Love through the ages

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lake is considered as one of the first of the Romantic Poets. He is also well known for his paintings and prints. Whilst Blake was largely unrecognised in his own lifetime, he is now considered as vitally important in the development of English Literature. He is known for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents of his work, perhaps the most well known being his ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’
The Clod and The Pebble from ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ (1789)
Love seeketh not Itself to please,

‘Nor for itself hath any care;

‘But for another gives its ease,

‘And builds a heaven in Hell's despair.’

So sang a little Clod of Clay,

Trodden with the cattle's feet :

But a Pebble of the brook

Warbled out these metres meet :

‘Love seeketh only Self to please,

‘To bind another to its delight ;

‘Joys in another's loss of ease,

‘And builds a Hell in Heaven's despite.’

William Blake

The Sick Rose –

from ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ (1789)

O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed

Of crimson joy;
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

1775-1783 – American Revolution

1789-1799 – French Revolution

1807 – The Abolition of the Slave Trade

Romantic Period – 1785-1830

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)


ike Blake, Wordsworth was one of the first Romantic Poets. Wordsworth became known as one of ‘the Lake Poets’ after his move to the Lake District where he lived most of his life. Wordsworth is probably best known for his semi-autobiographical work ‘The Prelude’ which was revised several times throughout his life. Wordsworth was England’s Poet Laureate from 1843 to his death in 1850.
Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known (1800)
Strange fits of passion have I known:

And I will dare to tell,

But in the Lover's ear alone,

What once to me befell.

When she I loved looked every day

Fresh as a rose in June,

I to her cottage bent my way,

Beneath an evening-moon.

Upon the moon I fixed my eye,

All over the wide lea;

With quickening pace my horse drew nigh

Those paths so dear to me.

And now we reached the orchard-plot;

And, as we climbed the hill,

The sinking moon to Lucy's cot

Came near, and nearer still.

In one of those sweet dreams I slept,

Kind Nature's gentlest boon!

And all the while my eyes I kept
On the descending moon.

My horse moved on; hoof after hoof

He raised, and never stopped:

When down behind the cottage roof,

At once, the bright moon dropped.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide

Into a Lover's head! "O mercy!" to myself I cried,

18th-19th Century (1700-1900) – Industrial Revolution

If Lucy should be dead!"

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