William Blake, 19th century English romantic poet on “The Clod and the Pebble”

In his poem The Clod and the Pebble, William Blake uses earthy imagery to poignantly illustrate the distinction between a selfless and a selfish heart.  Listen to the words and sense their rhythm…

                                               “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.”

As one easily captured by the words and verse of poetic insight, it causes me to reflect and ask, am I a “Clod” (the ironically desirable character trait) or a “Pebble”?  And what of you?


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