Pilgrimpace's Blog

the little vagabond
December 8, 2010, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Dear mother, dear mother, the church is cold,

But the ale-house is healthy and pleasant and warm;

Besides I can tell where I am used well,

Such usage in Heaven will never do well.


But if at the church they would give us some ale,

And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,

We’d sing and we’d pray all the live-long day,

Nor ever once wish from the church to stray.


Then the parson might preach, and drink, and sing,

And we’d be as happy as birds in the spring;

And modest Dame Lurch, who is always at church,

Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.


And God, like a father rejoicing to see

His children as pleasant and happy as he,

Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the barrel,

But kiss him, and give him both drink and apparel.

– William Blake

This is a favourite poem. full of insight and challenging love.  Good stuff for Advent.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This is wonderful! Strong ale in church? Whatever next! Appealing, though.

Comment by solitary walker

Its good st Bedes has got heating installed and cod liver oil is available!!
Perhaps we could hold services at the hare&hounds? Old Blake was a naughty boy, but the most honest artist that walked upon englands green and pleasant land

Comment by John McGill

Thanks Robert and John. I am wondering how much his need for good heating was due to the re-playing of Adam and Eve. But yes, there can certainly be honest warmth and joy in the ale house, and we need to find that in Church too. Mines a pint!


Comment by pilgrimpace

Yes, it would be good to do a walk together, this is the busy season perhaps in the new year.
Put some more Blake poems on your blog.
I wonder what Blake was thinking about when he wrote ” robin red breast in a cage puts all the heavans in a rage ”

Comment by John McGill

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