In this installment, Seth Michelson reads “A Little BOY Lost” by William Blake. Michelson lives in Los Angeles, California. He holds degrees in poetry from Johns Hopkins University and Sarah Lawrence College, and he is currently pursuing a PhD in comparative literature from USC, where he studies the poetry of Latin America (particularly Argentina and Uruguay) in relation to that of the US and UK. He also runs the Fringe Poets Reading Series, and his first collection of poetry, Maestro of Brutal Splendor, is available from Jeanne Duval Editions.
William Blake, “A Little BOY Lost”
Nought loves another as itself
Nor venerates another so,
Nor is it possible to thought
A greater than itself to know:
And Father, how can I love you,
Or any of my brothers more?
I love you like the little bird
That picks up crumbs around the door.
The Priest sat by and heard the child.
In trembling zeal he siez’d his hair:
He led him by his little coat;
And all admir’d the Priestly care.
And standing on the altar high.
Lo what a fiend is here! said he:
One who sets reason up for judge
Of our most holy Mystery.
The weeping child could not be heard,
The weeping parents wept in vain:
They strip’d him to his little shirt.
And bound him in an iron chain.
And burn’d him in a holy place.
Where many had been burn’d before:
The weeping parents wept in vain.
Are such things done on Albions shore.