“Laughing Song” by William Blake

LaughingSongAs I continue reading through William Blake’s Songs of Innocence, the next poem up is “Laughing Song.”

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

when the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing “Ha, ha he!”

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of “Ha, ha, he!”

I read through this poem twice this morning, seeking for some hidden spiritual symbolism that I have come to expect from Blake. I concluded that there is nothing hidden in here and the poem expresses exactly what it appears to: that joy is the common state found in nature. The natural world exists in harmony and if one slows down and looks around, then that person will become aware of the joyous balance in nature.

Currently, many of us live in a world far removed from nature, where we get in our cars so we can race from our offices to the strip malls and back to our homes in gated and controlled communities. But if we were to take an hour and quietly sit in a place where nature abounds, we would experience the same feelings that Blake expresses, and we would hear the joyous laughter within the sounds of nature. All we need to do is slow down and spend a little time in a natural setting in order for us to hear the Laughing Song.


Filed under Literature

4 responses to ““Laughing Song” by William Blake

  1. Elly Cooke

    I read Blake for my Romantic module at university this semester, I loved the prints so much and found the parallels between Songs of Innocence and Experience really interesting. Great post!

    • Stuff Jeff Reads

      Hi Elly. Thanks for your comment!! I also studied Blake when I took English Romanticism in college and was moved by the imagery in his prints. You will be reading more great works in your class (kind of envious). Enjoy and thanks again for taking the time to read my post. Cheers!

  2. Michele

    You know I love the romantics. that’s all I have to say…