The Echoing Green

by


The alternate spelling is The Ecchoing Green. William Blake included it in his collected works about children or written for children: Songs of Innocence and Experience (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.
An illustration for the story The Echoing Green by the author William Blake An illustration for the story The Echoing Green by the author William Blake An illustration for the story The Echoing Green by the author William Blake
   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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