'Nurse's Song (Innocence)' by William Blake
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When 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
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
No 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 sheep
Well 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 Literary Criticism and Interpretation
William Blake's "Nurse's Song (Innocence)" is a poem that captures the beauty and purity of childhood. In this work, Blake portrays the innocence of children through the eyes of a nurse who is watching over them. The poem is full of vivid imagery and rich symbolism that make it a timeless masterpiece in English literature.
William Blake was an English poet and artist who lived from 1757 to 1827. He is considered one of the greatest poets of the Romantic era, and his works are known for their mystical and visionary qualities. Blake was a deeply spiritual person and believed that art and poetry were avenues for the expression of the divine. His poetry often explores themes of love, innocence, and the human condition.
"Nurse's Song (Innocence)" is one of Blake's most famous poems, and it was first published in his collection "Songs of Innocence" in 1789. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter, which gives it a steady rhythm and a flowing, musical quality.
The poem is divided into two stanzas, each with six lines. The first stanza describes a group of children playing in a green field while their nurse watches over them. The second stanza is a dialogue between the nurse and the children, in which she urges them to go home before the evening comes.
The first stanza of the poem is full of vivid imagery and rich symbolism. Blake describes a group of children playing in a green field, which represents the innocence and purity of childhood. The field is also a symbol of freedom and joy, as it is a place where the children can run and play without any constraints.
The nurse is portrayed as a loving and caring figure who watches over the children with tenderness and affection. She is like a mother to them, and her presence gives them a sense of security and comfort.
The use of the word "merry" to describe the children is significant, as it suggests that they are happy and carefree. The word "laughing" also adds to the joyful atmosphere of the scene. The children are described as "lovely" and "sweet", which highlights their innocence and beauty.
The nurse's "countenance" is described as "smiling", which suggests that she is happy and content. Her "white" attire is a symbol of purity and goodness, and it contrasts with the green of the field, which represents nature and life.
The second stanza is a dialogue between the nurse and the children. The nurse urges them to go home before the evening comes, as she knows that their parents will be worried about them. This is a gesture of love and concern, as the nurse wants to make sure that the children are safe and happy.
The use of the word "little" to describe the children is significant, as it emphasizes their vulnerability and innocence. The phrase "rest and sleep" suggests that the children are tired and need to rest, and it also implies that they are safe and secure at home.
The nurse's words "every face" and "every voice" suggest that she knows the children personally and cares about each one of them. Her use of the word "dear" also conveys her affection for them.
The final lines of the poem are full of symbolism and meaning. The nurse's words "the hills are shadows" suggest that the evening is approaching and that darkness is falling. The word "shadows" also has a symbolic meaning, as it represents the fleeting nature of life and the inevitability of death.
The nurse's final words, "come, come, come", are a gentle and loving call to the children, urging them to return home. The repetition of the word "come" adds to the sense of urgency and emphasizes the nurse's concern for the children's safety.
"Nurse's Song (Innocence)" is a poem that celebrates the beauty and purity of childhood. The green field represents the innocence and joy of childhood, while the nurse represents the love and care that children need to grow and thrive.
The poem also explores the theme of the passage of time and the fleeting nature of life. The nurse's words "the hills are shadows" suggest that the evening is approaching and that darkness is falling. This is a metaphor for the passing of time and the inevitability of death.
The poem can also be interpreted as a commentary on the importance of family and community. The nurse's concern for the children's safety and well-being reflects the importance of a supportive and loving community.
In "Nurse's Song (Innocence)", William Blake captures the beauty and purity of childhood through vivid imagery and rich symbolism. The poem celebrates the joys of childhood while also exploring deeper themes of the passage of time and the importance of family and community.
Blake's use of language and imagery make the poem a timeless masterpiece in English literature. The poem is a testament to the power of poetry to explore the mysteries of the human condition and to express the divine.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Nurse's Song (Innocence) by William Blake is a classic poem that captures the essence of childhood innocence and the joys of youth. The poem is a part of Blake's collection of poems, Songs of Innocence, which was published in 1789. The poem is a simple yet powerful depiction of the relationship between a group of children and their nurse, who watches over them as they play in the fields.
The poem is divided into two stanzas, each with six lines. The first stanza describes the nurse's joy as she watches the children play in the fields. The second stanza is a conversation between the nurse and the children, where the nurse urges them to come inside before it gets dark.
The poem begins with the nurse watching the children play in the fields. The opening line, "When the voices of children are heard on the green," sets the scene for the poem. The nurse is filled with joy as she listens to the children's laughter and the sound of their feet as they run around in the fields. The nurse's joy is infectious, and it spreads to the children as they play.
The second line, "And laughing is heard on the hill," reinforces the idea of joy and happiness. The children are carefree and happy, and their laughter echoes through the hills. The third line, "My heart is at rest within my breast," shows the nurse's contentment. She is happy to be with the children and watch them play.
The fourth line, "And everything else is still," creates a sense of calm and tranquility. The world around them is quiet, and the only sound is the children's laughter. The fifth line, "Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down," marks a shift in the poem. The nurse realizes that it is getting late, and it is time for the children to come inside.
The final line of the first stanza, "And the dews of night arise," creates a sense of foreboding. The night is coming, and with it, the cold and dampness of the dew. The nurse knows that it is not safe for the children to be outside at night, and she urges them to come inside.
The second stanza begins with the nurse addressing the children. She tells them that it is time to come inside before it gets dark. The first line, "Your spring and your day are wasted in play," shows the nurse's concern for the children's well-being. She knows that they need to rest and prepare for the next day.
The second line, "And your winter and night-time will be haunted by dreams," is a warning to the children. The nurse knows that if they do not rest, they will have nightmares and bad dreams. The third line, "Grown-up loves and fears," shows the nurse's understanding of the children's future. She knows that they will grow up and face new challenges and fears.
The fourth line, "And the thoughts of your minds," shows the nurse's belief in the power of the children's minds. She knows that they are capable of great things and that their thoughts will shape their future. The fifth line, "Still are bent on a sport that is gay," shows the nurse's acceptance of the children's playfulness. She knows that they are children and that they need to have fun.
The final line of the poem, "Follow, follow me," is a call to action. The nurse urges the children to follow her inside and prepare for the night. The line also has a deeper meaning. The nurse is not just asking the children to follow her inside, but she is also asking them to follow her example. She wants them to learn from her and grow up to be responsible adults.
In conclusion, Nurse's Song (Innocence) by William Blake is a beautiful poem that captures the essence of childhood innocence and the joys of youth. The poem is a reminder that we should cherish our childhood memories and never forget the carefree days of our youth. The poem also has a deeper meaning, as it teaches us the importance of rest and preparation for the future. The nurse in the poem is a symbol of guidance and wisdom, and her words should be heeded by all who read the poem. Overall, Nurse's Song (Innocence) is a timeless classic that will continue to inspire and delight readers for generations to come.
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