The Tyger

William Blake

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 seize 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 spearsAnd water'd heaven with their tears:Did he smile his work to see?Did he who made the Lamb make thee?Tyger Tyger burning bright,In the forests of the night:What immortal hand or eye,Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

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William Blake was born in London in 1757. He was educated at home and then worked as an apprentice to the engraver James Basire before joining the Royal Academy in 1779. In 1782 he married Catherine Boucher, and a year later began his career as a poet when he published Poetical Sketches. This was followed by Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1794), which he also designed and engraved. His other major literary works include The Book of Thel (1789), The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (c. 1793), Milton (1804–8), and Jerusalem (1804–20). He produced many paintings and engravings during his lifetime. Blake died in 1827.

Since its first publication in 1965, this edition has been widely hailed as the best available text of Blake's poetry and prose. Now revised, if includes up-to-date work on variants, chronology of poems and critical commentary by Harold Bloom.

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