Sound the flute!

Here is William Blake, full of the joys of spring – the birds are singing, the children are playing, the new lambs are frolicking, what could be more joyful. I can easily compare this to one of Boris Johnson’s favourite songs, Three Little Birds, by Bob Marley, for its exuberance and vitality.

William Blake : Spring

Sound the flute!
Now it’s mute.
Birds delight
Day and night.
In the dale,
Lark in the sky,
Merrily, merrily to welcome in the year.

Little boy
Full of joy,
Little girl
Sweet and small.
Cock does crow,
So do you.
Merry voice,
Infant noise,
Merrily, merrily to welcome in the year.

Little lamb
Here I am
Come and lick
My white neck.
Let me pull
Your soft wool.
Let me kiss
Your soft face,
Merrily, merrily we welcome in the year.

William Blake (1757-1827) P. 1789

From <;

However, for some reason, it seems to me that the longer final line in each stanza, ‘merrily, merrily…’ disturbs the pace of the overall rhythm of the piece. When reading this out loud, I found myself tripping up over this change of pace each time it occurs. Or maybe I’m just clumsy.

The Poetry Dude


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