He is a Cock would


Blake manuscript - Notebook 1808 - 20 He is a Cock would

Edited text:[1]Edit

* * *

He is a Cock would…
And would be a Cock if he could…

The original text:[2]Edit

* * *

He is a Cock would[3]
And would be a Cock[4] if he could



Written sideways on page 29 in the Notebook, probably between 1803 and 1804 (however G. Keynes placed it into the section 1808-1811). In August 1803 Private Cock (trooper) supported the John Scoffield's (Capt. Leathes's troop of 1st or Royal Dragoons) accusation and charge of sedition against Blake, however after the Sussex Assizes in January 1804 (in Chichester) Blake was acquitted. G. Keynes thought that the couplet is not completed and added suspension points at the ends of the both lines.

  1. "Blake Complete Writings", ed. Geoffrey Keynes, pub. OUP 1966/85, p. 540.
  2. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 503.
  3. [wont del.]
  4. [Crow del.]

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.