Blake, William - Does the whale worship at thy footsteps as the hungry dog?
Type of spiritual experience
A Blake illustration for Milton's "Paradise Lost"...
A description of the experience
William Blake – from The Complete Poems
Does the whale worship at thy footsteps as the hungry dog?
Or does he scent the mountain prey, because his nostrils wide
Draw in the ocean? Does his eye discern the flying cloud
As the ravens eye? Or does he measure the expanse like the vulture?
Does the still spider view the cliffs where eagles hide their young?
Or does the fly rejoice, because the harvest is brought in?
Does not the eagle scorn the earth and despise the treasures beneath?
But the mole knoweth what is there, and the worm shall tell it thee
With what sense is it that the chicken shuns the ravenous hawk?
With what sense does the tame pigeon measure out the expanse?
With what sense does the bee form cells? Have not the mouse and frog
Eyes and ears and sense of touch? Yet are their habitations
And their pursuits, as different as their forms and as their joys.
Ask the wild ass why he refuses burdens; and the meek camel
Why he loves man; is it because of eye ear mouth or skin
Or breathing nostrils? No, for these the wolf and tyger have
Ask the blind worm the secrets of the grave and why her spires
Love to curl round the bones of death; and ask the ravenous snake
Where she gets poison; and the winged eagle why he loves the sun
And then tell me the thoughts of man, that have been hid of old