The poetical works of William Blake, lyrical and miscellaneous/The Tiger (second version)

For works with similar titles, see The Tyger.



TIGER, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Framed thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burned that fire within thine eyes?
On what wings dared he aspire?
What the hand dared seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
When thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand formed thy dread feet?

What the hammer, what the chain,
Knit thy strength and forged thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dared thy deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  1. At p. 106 I have given this noble poem as it appears in Blake's engraved Songs of Experience. The present version is the one which figures in Mr. Gilchrist's book, and shows certain variations on MS. authority. These may be regarded as improvements; and I think it better to include this version as well.