The ecchoing green
- " the sun does arise and make happy the skies" positive images
- "such such were the joys" nostalgia
- "the sun does descend and our sports have an end"
- "on the darkening green" darker message, loss of traditions, the looming industrial revolution.
- "they laugh at our play" mocking of children from 'experienced' adults.
- "sport no more seen" loss of tradition, hints at misery brought with the industrial revolution.
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- "my angel-guarded bed" imagery
- "over many a tangle spray" Difficulty of journey
- "what wailing wight calls the watchmen of the night?" alliteration
- "I am set to light the ground as the beetle does his round"
- rooting for the underdog
- promoting christian message of helping others
- glow-worn is rich and ant is poor
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Nurse's song (innocence)
- "heard on the hill" phonologically sounds like 'herd' pastoral ideas.
- "come come leave off play"
- "no no let us play"
- "the hills are covered with sheep"
- "well well go and play"
- "the little ones leaped and shouted and laugh'd"
- "all the hills ecchoed"
- nature is at one with mankind
- nurse is kind, finds joy in the children's play "my heart is as rest within my breast"
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Nurse's song (experience)
- "whisprings are in the dale" contrast of language to innocence, whispering has connotations of secrecy.
- " my face turns green and pale" negative use of green, jealousy of the children. Pale has connotations of ill health.
- "the sun has gone down" threat
- "your spring and your day are wasted in play" direct adresses children, threatening.
- "winter and night in disguise" trickery, nature hides doom brought with winter and night.
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Songs of innocence: introduction
- Simple lexical choices
- Easy to understand
- "piping songs of pleasant glee"
- "he wept with joy to hear"
- "i made a rural pen, and i stained the water clear"
- Dark undertones
- Pre-lapsarian eden
- Looming spoiling of the natural world that comes with the industrial revolution + hints at ruining of innocence
5 of 9
- Simple song like structure, like a song and like life for a baby.
- "Joy is my name" capitalised, shows the baby is the essence of joy.
- "sweet joy befall thee!" exclamative shows mother's love for the child.
- "thou dost smile" all the baby's needs are being met.
- "I sing the while" shows joy is only temporary, forshadowing.
- Unpredictable rhyme scheme, like the childs unpredictable life?
6 of 9
- "my father wept" mother died/baby not welcome/metaphor for God.
- "helpless" harsh S sound, hints at neglect.
- "like a fiend hid in a cloud" devil/ evil connotations.
- "struggling in my fathers hands" God, loosing touch with faith. Harsh S sound.
- "striving against my swaddling bands" life is restricting. Harsh S Sound.
- "bound and weary" children are bound to the church from birth.
- Predictable rhyming couplet rhyme scheme, life is predictabally going to remain miserable.
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The chimney sweeper (innocence)
- "weep weep weep weep" repeated ee vowel sound, like a lamb bleating.
- "lock'd up in coffins of black" metaphor for chimneys and how many would die in them.
- "wash in a river and shine in the sun" freedom, however forshadows fate of death as the water will be stained black. Irreversible loss of innocence.
- "they rise upon clouds" imagery of descending into heaven, longing for death?
- "an angel who had a bright key" Ironic, represents hypocrasy. Being set free would mean they die on the streets. Angel symbolises people.
- "if all do their duty, they need not fear harm" children are taught their circumstance is test from God, fear hell at such a young age. Blake would not be happy with this.
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The chimney sweeper (experience)
- "a little black thing amoung the snow" Dehumanising the children, contrast of black and white= innocence/experience.
- "they are both gone up to the church to pray" 'up' has connotations of death- buried at the church?
- "i was happy amoung the heath, and smiled amoung the winters snow" voice of chimney sweeper, happiness seen as negative, sinful.
- "they clothed me in the clothes of death" child is born to die.
- "they think they have done me no injury" 'they' is Blakes attack on the church. Think because child is playing that they are happy.
- "gone to praise God and his priest and king" triplet is like the trinity, but spirit is being replaced with 'priest'. Preists are falsely being treated like they are God-like.
- "who make up heaven of our misery" contrast of heaven and misery. Factory owners make a fortune from employing children, money is their 'heaven'. Meanwhile the orphans are miserable. Idea of heaven isn't for the poor.
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AQA Pastoral Literature (A2) - Blake key quotes, summaries, context, form, structure, language and concerns!