Hello to everybody!
I just studied William Blake at school in English Literature (I'm an Italian student) and then I listened a song written by Loreena McKennitt called Lullaby and I discovered that the words are taken from a Blake poem. I think that its name is Lullaby, like the song, but I'm not sure of this. I searched in the web other informations about this poem, I found the site http://www.blakearchive.org.uk/main.html , but in the archive I didn't found anything about the poem I'm searching. I'm writing to you its first lines:

O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue
To drown the throat of war! - When the senses
Are shaken, and the soul is driven to madness,
Who can stand? When the souls of the oppressed
I would know the book, or the collection of poems to which it belongs. And, if it's possibile, I would like to find an Italian poetic traduction of this "Lullaby", if I can call it in this way.
Is there anyone who can help me?
Thank you anyway!
Rocky3
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Hello to everybody! I just studied William Blake at school in English Literature (I'm an Italian student) and then I ... the senses Are shaken, and the soul is driven to madness, Who can stand? When the souls of the oppressed

I have found this in "Poetry and Prose of William Blake, edited by Geoffrey Keynes, The Nonesuch Library, London, 1956" (first published by The Nonesuch Press August 1927).
It is in a section titled "Poetical Sketches" (originally printed 1783).

The heading of the poem is "Prologue, intended for a dramatic piece of King Edward the Fourth".
I would know the book, or the collection of poems to which it belongs. And, if it's possibile, I would ... "Lullaby", if I can call it in this way. Is there anyone who can help me? Thank you anyway! Rocky3

Peter Duncanson
UK
(posting from u.c.l.e)
Hello to everybody! I just studied William Blake at school in English Literature (I'm an Italian student) and then I ... this "Lullaby", if I can call it in this way. Is there anyone who can help me? Thank you anyway!

It's called 'Prologue, intended for a Dramatic Piece of King Edward the Fourth', from "Poetical Sketches" (1783) - his first book of poetry.
John Briggs
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Il Sat, 29 Jan 2005 18:39:20 +00, Peter Duncanson ha scritto:
It is in a section titled "Poetical Sketches" (originally printed 1783).

Yes, thank you! In my text-book I saw it as one of the first collection written by Blake.
The heading of the poem is "Prologue, intended for a dramatic piece of King Edward the Fourth".

Perfect, thank you very much! Now... I hope not to ask too much questions, but could you suggest me some possible interpretations of this poem? What does Blake mean with it? I particularly can't understand the last line: "Hear it not, Heaven, thy Ministers have done it", and the first words: "O for a voice like thunder"... Could you help me again?
Thank you anyway!
Rocky3
Il Sat, 29 Jan 2005 18:39:20 +00, Peter Duncanson ha scritto:

I am not an expert on the meaning of Blake's work. However, I will read this piece tomorrow, and attempt to understand it.

If no one else has explained it in the next 24 hours, I'll see what I can do.

Peter Duncanson
UK
(posting from u.c.l.e)
At 22:05:28 on Sat, 29 Jan 2005, Peter Duncanson
(Email Removed) wrote in
(Email Removed):
I particularly can't understand the last line: "Hear it not, ... and the first words: "O for a voice like thunder"...

I am not an expert on the meaning of Blake's work. However, I will read this piece tomorrow, and attempt to understand it. If no one else has explained it in the next 24 hours, I'll see what I can do.

I don't know the poem either, so can't help with the last line (which must depend on what has gone before), but "O for a voice like thunder" means "I wish I had a voice as loud as thunder (so that everyone could hear what I say)".

Molly Mockford
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety - Benjamin Franklin (My Reply-To address *is* valid, though may not remain so for ever.)
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I am not an expert on the meaning of Blake's ... the next 24 hours, I'll see what I can do.

I don't know the poem either, so can't help with the last line (which must depend on what has gone ... thunder" means "I wish I had a voice as loud as thunder (so that everyone could hear what I say)".

Oh, for a voice like thunder, and a tongue
To drown the throat of war ! When the senses
Are shaken, and the soul is driven to madness,
Who can stand ? When the souls of the oppressed
Fight in the troubled air that rages, who can stand ? When the whirlwind of fury comes from the
Throne of God, when the frowns of his countenance
Drive the nations together, who can stand ?
When sin claps his broad wings over the battle,
And sails rejoicing in the flood of death;
When souls are torn to everlasting fire,
And fiends of hell rejoice upon the slain,
Oh, who can stand? Oh, who hath caused this ?
Oh, who can answer at the throne of God ?
The kings and nobles of the land have done it !
Hear it not, Heaven, thy ministers have done it !

John Briggs
Il Sat, 29 Jan 2005 22:05:28 +00, Peter Duncanson ha scritto:
If no one else has explained it in the next 24 hours, I'll see what I can do.

Thank you anyway!
Il Sat, 29 Jan 2005 23:14:26 +00, Molly Mockford ha scritto:
I don't know the poem either, so can't help with the last line (which must depend on what has gone ... thunder" means "I wish I had a voice as loud as thunder (so that everyone could hear what I say)".

John Briggs had just posted it in the integral version. But... thank you for explaining me the first line! If you can, I'm waiting for you to understand also the last line.
Thank you very much anyway! And sorry for my bad English, but I'm an Italian student!
Rocky3
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