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William Blake
The Tyger
ca. 1795
Book plate: relief etching print on paper


Plates from two copies of Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Copy K,

Morgan Library and Museum, The

Excerpt from:
The Morgan Library, William Blake, (1757-1827), The Tyger

"The Tyger was one of Blake's poems that was known and admired during his lifetime. These two plates are from a copy of Songs of Innocence and of Experience that has plates from two different sets. Blake himself printed and numbered the plate in brown. It is a good example of a relief etching print containing both text and image that also demonstrates the manner in which a plate would be printed in a base color to which watercolor might be added. The second, elaborately colored copy was printed and colored after Blake's death by an unidentified person."

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William Blake
The Tyger

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 spears
And waterd 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?

Courtesy Poetry Foundation


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William Blake, (British)
b. November 28, 1757
d. 1827


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