Blake's Dream

In a dream vision, Blake's tiger gives him a glimpse of the future

Blake's Dream

Blake’s Dream

23 January 1793

She came to me in the night
entering the chamber of my brain
like the wind of death
her eyes like burning coals
her claws whirring knives
her tail a lashing whip, her coat on fire.
She was furious, she spoke in tongues
and her words were mine.

Through the portals of my senses
she showed me power and loss
past, present and to come -
printing her visions in sulphurous breath
on the midnight air.
Through her unlidded eyes
I saw the charred and blackened ruins
of the new millennium.
She shook with anger, sorrow, fear
as she revealed her prophecy.
I howled with horror and dismay
as I beheld futurity.

Then the sun rose, and her body shrank.
Her eyes dimmed. The bright fire of her coat
went out. Her wild voice sank
to a whimper. Her sharp claws retracted.
Her lashing tail hung limp.
And when I woke to noises from the street
I found her curled, asleep,
her warm fur next to me,
her steady breath coming and going
with her sweet soft purring.

'The Tyger'by William Blake