The Tyger In A Strange Lande: William Blake Visits The Twenty-First Century


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Today I visit’d a madhouse. A London madhouse very different from the ones of my day. Twas after I visit’d a venerable Institution whereupon I Saw my Paintings exhibit’d. They Shone like Jewels amidst the Garish, strangely garbed onlookers. I heard one Man – I think it was a Man – say he thought Will Blake must have been Madd.


As I was saying, I Ventured into another Vast building across the River Thames. In this Place I saw the Abominations of Hell. Flashing lightning, Terrifying noise and Strange substances hanging from the ceiling. I observ’d the Onlookers and formed the opinion that these Hellish Objects were Works of art. I overheard one Woman – I think she was a woman – pronounce a curious Word. It sounded like ‘consternation’ and she applied this Word to the hanging substances.


Observing these Onlookers, I came to Form my Dreadful realisation. Demons had taken charge of the Souls of these beings. They were enslav’d by the Spectre.


I rush’d out of the building holding my ears. Outside I reel’d in Horror at the noise-machines which hurtled down the highways. I pastt more of the Possessed humans who Bore marks of Weakness, marks of Woe upon their faces.


I watched Streams of these possest figures disappear down a Void in the ground. Whereupon I follow’d. I wisht I had not. For in this Chasm there was a cacophony and Terrible Iron serpents which smelt of burnt Printers’ Ink. The Serpent swallowed these Demented beings, and their blank staring faces were piteous to behold. I lookt about me and could not understand the Pictures on the walls. These Paintings had ugly words printed upon them.


I could not Contend this Hell any longer and walkt quickly away, closing my Eyes & Ears as I escaped.


The Author and Printer, Will Blake, 2001



Eric Nicholson is now retired. He worked as an ESOL teacher and also worked in other fields of education. Now, in his retirement he enjoys countryside conservation, wildlife recording and walking. He is a member of the local North of England writing group, The Scribblers. 


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