Blake (The Shepherd & The Ecchoing Green)

Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky  continue with their performance of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence

[The Shepherd]

“How sweet is the Shepherds sweet lot,/From the morn to the evening he strays:/He shall follow his sheep all the day/And his tongue shall be filled with praise./  For he hears the lambs innocent call,/And he hears the ewes tender reply,/He is watchful while they are in peace,/For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.”

[The Ecchoing Green]

The Sun does arise,/And make happy the skies./The merry bells ring/To welcome the Spring./ The sky-lark and thrush,/The birds of the bush,/Sing louder around,/To the bells chearful sound./While our sports shall be seen/On the Ecchoing Green.

Old John with white hair/Does laugh away care,/Sitting under the oak,/Among the old folk,/They laugh at our play,/And soon they all say..” – (to Peter Orlovsky) It has to be done from the higher end. It cannot be done from the throat, otherwise it’s the wrong (sound). You’ve got to try it. Because otherwise it’s too loud and too high.

[Allen resumes]

Old John with white hair/Does laugh away care,/Sitting under the oak,/Among the old folk,/They laugh at our play,/And soon they all say./Such such were the joys./When we all girls & boys,/In our youth-time were seen, /On the Ecchoing Green./  Till the little ones weary/No more can be merry/The sun does descend,/And our sports have an end:/ Round the laps of their mothers,/Many sisters and brothers,/Like birds in their nest,/Are ready for rest;/And sport no more seen,/On the darkening Green.”

[Here’s Allen’s 1969 recording of “The Ecchoing Green”]

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