AG: So, “The School Boy”, now.
I love to rise in a summer morn,/When the birds sing on every tree;/The distant huntsman winds his horn,/And the sky-lark sings with me./ O! what sweet company” – (He’s got an exclamation point, so you have a whole breath for the “O!” actually. That’s what’s really great about this line) – “I love to rise in a summer morn,/When the birds sing on every tree;/The distant huntsman winds his horn,/And the sky-lark sings with me./ O! what sweet company./ But to go to school in a summer morn/O! it drives all joy away;/Under a cruel eye outworn,/The little ones spend the day,/In sighing and dismay./ Ah! then at times I drooping sit,/ And spend many an anxious hour./ Nor in my book can I take delight,/ Nor sit in learnings bower,/ Worn thro’ with the dreary shower/ How can the bird that is born for joy,/ Sit in a cage and sing./ How can a child when fears annoy,/ But droop his tender wing,/And forget his youthful spring./ O! father & mother, if buds are nip’d,/ And blossoms blown away,/And if the tender plants are strip’d/ Of their joy in the springing day,/ By sorrow and cares dismay,/ How shall the summer arise in joy/ Or the summer fruits appear/ Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy/ Or bless the mellowing year,/ When the blasts of winter appear./ How shall the summer arise in joy/ Or the summer fruits appear/ Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy/ Or bless the mellowing year,/When the blasts of winter appear.”
“Youth of delight come hither:/And see the opening morn,/ Image of truth new born/Doubt is fled & clouds of reason/ Dark disputes & artful teazing./ Folly is an endless maze,/ Tangled roots perplex her ways,/How many have fallen there!/They stumble all night over bones of the dead;/ And feel they know not what but care;/And wish to lead others when they should be led.” – (So that’s really summer as the entire conception of Urizen and his role as bard-prophet).
AG: The illustration is that of the bard with a lyre. (It’s) kind of a pretty and ultimate inspirational idea for bard, for poet. (It’s) on page ninety-six of the Erdman (The Illuminated Blake) A really heroic noble bearded fellow with a great big lyre or harp. A giant Irish harp. How many strings? – (Allen begins counting) – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Nine strings here.
“(A) gathering of actors and audience for an epilogue by the author,” says Erdman, in his Illuminated Blake. A gentle invitation to join the group, all easy human beings, a working harp, materials for decoration: a simple vine, three anemone leaves, a palm frond. No heavy trees or flames or livestock or flying things.” He says he notices a “band or cuffs on his right” hand and right ankle. Let’s see. No. I don’t know. Just a real noble conception.
to be continued