The Garden of Love
I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not, writ over the door;
So I turn’d to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.
And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
William Blake (1757 – 1827)
A poem of innocence to experience … youth, represented by play … where I used to play on the green … to age and church restriction … the freedom of love desecrated as flowers became tombstones.
The gates to the ‘Chapel’ shut … (the term chapel usually refers to a place of prayer and worship that is attached to a larger, often nonreligious institution) … the original ‘Chapel’ was a much different ‘Chapel’ that of the glorious flower of innocent love as a child.
The ABCB rhyme scheme is broken in the last stanza … perhaps in line with the break of innocence. Note also that green in the first stanza has been replaced by black.
The duality of Blake is clearly expressed by his distaste of the restrictions of religion in suffocating the natural expression of human desire.
In Australia in 2017, over 200 years since the birth of Blake, we have approval of same sex marriage (marriage-equality). Enjoy the freedom of love this Valentines Day.
… William Blake on Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake