I wander thro’ each charter’d street
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear–
How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls;
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born Infant’s tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.
‘London’ - William Blake (Songs of Experience)
I had no patience to enter into remonstrance and explanation with the uninstructed inhabitants of my present residence. I had seen too much of the reign of triumphant falsehood to have that sanguine confidence in the effects of my innocence, which would have suggested itself to the mind of any other person of my propensities and my age. I could not endure the thought of opposing the venom that was thus scattered against me, in detail and through its minuter particles.
Mr Falkland had always been to my imagination an object of wonder, and that which excites our wonder we scarcely ever suppose ourselves competent to analyse.
I compared them to death, which must infallibly overtake us, we know not when; but the possibility of whose arrival next year, next week, tomorrow, must be left out of the calculation of him who would enter upon any important or well concerted undertaking.
But the law has neither eyes, nor ears, nor bowels of humanity; and it turns into marble the hearts of all those that are nursed in its principles.
This is the form in which Tyranny and injustice oblige me to seek for refuge; but better, a thousand times better is it, thus to incur contempt with the dregs of mankind, than to trust to the tender mercies of our superiors!