Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Songs of Experience: The Little Girl Lost

In futurity

I prophesy

That the earth from sleep

(Grave the sentence deep)

Shall arise, and seek

For her Maker meek;

And the desert wild

Become a garden mild.

In the southern clime,

Where the summer's prime

Never fades away,

Lovely Lyca lay.

Seven summers old

Lovely Lyca told.

She had wandered long,

Hearing wild birds' song.

'Sweet sleep, come to me,

Underneath this tree;

Do father, mother, weep?

Where can Lyca sleep?

['Lost in desert wild]

Is your little child.

How can Lyca sleep

If her mother weep?

'If her heart does ache,

Then let Lyca wake;

If my mother sleep,

Lyca shall not weep.

'Frowning, frowning night,

O'er this desert bright

Let thy moon arise,

While I close my eyes.'

Sleeping Lyca lay,

While the beasts of prey,

Come from caverns deep,

Viewed the maid asleep.

The kingly lion stood,

And the virgin viewed:

Then he gambolled round

O'er the hallowed ground.

Leopards, tigers, play

Round her as she lay;

While the lion old

Bowed his mane of gold,

And her bosom lick,

And upon her neck,

From his eyes of flame,

Ruby tears there came;

While the lioness

Loosed her slender dress,

And naked they conveyed

To caves the sleeping maid.