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The Life of William Blake Introduction Whether on Idas shady brow Or in the chambers of the East The chambers of the sun that now From antient melody have ceasd Whether in Heavn ye wander fair Or the green corners of the earth Or the blue regions of the air Where the melodious winds have birth Whether on chrystal rocks ye rove Beneath the bosom of the sea Wandring in many a coral grove Fair Nine forsaking Poetry How have you left the antlent love That bards of old enjoyd in you The languid strings do scarcely move The sound is forcd the notes are few In those lines it has been said the eighteenth century dies to music Wilson 1 The writer of these lines was William Blake English poet painter and engraver who created a unique form of illustrated verse His poetry inspired by mystical vision is among the most original lyric and prophetic in the English language William Blake has become one of the English speaking worlds most renowned poets and artists Essick 9 His writings are taught frequently in schools and studied by scholars However in his lifetime his works were hardly known except for a small group of patrons and connoisseurs His symbolic pictures and visionary poems are not always easy to understand because he invented his own mythology to express his ideas His pictures and poems reveal a powerful artistic imagination Early Years William Blake was born on November 28 1757 the third of five children born to James and Catherine Blake His father was a London hosier living at 28 Broad Street Golden Square Although Mr Blake was a non-conformist William was christened on the eleventh of December at St James Church Picadilly Wilson 4 London where he lived for all but three years of his life and the social class of shopkeepers in which he was raised had great influences on the
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