The alternate spelling of the title is The Ecchoing Green. William Blake includes it in his collected works about children or written for children: Songs of Innocence, published in 1789. Blake's words describe the images and delightful joy of children playing outdoors, and the "echo" is an old man's memory of his own childhood. Plenty of opportunity to study metaphor, it is often read by elementary students in grades 4-5.
The sun does arise, And make happy the skies; The merry bells ring To welcome the Spring; The skylark and thrush, The birds of the bush, Sing louder around To the bells' cheerful sound; While our sports shall be seen On the echoing Green. Old John, with white hair, Does laugh away care, Sitting under the oak, Among the old folk. They laugh at our play, And soon they all say, "Such, such were the joys When we all—girls and boys— In our youth-time were seen On the echoing Green." Till the little ones, weary, No more can be merry: The sun does descend, And our sports have an end. Round the laps of their mothers Many sisters and brothers, Like birds in their nest, Are ready for rest, And sport no more seen On the darkening green.
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