Poem Inspiration Auguries of Innocence by William Blake featured color
Inspiration can come from many places. A painting you admire, a tree you see on your way home, the sun setting in the sky, the stars above you on a cold winter night, and sometimes, a poem. “Auguries of Innocence” by William Blake is one of my favorite poems.
Poem Inspiration Auguries of Innocence by William Blake

William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Many people know the first few sentence of “Auguries of Innocence” .

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

But few know the entirety of the work. It is actually a quite long poem and the first sentences are only the tip of the iceberg. It speaks of innocence entwined with evil and corruption. Here is the entire poem:

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro’ all its regions.
A dog starv’d at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm’d for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf’s and lion’s howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

The wild deer, wand’ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus’d breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher’s knife.

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won’t believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever’s fright.

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov’d by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov’d
Shall never be by woman lov’d.

The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider’s enmity.
He who torments the chafer’s sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.

The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother’s grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.

He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar’s dog and widow’s cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The gnat that sings his summer’s song
Poison gets from slander’s tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy’s foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist’s jealousy.

The prince’s robes and beggar’s rags
Are toadstools on the miser’s bags.
A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro’ the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Throughout all these human lands;
Tools were made and born were hands,
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;

This is caught by females bright,
And return’d to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven’s shore.

The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar’s rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.

The soldier, arm’d with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer’s sun.
The poor man’s farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric’s shore.

One mite wrung from the lab’rer’s hands
Shall buy and sell the miser’s lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.

He who mocks the infant’s faith
Shall be mock’d in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne’er get out.

He who respects the infant’s faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child’s toys and the old man’s reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar’s laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour’s iron brace.

When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket’s cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.

The emmet’s inch and eagle’s mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne’er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They’d immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation’s fate.
The harlot’s cry from street to street
Shall weave old England’s winding-sheet.

The winner’s shout, the loser’s curse,
Dance before dead England’s hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro’ the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

Do you have any favorite poems? Share them in the comments!

Stay tuned for more inspiration!

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  1. I dont have any favorite poems. I had a hard time writing poems when I was in school.

    1. Oh I understand, I could not write a poem if I tried!

  2. Man, I haven’t read a poem in who knows how long. That was really beautifully written, I can see why you like it so much!

    1. Yes, I usually don’t read poems but when I discovered this one I really liked it. It is very long though.

  3. i have def not read that poem. i honestly haven’t read poetry since i was out of school. but this is beautiful!

    1. Not many people have. I actually started liking poetry after watching the TV show “Penny Dreadful”, funnily enough.

  4. This is such a good poem. I don’t have one favorite myself.. I have always liked Robert Frost though, and the short Edgar Allen Poe stories/poems

    1. Oooh I love The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. For some reasons, I still haven’t read any Edgar Allen Poe, I should really fix that soon.

  5. Beautifully written poem. I also loved writing poems back in school, but just got too busy now. Lang Leav’s my favorite.

    1. Thank you for sharing, I’ll have a look at Lang Leav.

  6. I really like how you write, but above all I like how you let yourself be inspired by your emotions of the moment. You’re right, all we need is in us and around us.

    1. Thank you!

  7. Such a beautiful poem! I love the finishing that God is indeed light! Anyway, I get most of the poems I read from my brother who absolutely loves writing them.

    1. Oh I’d be curious to see what your brother writes. I’m incapable of writing poetry.

  8. I love this poem, it is so lovely, if a little long!

    1. Very long, but beautiful!

  9. I don’t have a favorite poem but this one is beautiful!

    1. Thanks!

  10. I used to write poems at school. I think that they are romantic and basically my favorite part of literature. This is a good one! Great post.


    1. Thank you! 🙂

  11. my favorite poem is by Sabrina where she discusses her depression and how it holds he hostage in her own body. It explains so clearly how mental illness can not be seen but felt tremendously

    1. I just read it. It’s so beautifully written and it’s about such a hard but important subject. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Gorgeous poem! My favorite poems are by Sylvia Plath probably, she had a darker perspective that I find endearing.

    1. Oh, I really like Sylvia Plath too!

  13. The poem is such a nice inspiration for a Sunday morning! happy that I found it just now while having a coup of cappuccino!

    Have a great weekend!

    lots of love, Miri

    1. Thank you! And yum, cappuccino!

  14. Hi,

    I don’t know when I began dislike poetry since I loved it from a little girl all throughout college.

    Have a beautiful Sunday!

    1. It’s not for everyone. I’m the opposite, I didn’t like it a few years ago but now I quite enjoy it. Have a wonderful Sunday as well!

  15. Poetry just melts my heart every time I read it. He has such beautiful pieces that flow so well in such a tragic way.

    1. I think so too!

  16. I used to love writing haikus in grade school. I’m a little rusty these days, ha! Poetry is so beautiful and really speaks to the soul when done well.

    1. I love haikus, short and beautiful.

  17. My favourite has to be The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock by TS Eliot!

    1. A beautiful one as well! Thank you for sharing!

  18. I love to read poetry but I couldn’t actually name a poet to you! I need to get educated

    1. Haha there are so many out there it’s hard to remember all the names

  19. Really a nice poem and great inspiration. Thanks for sharing this post.

    1. You’re welcome!

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