THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE by A D Hope
(A reply to Blake)
Father Dead and mother dead,
Now I come into my joy:
They begot me in their bed
Meaning me to be a boy.
But the graceless, wilful seed,
Sowed at midnight, half in jest,
Would not have its course decreed,
Travelled east instead of west.
Father groaned and mother wept,
Such a romping girl was I;
Raging from their arms I leapt,
Broke their hearts and saw them die.
Glorying in the act of birth
Though their tears pursue me still,
I am served in heaven and earth;
Sun and moon obey my will.
Splendid in my rage, I go
Shaking out my burning hair,
Spreading terror to and fro,
Searching, searching everywhere;
Searching for the one embrace,
Seeking for that man alone
Who dare meet me face to face,
Bed me and beget my son.
Can anyone knowledgeable about Blake tell me what poem/work the subtitle refers to, so I can compare the two, please? I'm too old for it to be my homework, this is just curiosity - I don't have access to much Blake and am not sure where to start looking.
You might find this article interesting, Marian: [www.feministezine.com] />
I think it's related to this:
The Mental Traveller
I travell'd thro' a Land of Men,
A Land of Men and Women too;
And heard & saw such dreadful things
As cold Earth-wanderers never knew.
For there the Babe is born in joy
That was begotten in dire woe;
Just as we Reap in joy the fruit
Which we in bitter tears did sow.
And if the Babe is born a Boy
He's given to a Woman Old,
Who nails him down upon a rock,
Catches his shrieks in cups of gold.
Full text found here:
though it could also be related to "Infant Sorrow"
My mother groaned, my father wept,
Into the dangerous world I leapt;
Helpless, naked, piping loud,
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.
Struggling in my father's hands,
Striving against my swaddling bands,
Bound and weary, I thought best
To sulk upon my mother's breast.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2008 12:16PM by JohnnyBoy.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2008 08:02AM by marian222.