With thanks to David Rose.
I sometimes complain that we have forgotten so much of our fantastic hreitage of thinkers and writers in the British radical tradition. Please read this closely. It is the best comment I have seen yet on the current extraordinarily bad condition of our World.
It was written by William Blake in 1804.
What is the price of Experience; do men buy it for a song
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath; his house his wife his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the witherd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain
It is an easy thing to triumph in the summer’s sun
And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer
To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season
When the red blood is filld with wine & with the marrow of lambs
It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan
To see a god on every wind & a blessing on every blast
To hear sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies house
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, & the sickness that cuts off his children
While our olive & vine sing & laugh round our door & our children bring fruits & flowers
Then the groan & the dolor are quite forgotten & the slave grinding at the mill
And the captive in chains & the poor in the prison, & the soldier in the field
When the shatterd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity
Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!
Wlliam Blake: The Four Zoas – Vala (Night the Second)