A Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water'd it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole
When the night had veil’d the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.
Peckham Rye was an important spot in the imaginative and creative development of William Blake. When he was eight, he claimed to have seen the Prophet Ezekiel under a bush, and he was probably ten years old when he had a vision of angels in a tree. His biographer, Alexander Gilchrist, told the story: 'sauntering along, the boy looks up and sees a tree filled with angels, bright angelic wings bespangling every branch. Returned home he relates the incident, and only through his mother's intercession escapes a thrashing from his honest father, for telling a lie.' A month later, he had another vision of angels walking towards him through the rye. London's Literary Landmarks