Blake manuscript - Notebook 1808 - 28 Pitiful Case

Edited text:[1]Edit

A Pitiful Case

THE VILLAIN at the gallows tree,
When he is doom’d to die,
To assuage his misery
In virtue’s praise does cry.

5 So Reynolds when he came to die,
To assuage his bitter woe,
Thus aloud did howl and cry: 1
‘Michael Angelo! Michael Angelo!’


The original text:[3]Edit

A Pitiful Case[4]
A Pitiful Case t

The Villain at the Gallows tree
When he is doomd to die
To assuage his misery
In Virtues praise does cry
5 So Reynolds when he came to die
To assuage his bitter woe:
Thus aloud did howl & cry[5]
Michael Angelo Michael Angelo



  1. The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes by John Sampson, Hon. D.Litt. Oxon., 1862–1931. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1908.
  2. 7 did howl and] was heard to MS. 1st rdg. del.
  3. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 512.
  4. Pitiful] mended from Pitiable
  5. 7 did howl &] was heard to 1st rdg del

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.