Famous Sad Poem

This poem was published in Songs of Innocence in 1789. The innocence suggested within the poem is that sympathy alone can comfort and heal.

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My family went through some tough times and I first read this poem after we got help from our friends. This poem always reminds me that there is always hope for people.

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On Another's Sorrow

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Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no!  never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear --

And not sit beside the next,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
Oh no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
He doth give his joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

Oh He gives to us his joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled an gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

more William Blake

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Keegan by Keegan, Texas
  • 4 years ago

My family went through some tough times and I first read this poem after we got help from our friends. This poem always reminds me that there is always hope for people.

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