William Blake, The Little Black Boy
The Little Black Boy, plate #10 of Songs of Innocence (1789). William Blake. (Dover, 1971).
Courtesy of Dover Publications, Inc.
"For when our souls have learn'd the heat to bear
The cloud will vanish; we shall hear his voice,
Saying: 'Come out from the grove my love & care,
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.'"
Thus did my mother say and kissed me,
And thus I say to little English boy:
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:
I'll shade him from the heat till he can bear
To lean in joy upon our father's knee.
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me.