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An Analysis of "London" and "The Ecchoing Green"

             Often the great works of literature reflect the public's frame of mind in a particular era. In other words, masterpieces of art frequently illustrate the general disposition of the people during a specific time. Certainly this is true of William Blake's two poems, "London" and "The Ecchoing Green". Both poems have two very different perspectives on their settings. Also, the speakers in each poem have very diverse attitudes. Lastly, the differing rhyme scheme in each poem creates opposing moods for the reader. Because of these completely opposing viewpoints about the same place, "London" and "The Ecchoing Green" can be considered companion poems.
             In the poem, "The Ecchoing Green" from Blake's Songs of Innocence, there is an overall happy tone throughout the poem. For example, in the opening stanza Blake writes "The Sun does arise,/ And make happy the skies./The merry bells ring / To welcome the Spring" (1-4). The sun starts off by making the skies happy, which in turn makes the bells happy and welcomes the Spring which makes everyone happy.
             However, in Blake's companion poem, "London", there is an overall tone of fear, darkness, and hypocrisy. For instance, in the third stanza Blake writes, "How the Chimney-sweepers cry / Every blackning Church appalls (9-10). The chimney sweepers are crying for help, and the church (who is expected to help) turns its nose up at them. .
             In addition to different settings, the speakers" attitudes contribute to the case being made for "The Ecchoing Green" and "London" as companion poems. In "The Ecchoing Green", there is a sense of optimism from the speaker. To illustrate, Blake writes: "Till the little ones weary / No more can be merry". "Like birds in their nest, / Are ready for rest:" (21-22, 27-28). The children play all day long until it is time for rest, but Blake implies that they only rest so they can have energy to play the next day.

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