Tyger Tyger Burning Bright

00.00.00 00.00.00 loading

Download the audio (right click, save as)

tyger tyger burning bright( Of course, in modern English, "The Tyger" would be "The Tiger".)

We present three "songs" by the poet and artist, and Londoner, William Blake (1757-1827). His Songs of Innocence and Experience were intended to be sung, but the melodies are now lost. Many of his poems see the world with the freshness of a child's eye.


Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


Little Fly,
Thy summer's play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink, and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.


Little Lamb, who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I'll tell thee;
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

Dear Listners,

This poem by William Blake has the form of a childish nursery ryhme, but it is packed with images than can take your thoughts off in any number of directions.

The vivid images and metaphor of the 'Tyger Tyger 'Burning Bright', its fearful symmetry and
the 'fire of thine eyes' create the the yellow and amber colors and light in the poem. The personified Stars 'throwing down their spears and watering heaven with their tears are in direct contrast to the light imagery of the poem. These images reinforce the theme of the wonder of God's creation. There is also a fascination with the far away British Colonies of the East, and the jungles of India, where of course the Tyger lives. (The spelling of the word Tyger with a 'Y' is
archaic and poetic).

With its consistent four stresses per verse line and four verse lines to make 6 Stanzas in total,
it is a wonderfully pleasing poem to follow. And the first and last verses repeated like the 'Symmetry of the Tyger' give it a satisfying poetic form.

I do hope you enjoy listening to more of our poems on Storynory.com
There are more Classic Audio poems to come from some famous Victorian Poets

So stay tuned!
Bye Bye