Thou fair-hair’d angel of the evening,
Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light
Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
Smile on our loves, and while thou drawest the
Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew
On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
In timely sleep. Let thy west wind sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,
And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full soon,
Dost thou withdraw; then the wolf rages wide,
And then the lion glares through the dun forest:
The fleeces of our flock are cover’d with
Thy sacred dew: protect them with thin influence!
William Blake (1757-1827)
The poem is written in the form of an Ode, addressing the evening star that
appears when the sun sets in the evening. The poet seems to be overwhelmed by
the divine beauty of the evening star and he goes on to bestow encomia upon
Venus addressing it as if she would bring good luck and benediction upon the poet
and the rest of the earthlings. The overflowing of his passionate and emotionally
charged language is full of metaphors “thou fair-haired angle” etc…… The poet
seems to be ecstatic over her graceful appearance and it looks as if he has been
longing for her emergence for long. The tired and battered souls of people during
the day time are refreshed and rejuvenated by her divine power and mystic
beauty. Replacing harsh and tormenting sun that beat the world during the
daytime with the graceful balmy ambiance entailed with the emergence of the
evening star seems to have brought a soothing effect upon the poet. But he
realizes that it is very temporary and soon when the night falls she disappears into
the darkness of the night leaving the poet and the others in danger “soon full soon
dost thou withdraw”
To The Evening Star by William Blake (presentation by Luli Giambruni)
An assignment for you to work on
Answer the questions in the form of a poster and post it in your blog. Illustrate the poem with photos.
1) How does the poet address the evening star?
2) What does the poet mean by the blue curtains of the sky?
3) How does the poet say that the ambiance in the night is very calm and quiet?
4) What poetic technique does the poet use to highlight the change of darkness into silver?
5) How does the poet indicate that the evening star appears only for a short period of time?
6) What words indicate the poet’s uncertainty and fear when the star disappears?v