Songs of Experience

by William Blake

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To Tirzah

To Tirzah from Songs of Experience

Whate'er is Born of Mortal birth
Must be consumèd with the Earth,
To rise from Generation free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

The Sexes sprung from Shame and Pride,
Blow'd in the morn; in evening died;
But Mercy changed Death into Sleep;
The Sexes rose to work & weep.

Thou, Mother of my Mortal part,
With cruelty didst mould my Heart,
And with false self-deceiving tears
Didst bind my Nostrils, Eyes, & Ears,

Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay,
And me to Mortal Life betray.
The Death of Jesus set me free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

Tirzah (Hebrew: תרצה‎) was a town in the Samarian highlands northeast of Shechem; it has been identified with Tell el-Farah (North). The name means "she is my delight". Tirzah is first mentioned in the Torah (Numbers 27:1) as one of the five daughters of Zelophehad. After the death of their father, the five sisters went to Moses and asked him for hereditary rights. Moses brought their plea to God, and it was granted. To this day, women in Judaism have the right to inherit property.


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