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The Tiger by William Blake


"The Tiger" is a poem written by William Blake. This poem originally published in 1794 as "The Tyger". It is about God and his creations. All of the questions are asked and answered as "God" or something related to him. "What immortal hand or eye [...]?" God. "In what distant deeps or skies [...]? Heaven.

This poem is written as six stanzas with four lines in each. It's written as trochaic-tetrameters but with catalexis lines (meaning the syllable at the end is left off). Blake also continually uses alliteration throughout the poem: "Tiger! Tiger!" and "burning bright" are two examples of this.


The Tiger

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry.

Next: To Spring

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Literary Movement
Romanticism, 18th Century

Religion, Religion, Animal, Nature, God