On Another’s Sorrow

$5.00


*Note: this contains the piano reduction only. For the clarinet part, please purchase the entire Songs of Innocence cycle.

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Description

William Blake compiled some of this poems into two sets: Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Songs of Innocence consists of 19 poems written about idyllic scenes, happy themes, and generally child-like innocence. Songs of Experience is a parallel set of 26 poems, often about the same themes but written from the perspective of many years of experience and are often earthy, dark, and grave. These sets of poems contain some very obvious parallels; for instance, in Songs of Innoncence, one can find a pair of poems called “Little Boy Lost” and “Little Boy Found” while in Songs of Experience can be found “Little Girl Lost” and “Little Girl Found.” I chose the following five poems from the Songs of Innocence because of their clear text that I was able to construct into a loose narrative arc. The final song, “On Another’s Sorrow,” will serve as a thematic transition into the yet-to-be-written set of songs from Songs of Experience.

5. On Another’s Sorrow

Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow’s share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird’s grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear—

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant’s tear?

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give His joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

O He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

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