Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Little Girl Lost by William Blake

Children of the future age,
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime.

In the age of gold,
Free from winter's cold,
Youth and maiden bright,
To the holy light,
Naked in the sunny beams delight.

Once a youthful pair,
Filled with softest care,
Met in garden bright
Where the holy light
Had just removed the curtains of the night.

Then, in rising day,
On the grass they play;
Parents were afar,
Strangers came not near,
And the maiden soon forgot her fear.

Tired with kisses sweet,
They agree to meet
When the silent sleep
Waves o'er heaven's deep,
And the weary tired wanderers weep.

To her father white
Came the maiden bright;
But his loving look,
Like the holy book
All her tender limbs with terror shook.

"Ona, pale and weak,
To thy father speak!
Oh the trembling fear!
Oh the dismal care
That shakes the blossoms of my hoary hair!"

This is a very innocent poem, but the first thing that caught my attention was the speaker's message to the future. He correctly predicted that we, the "children of the future," would look back at the times when young love was taboo. Although we still have not purged all of our social restrictions on sexual relationships, I am sure we are less strict about young love than of Blake's time. The speaker makes the two lovers seem so innocent in their actions, and the rhyme scheme emulates this innocent tone. I believe the father is a symbol of sexual taboos of the time, and that is why the lovers are scared to talk to him. The young lovers seem so frail and weak compared to the father, so the conclusion is kind of sad since the young lovers have to keep their love a secret.


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