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Notebook 34 - To my Mirtle

1st reading:[1]Edit


To my Mirtle

5 Why should I be bound to thee,
6 O my lovely mirtle tree?
   [Love, free love, cannot be bound
   To any tree that grows on ground. del]
1 To a lovely mirtle bound,
2 Blossoms show'ring all around,
   [Like to dung upon the ground,
   Underneath my mirtle bound. del]
3 O, how sick & weary I
4 Underneath my mirtle lie.

________

2nd reading:[2]Edit


To my Mirtle

To a lovely mirtle bound
Blossoms showring all around
O how sick & weary I
Underneath my mirtle lie
Why should I be bound to thee
O my lovely mirtle tree[3]

________

Wikisource notesEdit

  1. "Blake Complete Writings", ed. Geoffrey Keynes, pub. OUP 1966/85, p. 176.
  2. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 475
  3. To my Mirtle N 106 rev
    Salvaging unused lines from the “Infant Sorrow” stanzas of p 111 (see above, p 798), Blake first wrote down the “O how sick” couplet but then erased it before the ink was dry. He then copied the stanza numbered “1” and then canceled its second couplet, perhaps not before continuing with two more couplets from p 111 on the “bound-ground” rhyme:
    To a lovely mirtle bound
    Blossoms showring all around
    Like to dung upon the ground
    Underneath my mirtle bound
    He then canceled, selected, and rearranged lines to make the present poem, all that remains not lined through in the Notebook, and he gave it a title. (A similar process of reduction takes place with the “Fayette” lines. See below.)
 

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.