Blake’s poems about trees, flowers and lilies: allegories about love, jealousy, & sexual hypocrisy


My Pretty Rose Tree

A flower was offer’d to me:
Such a flower as May never bore.
But I said I’ve a Pretty Rose-tree,
And I passed the sweet flower o’er.

Then I went to my Pretty Rose-tree:
To tend her by day and by night.
But my Rose turnd away with jealousy:
And her thorns were my only delight.

Ah! Sun-flower

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime,
Where the travellers journey is done.

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves and aspire
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.

The Lilly

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn:
The humble Sheep, a threatning horn:
While the Lilly white, shall in Love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

You can compare different versions of the poems here.

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