'Nurse's Song (Innocence)' by William Blake
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Songs of Innocence1789When voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And everything else is stillThen come home my children the sun is gone down
And the dews of night arise
Come come leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skiesNo no let us play, for it is yet day
And we cannot go to sleep
Besides in the sky, the little birds fly
And the hills are all covered with sheepWell well go & play till the light fades away
And then go home to bed
The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh'd
And all the hills echoed
Editor 1 Interpretation
Nurse's Song (Innocence) by William Blake: A Critique and Interpretation
Oh, what a joy it is to delve into the works of William Blake! His poems are treasures that never lose their luster. One of his most beloved poems is "Nurse's Song (Innocence)," which captures the wonder and purity of childhood.
In this critique and interpretation, we'll explore the themes, imagery, and language that make this poem a masterpiece. We'll also consider the historical context in which it was written and the ways in which it speaks to us today.
Overview of the Poem
"Nurse's Song (Innocence)" is one of the poems in Blake's collection called "Songs of Innocence," which was published in 1789. The poem is written in two stanzas of six lines each, with a simple ABABCC rhyme scheme.
The poem is addressed to "little ones," who are being called in for the night by their nurse. The nurse is depicted as a kind and loving figure who wants the children to be happy and at peace. The poem celebrates the joy of childhood and the beauty of nature, which are intertwined in Blake's vision of innocence.
Themes and Motifs
One of the central themes of the poem is the idea of innocence. Blake believed that children were born pure and uncorrupted, and that they could teach adults about the true nature of the world. In "Nurse's Song (Innocence)," the children are portrayed as happy and carefree, with no worries or fears. The nurse wants them to be able to enjoy their childhood to the fullest, without being burdened by the troubles of adulthood.
Another theme of the poem is the connection between nature and innocence. The children are playing in a "green field" and are surrounded by "pleasant green" trees. The nurse tells them that the "day is gone, / And the night is coming on," which suggests a cyclical pattern of nature. The children are a part of this natural order, and their happiness is linked to the rhythms of the earth.
The motif of singing is also important in the poem. The nurse sings to the children, and they sing back to her. The act of singing is a symbol of joy and freedom, and it brings the children together in a harmonious community.
Imagery and Language
Blake's poetry is known for its vivid imagery and powerful language, and "Nurse's Song (Innocence)" is no exception. Let's take a closer look at some of the most striking images and phrases in the poem:
- "And all the hills echoed" - This line suggests a sense of vastness and expansiveness. The hills are not just passive objects, but are active participants in the scene. They echo the children's voices, as if to amplify their joy.
- "And the dews of night did fall" - This line has a gentle, soothing quality to it. The "dews of night" are a natural occurrence, but they also suggest a kind of protective blanket that covers the earth. The phrase "did fall" has a deliberate, almost ritualistic quality to it.
- "Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down" - The nurse's invitation to the children is warm and welcoming. She addresses them as "my children," which establishes a familial bond between them. The phrase "the sun is gone down" has a finality to it, but is also a reminder that there is a new day to look forward to.
- "And the little ones, weary, no more can be merry" - This line marks a shift in the poem, as the children are no longer able to play and must retire for the night. The use of the word "weary" suggests that they have been active and engaged throughout the day, and are now ready for rest. The phrase "no more can be merry" is poignant, as it suggests that childhood is fleeting and that the children will not be young forever.
To fully appreciate Blake's poetry, it's important to understand the historical context in which he was writing. The late eighteenth century was a time of great social and political upheaval in England. The French Revolution had just begun, and there were fears of a similar uprising in England. The Industrial Revolution was also underway, which brought about significant changes in the way people lived and worked.
In this context, Blake's poetry can be seen as a response to the forces of change that were sweeping through England. He was a champion of the natural world and of the human spirit, and believed that these things were being threatened by the forces of industrialization and urbanization. "Nurse's Song (Innocence)" can be read as a celebration of the values that Blake held dear, such as simplicity, community, and the beauty of nature.
So, what can we take away from "Nurse's Song (Innocence)"? What does it mean for us today?
One interpretation of the poem is that it reminds us of the importance of childhood. Childhood is a time of wonder and joy, and we should cherish it while we can. The poem also suggests that we should strive to create a sense of community and harmony in our lives, as the children do in the poem. By singing and playing together, they form a bond that transcends their individual selves.
Another interpretation of the poem is that it speaks to our need for simplicity and connection to nature. In our modern world, we are often disconnected from the natural world and from each other. We are bombarded with technology and distractions that can make us feel isolated and overwhelmed. "Nurse's Song (Innocence)" offers a vision of a simpler, more harmonious way of life, where we can find peace and joy in the natural world.
In conclusion, "Nurse's Song (Innocence)" is a beautiful and timeless poem that captures the essence of childhood and the natural world. Blake's imagery and language are powerful and evocative, and his vision of innocence speaks to us across the centuries. We can all learn something from the poem's celebration of community, joy, and simplicity.
Oh, William Blake, what a genius! How lucky we are to have his words to guide us through life. Long live "Nurse's Song (Innocence)"!
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Poetry Nurse's Song (Innocence) is a classic poem written by the renowned English poet, William Blake. This poem is a part of his collection of poems titled "Songs of Innocence," which was published in 1789. The poem is a beautiful representation of the innocence and purity of childhood, and it is a perfect example of Blake's unique style of poetry.
The poem is written in the form of a song, and it is addressed to the children who are playing in the fields. The nurse is singing to the children, and she is urging them to come back home before the sun goes down. The poem is divided into two stanzas, and each stanza has four lines. The rhyme scheme of the poem is AABB, which gives it a musical quality.
The first stanza of the poem is as follows:
"When the voices of children are heard on the green, And laughing is heard on the hill, My heart is at rest within my breast, And everything else is still."
In this stanza, the nurse is describing the scene of children playing in the fields. She says that when she hears the voices of children and their laughter, her heart is at peace, and everything else becomes still. This stanza is a beautiful representation of the innocence and joy of childhood. The nurse is enjoying the scene of children playing, and she is content with the simple pleasures of life.
The second stanza of the poem is as follows:
"Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down, And the dews of night arise; Come, come, leave off play, and let us away Till the morning appears in the skies."
In this stanza, the nurse is urging the children to come back home before the sun goes down. She is warning them that the dews of night are rising, and it is time to go back home. The nurse is concerned about the safety of the children, and she wants them to be safe and sound at home. This stanza is a beautiful representation of the love and care that adults have for children.
The poem is a beautiful representation of the innocence and purity of childhood. Blake has used simple language and imagery to convey the message of the poem. The poem is a perfect example of Blake's unique style of poetry, which is characterized by its simplicity and musical quality.
The poem is also a reflection of the social and political context of Blake's time. The poem was written during the Industrial Revolution, a time when children were forced to work in factories and mines. Blake was a social critic, and he was deeply concerned about the exploitation of children. The poem can be seen as a protest against the exploitation of children and a call for their protection.
In conclusion, the Poetry Nurse's Song (Innocence) is a beautiful poem that celebrates the innocence and purity of childhood. The poem is a perfect example of Blake's unique style of poetry, which is characterized by its simplicity and musical quality. The poem is also a reflection of the social and political context of Blake's time and can be seen as a protest against the exploitation of children. The poem is a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and delight readers of all ages.
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