The Human Abstract

By William Blake

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody Poor;
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.


And mutual fear brings peace,
Till the selfish loves increase:
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.


He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the grounds with tears;
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.


Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head;
And the Catterpiller and Fly
Feed on the Mystery.


And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat;
And the Raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.


The Gods of the earth and sea
Sought thro’ Nature to find this Tree;
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the Human Brain.

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