songs of /5.
ABOUT. THE. AU T H O R. Raymond Buckland has been studying and practicing Spiritualism, fortune-telling, Witchcraft, Gypsy magic, and other aspects of the supernatural for fifty years.