Many of William Blake's poems show strong undertones of anger towards his seemingly heartless society. He seems especially distasteful towards the adults for their mistreatment of children, particularly poor children.
The loss of innocence is a theme Blake raises in several of the songs. "The Sick Rose" of the Songs of Experience works as an eye-opener to the corrupt behaviour occurring at the time. It's seems that Blake is showing how child prostitution was, and is, corruptive and wrong. The last line "And his dark secret love, Does thy life destroy" refers to the innocence of youngsters being lost to the sexual acts which stay under wraps, but leave their unmistakable marks- either psychologically or physically- on those being prostituted. The disease syphilis was rife in the Eighteenth century, and the concept of life being destroyed through debauched sexual practise is precise as syphilis was fatal. Also, the idea of death spreading is accomplished further as syphilis not only could harm the man and girl involved in the sexual act, but could also pass on to the man's wife and any children she later birthed.
An appropriate contrast to "The Sick Rose" is "The Blossom". As part of the Songs of Innocence it is a reminder that Blake did not consider sex to be wrong, but rather any damaging or pernicious act. The major aim of "The Blossom" seems to be to encourage physical love, and it admires it's purity; "Seek your cradle narrow", and although this line refers to sex, it is told in an honest, childlike way. In contrast to the line, "Has found thy bed, Of crimson joy," from "The Sick Rose", which also suggests the penetration of female sexual organs, the tone is massively adverse. The latter metaphor sounds cruel and full of negative sexual feelings, of the pleasure given to one partner through the weakness of the other, as if no permission were granted. Blake regards "free love" to be a great human gift, but here he criticises this idea taken to the extreme, of people misusing the poor and young to revel in their own power to do what they want.