16 May 2009

The Tyger

One of the gifts I received for my most recent birthday was a copy of William Blake's Songs of Innocence & of Experience.

Of the songs, perhaps the most famous is "The Tyger", which is presented below. The poem was the inspiration for several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and the phrase "Fearful Symmetry" became a chapter in the classic graphic novel, Watchmen. The chapter is nearly completely symmetrical.

* * *
The Tyger

Tyger Tyger, 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 sieze 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 water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb makd thee?

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

* * *
Rock on.