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William Blake

The Human Abstract

Pity would be no more

If we did not make somebody Poor;

And Mercy no more could be

If all were as happy as we.

And mutual fear brings peace,

Till the selfish loves increase:

Then Cruelty knits a snare,

And spreads his baits with care.

He sits down with holy fears,

And waters the grounds with tears;

Then Humility takes its root

Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade

Of Mystery over his head;

And the Catterpiller and Fly

Feed on the Mystery.

And it bears the fruit of Deceit,

Ruddy and sweet to eat;

And the Raven his nest has made

In its thickest shade.

The Gods of the earth and sea

Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree;

But their search was all in vain:

There grows one in the Human Brain.