Thou fair-hair’d angel of the evening,
Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light
Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
Smile on our loves, and while thou drawest the
Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew
On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
In timely sleep. Let thy west wind sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,
And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full soon,
Dost thou withdraw; then the wolf rages wide,
And then the lion glares through the dun forest:
The fleeces of our flock are cover’d with
Thy sacred dew: protect them with thin influence!
William Blake (1757-1827)
William Blake was a 19th century writer and artist who is regarded as a seminal figure of the Romantic Age. His writings have influenced countless writers and artists through the ages, and he has been deemed both a major poet and an original thinker.
Born in 1757 in London, England, William Blake began writing at an early age and claimed to have had his first vision, of a tree full of angels, at age 10. He studied engraving and grew to love Gothic art, which he incorporated into his own unique works. A misunderstood poet, artist and visionary throughout much of his life, Blake found admirers late in life and has been vastly influential since his death in 1827.
- interest in rural life
- Presentation of common life
- Love of liberty and freedom
- Escape to the middle ages
- Predominance of Imaginations and Emotions
- Endless Variety
- Simplicity in Style
He paints the night sky with an image of Venus’ constant silver glow gently coaxing the world to bed and bringing stillness and silence to the world. Its light is positioned as being protective and keeping out the evils of the world, but only for so long. The poem ends with a plea for Venus to stay and protect his flock from the dangers of the night.
As always, the poem isn’t that simple and where Blake positions Venus, we can also see an analogy relating to mankind’s relationship with God.