|A Poison Tree|
A Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
William Blake, 1794
I came across this poem and couldn't help but feel it should mandatory reading for anyone working at the House, Senate or White House. I find it ironic that the members of the Senate refer their political foes as 'my friend' while speaking on the Senate floor. The rancor of the last few years has those words falling to the floor with a deafening clatter. They are not kidding anyone.
I certainly wouldn't hurt for the rest of us to take this advice to heart as well. This kind of poison is pretty indiscriminate and ends up hurting everyone. Interesting how a late 18th century poem is so relevant today.