Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Songs of Experience: The Little Girl Found

All the night in woe

Lyca's parents go

Over valleys deep,

While the deserts weep.

Tired and woe-begone,

Hoarse with making moan,

Arm in arm, seven days

They traced the desert ways.

Seven nights they sleep

Among shadows deep,

And dream they see their child

Starved in desert wild.

Pale through pathless ways

The fancied image strays,

Famished, weeping, weak,

With hollow piteous shriek.

Rising from unrest,

The trembling woman pressed

With feet of weary woe;

She could no further go.

In his arms he bore

Her, armed with sorrow sore;

Till before their way

A couching lion lay.

Turning back was vain:

Soon his heavy mane

Bore them to the ground,

Then he stalked around,

Smelling to his prey;

But their fears allay

When he licks their hands,

And silent by them stands.

They look upon his eyes,

Filled with deep surprise;

And wondering behold

A spirit armed in gold.

On his head a crown,

On his shoulders down

Flowed his golden hair.

Gone was all their care.

'Follow me,' he said;

'Weep not for the maid;

In my palace deep,

Lyca lies asleep.'

Then they followed

Where the vision led,

And saw their sleeping child

Among tigers wild.

To this day they dwell

In a lonely dell,

Nor fear the wolvish howl

Nor the lion's growl.