William Blake's 1794 "Holy Thursday". Songs of Innocence and of Experience, copy F, object 38.

William Blake's 1794 "Holy Thursday". Songs of Innocence and of Experience, copy F, object 38.

Holy Thursday

Is this a holy thing to see,
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduced to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?

Is that trembling cry a song?
Can it be a song of joy?
And so many children poor?
It is a land of poverty!

And their sun does never shine,
And their fields are bleak & bare,
And their ways are fill’d with thorns
It is eternal winter there.

For where-‘er the sun does shine,
And where-‘er the rain does fall:
Babe can never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.

William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Oxford University Press, 1977.

O sun, you who heal all troubled sight,
you so content me by resolving doubts
it pleases me no less to question than to know.

Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto XI 91-93. Translated by Robert Hollander and Jean Hollander. Random House, 2003.

 

O sol che sani ogne vista turbata,
tu mi contenti sì quando ti solvi,
che, non men che saver, dubbiar m’aggrata.

Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto XI 91-93.