A Poison Tree
by William Blake (1757-1827)
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water’d it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunnéd it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole,
When the night had veil’d the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch’d beneath the tree.
Blake lived in near poverty and died without acclaim. Today, however, he is recognized as one of England’s great figures of art and literature — one of the most inspired and original painters of his time.