In the Moon, is a certain Island near by a mighty continent, which small island seems to have some affinity to England. & what is more extraordinary the people are so much alike & their language so much the same that you would think you was among your friends.“An Island in the Moon” is a 17 page fragment written in pen and ink in Blake’s hand, and now in the Fitzwilliam Museum. It notably contains the earliest extant drafts of “Nurse’s Song”, “Holy Thursday”, and “The Little Boy Lost”, which were to make their first published appearance in his Songs of Innocence (1789).
Saturday, 22 July 2017
When reading Blake’s earliest surviving writings, I find myself tantalised by the roads not taken: the precocious Augustan poet of the Poetical Sketches; or the broad comedy of the manuscript known, from its opening paragraph, as “An Island in the Moon”.