Thursday, May 04, 2006


The Tiger
William Blake

Tiger Tiger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye.
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its 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?

Tiger Tiger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


Jeff said...

the first stanza of this poem is at the beginning of one of my favorite science fiction books, The Stars My Destination by alfred bester.

and just for the record, this tiger's camouflage sucks.

spigo said...

i'm sorry, but i cannot lie,
this does not rhyme with symmetry.

that's always bothered me about this poem. not that i'm a stickler for rhyming. it's just that he uses AABB everywhere else. and that's a stretch even for near rhyme.

Windy Lampson said...

Yeah... I have to agree with you on that. Every time I read it in my head, it comes out like symmetrie (i mean with a long I) -sorry, I don't know how to put that symbol above the "i" on this.

Jeff said...


Windy Lampson said...

yeah- that's what i was trying to say.