'Evening Star' by William Blake

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Thou fair hair'd angel of the evening,
Now, while the sun rests on the mountains light,
Thy bright torch of love; Thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
Smile on our loves; and when thou drawest theBlue curtains, scatter thy silver dew
On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
In timely sleep. Let thy west wind sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes
And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full, soon,
Dost thou withdraw; Then, the wolf rages wide,
And the lion glares thro' the dun forest.
The fleece of our flocks are covered withThy sacred dew; Protect them with thine influence.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Evening Star by William Blake: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation

William Blake, one of the most renowned English poets, has been celebrated for his unique style and unconventional themes. His poem "Evening Star" is a prime example of his genius as a poet. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve into the themes, structure, and language of the poem, and explore the implications that Blake's words have for the reader.


Before we delve into the poem itself, it is important to understand the context in which William Blake wrote "Evening Star". Blake lived in England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a time of great political and social upheaval. The American Revolution had just ended, and the French Revolution was in full swing. These events, along with the Industrial Revolution, had a profound impact on English society and culture.

Blake was also deeply religious and believed that his work was divinely inspired. He rejected the formal religious institutions of his time, however, and instead embraced a form of mystical Christianity. This spiritual perspective is evident in many of his poems, including "Evening Star".



"Evening Star" is a poem that is rich in symbolism and meaning. At its core, it is a meditation on the transience of life and the inevitability of death. The poem begins with the speaker gazing up at the evening star, which is described as "lonely" and "sad". The star is a metaphor for human existence, which is fleeting and ultimately insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

The poem also touches on the themes of beauty and nature. The speaker marvels at the star's beauty and its ability to "shed a gentle tear", suggesting a certain tenderness and empathy that is often associated with the natural world. This connection between the human and the natural is a common motif in Blake's poetry, and it reflects his belief in the interconnectedness of all things.


"Evening Star" is a short poem consisting of three stanzas, each with four lines. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter, which means that each line has four iambs (or sets of two syllables, with the first syllable unstressed and the second syllable stressed). This gives the poem a rhythmic quality and makes it easy to read aloud.

The rhyme scheme of the poem is ABAB, which means that the first and third lines of each stanza rhyme, as do the second and fourth lines. This creates a sense of symmetry and balance, which is appropriate given the poem's themes of harmony and interconnectedness.


One of the most striking things about "Evening Star" is its language. Blake was known for his unconventional use of language, and this poem is no exception. The speaker describes the star as "sad" and "lonely", which are not typically associated with astronomical bodies. These words, however, convey a certain emotional depth that is often lacking in more conventional descriptions.

The poem is also full of evocative imagery. The star is described as "shining" and "smiling", and the sky is painted as a "vault" that "trembles" with the star's light. These images create a vivid and atmospheric setting that draws the reader in and enhances the poem's themes.


"Evening Star" is a poem that invites multiple interpretations. At its core, however, it is a meditation on the fleeting nature of human existence and the beauty of the natural world. The star is a metaphor for human life, which is ultimately insignificant in the grand scheme of things. The poem suggests that we should appreciate the beauty and transience of life while we can, and that we should seek solace in the interconnectedness of all things.

The poem's unconventional language and evocative imagery invite the reader to engage with the text on a deeper level. Blake's use of iambic tetrameter and ABAB rhyme scheme create a sense of balance and harmony that is reflective of the poem's themes. Overall, "Evening Star" is a masterful poem that showcases Blake's unique style and spiritual perspective.


In conclusion, "Evening Star" is a masterpiece of English poetry. Its themes of transience, beauty, and interconnectedness are as relevant today as they were in Blake's time. The poem's unconventional language and imagery create a vivid and atmospheric setting that draws the reader in and enhances its themes. "Evening Star" is a testament to Blake's genius as a poet and his ability to convey complex spiritual ideas in a simple and evocative way. As the speaker says in the final stanza of the poem, "Thus I spoke, and sorrowing heard / The cold, cold voice of the lonely bird." Blake's words continue to move and inspire readers today, centuries after they were first written.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry has the power to transport us to another world, to make us feel emotions we never knew existed, and to inspire us to see the world in a different light. One such poem that has stood the test of time and continues to inspire readers is William Blake's "Evening Star." This classic poem is a beautiful ode to the star that shines in the sky at night, and it is a testament to Blake's mastery of language and his ability to evoke powerful emotions in his readers.

The poem begins with the speaker addressing the Evening Star, which is described as "brightest of all stars." The speaker marvels at the star's beauty and wonders how it manages to shine so brightly in the darkness of the night sky. The star is described as "golden" and "fair," and the speaker is clearly in awe of its radiance.

As the poem progresses, the speaker begins to contemplate the star's place in the universe. He wonders if the star is a symbol of hope and light in a world that can often seem dark and hopeless. He asks if the star is a beacon of hope for those who are lost or struggling, and he wonders if it has the power to guide us through the darkness.

The poem then takes a more philosophical turn, as the speaker begins to question the nature of reality itself. He wonders if the star is simply a figment of his imagination, or if it is a real object that exists in the universe. He muses on the idea that everything we see and experience might be nothing more than a dream, and that the true nature of reality might be something entirely different.

Despite these existential musings, the poem ends on a note of hope and wonder. The speaker marvels at the star's beauty once again, and he expresses his gratitude for its presence in the sky. He ends the poem by declaring that the star is a symbol of hope and light, and that it will continue to shine brightly in the darkness for all eternity.

There are many different interpretations of "Evening Star," and the poem has been analyzed and dissected by scholars and readers alike for centuries. Some see the poem as a celebration of the beauty of nature, while others see it as a meditation on the nature of reality and the human experience. Still others see it as a religious or spiritual poem, with the star representing God or some other divine force.

Regardless of how one chooses to interpret the poem, there is no denying its power and beauty. Blake's use of language is masterful, and his ability to evoke powerful emotions in his readers is unparalleled. "Evening Star" is a testament to the enduring power of poetry, and it is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope and beauty to be found in the world around us.

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