London – a poem by William Blake

I wander through each chartered street,

Near where the chartered Thames does flow,

And mark in every face I meet marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every man,

In every infant’s cry of fear, in every voice, in every ban,

The mind-forged manacles I hear how the chimney-sweeper’s cry

Every black’ning church appeals,

And the hapless soldier’s sigh runs in blood down palace walls.

But most through midnight streets

I hear how the youthful harlot’s curse

Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,

And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.

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