Pity. Blake felt better about the word than we are likely to. An early
biography tells that as a youth Blake had fallen in love with a girl
with a higher economy status, but she had rejected him. He said that
Catherine pitied him and he married her.
SONGS of Innocence 18
The Divine Image.
To Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
All pray in their distress:
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.
For Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
Is God our father dear:
And Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
Is Man his child and care.
For Mercy has a human heart
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.
Then every man of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine
Love Mercy Pity Peace.
And all must love the human form,
In heathen, turk or jew.
Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell,
There God is dwelling too
Like most things Pity is a contrary, which is to say there' s true
Pity and false Pity. The contrary of the above is set forth here
in this one from Songs of Experience:
The Human Abstract.
Pity would be no more,
If we did not make somebody Poor:
And Mercy no more could be,
If all were as happy as we;
And mutual fear brings peace;
Till the selfish loves increase.
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.
He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the ground with tears:
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.
Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head;
And the Catterpiller and Fly,
Feed on the Mystery.
And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat;
And the Raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.
The Gods of the earth and sea,
Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the Human Brain
God and Man are Mercy Pity Peace and Love:
What a wonderful expression! It defines God and Man.
So when we pray, we're praying to 'the human form divine,
and we're praying to God, the same thing.
Here's part of a poem called 'William Bond':
"I thought Love livd in the hot sun Shine
But O he lives in the Moony light I thought to find Love in the heat of day But sweet Love is the Comforter of Night Seek Love in the Pity of others Woe In the gentle relief of anothers care In the darkness of night & the winters snow In the naked & outcast Seek Love there (Erdman 497 -8)