Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thoughts on Blake’s “To the Evening Star”

"To the Evening Star"

Thoughts on Blake’s “To the Evening Star”

Thou fair-haired 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 wing 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 the lion glares through the dun forest.
The fleeces of our flocks are covered with
Thy sacred dew; protect with them with thine influence.

This poem is a prayer. What lies unsaid is the nature of the fallen darkness that Blake is praying to avoid. Blake knows the danger that night can call on any man who falls asleep. He prays that one true light he knows to be the evening star, the star that carries the light of day into the ensuing darkness, watch over him. The humility shown in this prayer is like one of a child praying for protection at night. Blake shows wisdom in knowing the Passover that comes from prayer.

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