"The Lamb" by William Blake

John Tavener’s arrangement of “The Lamb,” a poem written by William Blake in the late 18th century, touched me deeply this Christmas season. See lyrics below. This is the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge singing Tavener’s arrangement in 2014.

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee.
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

William Blake was an English Romantic poet and painter who lived from 1757 until 1827. This poem was first published in Songs of Innocence in 1789.

[First posted in May 2010. Thanks to Paul S. for sharing a link to a 2008 recording of King’s Choir. ]

A Book of Possibilities

Painting of a girl by a stream, surrounded by orbs, by Gilbert Williams

There was a girl
by a stream
who wrote a book
of possibilities.
She left her heart
on every page.

The girl by the stream
painted the world
with a palette of stars
and a canvas of
earth and sky.

And she sang a secret hymn
to the trees and the flowers
and the birds—
a song only she could sing—
and the stars danced
to her song, a
pure song
from her heart.

And Heaven was
near to her,
home of her
dearest Friends,
and she loved
every living thing
and called them all
by name.

Michael James Fitzgerald

Dashing Down the Aisles

Santa pushing a shopping cart.To the tune of “Jingle Bells.”

Dashing down the aisles,
with a three-wheeled shopping cart.
I always wait too long.
It isn’t very smart.

Cash registers ring,
Making wallets light.
Oh what a thrill it is to be
shopping late tonight.

Oh, I feel bad, my family’s mad,
I think I’ve lost my mind.
Too late to shop on Amazon
I’m always way behind. Hey!

Full of  doubt, all stressed out
The time has slipped away.
What a drag it is to shop
the brick-and-mortar way.

Michael James Fitzgerald

I Don’t

“I Don’t” from Goldendate [Washington] Sentinel, Oct. 24 1918
My parents told me not to smoke—
I don’t;
Nor listen to a naughty joke—
I don’t.
They made it plain I must not wink
At pretty girls, or even think
About intoxicating drink—
I don’t.

To dance and flirt is very wrong—
I don’t.
Wild youths chase women, wine and song—
I don’t.
I kiss no girls, not even one—
I do not know how it is done—
You wouldn’t think I had much fun—
I DON’T.

Author Unknown

From “I Don’t,” Goldendale [Washington] Sentinel, October 24, 1918, page 1. (Cited here.)

Scorner

Snake Courtesy Gospel Media Library
I remember the
bright, sullen days,
when, familiar as blood,
he slipped effortlessly
through razor thin
blades of deceit.

They warned us,
young keepers
of the garden, but
as you might remember,
we refused their
preternatural gambit.

By summoning hiss
he conjured fears and
hot, sulfuric tears,
turning our
pyre of passion into
a smoldering disaster.

Then feigning injury
and taking sudden,
terrified leave,
the slithering seraph
fled beyond,
without us.

Until we meet again,
foe-friend,
may searing
eternal light
chase you far,
far away.

Michael James Fitzgerald

Late Summer Blues

Empty baseball diamondWell, I woke up this morning
about a quarter past yawn,
when I crawled outta bed
it was way before dawn.

Oh, I got them blues, yeah,
them late summer blues.
Let me tell you all about ’em,
the late summer blues.

I drove down to the store
and couldn’t believe my eyes.
From wall to wall there’s nuthin’
but back-to-school supplies.

Oh, I got them blues, yeah,
them late summer blues.
Let me tell you all about it,
my late summer blues.

No more picnics or parades,
we’re done with county fairs,
no more campfires or s’mores
or front porch rockin’ chairs.

Oh, do you got them blues,
them late summer blues?
I want to cry all about it,
them late summer blues.

All ya see is yellow buses
and geese flying south,
if someone says Halloween
gonna punch ’em in the mouth.

Yeah, I got them blues,
Yeah, them late summer blues.
I think they’re here to stay,
The late summer blues.

Michael James Fitzgerald