William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

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The Angel


I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne'er beguiled!

And I wept both night and day,
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart's delight.

So he took his wings, and fled;
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten-thousand shields and spears.

Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Thursday, June 14, 2012

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Read poems about / on: angel, dream, red, night, time, heart, fear

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  • Michael Pruchnicki (11/19/2011 1:12:00 PM)

    Let me offer a revised and improved version of my first comment posted 6/14/09, I meant to say that the speaker in the 'The Angel' withheld a secret of a shameful deed from the heavenly visitor. And it's not 'Willie's' feminine side that he is ashamed of, but whatever it is it bothers him no end! Where some of you get your notions from leaves me befuddled at times! (Report) Reply

  • Herman Chiu (6/16/2010 8:32:00 PM)

    Blake and Angels again?
    Yes, and another perfectly insightful metaphor, too!
    Thank you again, Blake! (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (6/14/2010 8:44:00 AM)

    In this poem the Poet (not necessarily the biographical Blake) denies himself the feminine side that would have made him whole. He sees himself in a dream as female and weeps to be depicted so. But though he weeps he knows his heart’s delight would be to incorporate that element into his psyche, yet keeps that secret from the mild Angel, and loses the opportunity. As he grows older he fortifies himself against this female side, and again given the opportunity to balance his nature, is so set in his masculinity that the Angel comes in vain. Perhaps Blake here is emphasising the need to balance the Yin and the Yang in the human psyche. (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (6/14/2010 5:46:00 AM)

    Maiden Queen, takes many aspects. Being something that is not you or undesired and shielding against it weights. (Report) Reply

  • Manonton Dalan (6/14/2010 2:00:00 AM)

    oh! willie you finally found somebody that respect your feminine side which you fear to be discovered but too old to get out of the closet...probably everybody know
    they just ain't telling you. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (6/14/2010 1:50:00 AM)

    Youthful time wasted in life is distorted in dreams as depicted in the poem! In dreams all complications seem dragging the matter to endless solution! It is a dream indeed! (Report) Reply

  • Is It Poetry (6/14/2009 12:56:00 PM)

    it is a man great in sound guarding the innocence of youth knowing the grey holds sway, words though son in thought in time it fades to grave, beautys grace rule of law keeps most safe...iip..short is breath held lives to long, in song.. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (6/14/2009 10:09:00 AM)

    I dreamed a dream that I was a virgin queen guarded by a messenger sent from God to protect me and guide me. My angel soothed my fears at first, but I hid secret delights from him. The secrecy grew and festered in me like a deadly growth which the angel recognized and at once withdrew. The rosy red of dawn revealed and brought to light my secret sins. I withdrew behind a defensive position, fortified and armed against a divine incursion into my secret realm. When the messenger appeared again, he realized the futility of his mission, for my youth had fled and I had fallen into the sere of life - all was withered and gray.I had chosen to reject God's good graces and denied access to the divine messenger with the good news. (Report) Reply

  • Mark Nwagwu (6/14/2008 6:42:00 AM)

    Wonderful, I'd say - to be armed with the mistakes of youth that they now become, in the grey years, the weapons to fight the battle of life. The angels in our youth train us on how to deal with our failings and this experience thus becomes the stuff of our life, renewing us in the grey years grown from our youth (Report) Reply

  • A . (5/18/2007 2:01:00 PM)

    W.Blake writes as if the Goddess, The Holy Ghost, The Mother speaks and refers to these meta modern times, the Last Judgment.
    In the beginning Blake refers to the time
    The Goddess came on this earth as Mother Mary.
    At that time human beings were not at the level to
    Understand the Divine Incarnation of Her Son,
    So She wept a lot.
    But, after 2.000 years the morning broke again and
    The Goddess again walks this earth.
    In a human body She came once more but
    in it all Her forms were drawn.
    She has come to fight this time
    with all Her forms and weapons divine,
    the ignorance in human mind.
    The Infinite in the finite dwells but
    manifested on the forty-seventh year of age. (Report) Reply

  • Krt Krtie (11/14/2005 9:07:00 PM)

    i don't understand this........... why oh why can't u make your poems simpler, william? this is very frusturating to figure out. hmm.......... must go find an easier to decipher one. (Report) Reply

Read all 16 comments »

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