Illustrations to Young'g Night Thoughts
Songs and Ballads, Blake's Notebook, (E496)
William Bond "I wonder whether the Girls are mad And I wonder whether they mean to kill And I wonder if William Bond will die For assuredly he is very ill He went to Church in a May morning Attended by Fairies one two & three But the Angels Of Providence drove them away And he returnd home in Misery He went not out to the Field nor Fold He went not out to the Village nor Town But he came home in a black black cloud And took to his Bed & there lay down And an Angel of Providence at his Feet And an Angel of Providence at his Head And in the midst a Black Black Cloud And in the midst the Sick Man on his Bed And on his Right hand was Mary Green And on his Left hand was his Sister Jane And their tears fell thro the black black Cloud To drive away the sick mans pain O William if thou dost another Love Dost another Love better than poor Mary Go & take that other to be thy Wife And Mary Green shall her Servant be Yes Mary I do another Love Another I Love far better than thee And Another I will have for my Wife Then what have I to do with thee For thou art Melancholy Pale And on thy Head is the cold Moons shine But she is ruddy & bright as day And the sun beams dazzle from her eyne Mary trembled & Mary chilld And Mary fell down on the right hand floor That William Bond & his Sister Jane Scarce could recover Mary more When Mary woke & found her Laid On the Right hand of her William dear On the Right hand of his loved Bed And saw her William Bond so near The Fairies that fled from William Bond Danced around her Shining Head They danced over the Pillow white And the Angels of Providence left the Bed 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"To understand the reasoning of this poem I find it necessary to start from the end rather than from the beginning. In the last two verses Blake speaks openly of love, not the love of men and women for each other but the compassionate love that joins us together as the eternal brotherhood of humanity. This is not the love of passion or possession, but that of sharing in the joys and woes of the whole body of mankind. If William Bond is ill, it is with the sickness of directing his love according to the worldly principles of church doctrine or conventional norms.
The poem turns on the offer by Mary to be a servant rather than prevent William's love from being directed toward another woman. Mary as the earthly woman, like the moon lives by reflected light:
"For thou art Melancholy Pale
And on thy Head is the cold Moons shine"
The heavenly woman like Jerusalem shines from her own internal light:
"But she is ruddy & bright as day
And the sun beams dazzle from her eyne"
If Mary will become the servant to William's wife or emanation, she not only is welcome to William's bed but becomes a vehicle for the fairies of imagination to dance around her head. Thus love is raised to another dimension, that of universal or inclusive love.
"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"Love is no less in the 'Moony night' than in the 'hot sun Shine'. To find love one must offer oneself, and be willing to sacrifice to fulfil the need of another. As in the prayer of St Francis - in giving we recieve.
 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.