This poem is about an emmet – which is an archaic term for an ant. The emmet is lost at night and a glow-worm offers to light the way while a beetle guides her home.
Once a dream did weave a shade
O'er my angel-guarded bed,
That an emmet lost its way
Where on grass methought I lay.
Troubled, wildered, and forlorn,
Dark, benighted, travel-worn,
Over many a tangle spray,
All heart-broke, I heard her say:
'Oh my children! do they cry,
Do they hear their father sigh?
Now they look abroad to see,
Now return and weep for me.'
Pitying, I dropped a tear:
But I saw a glow-worm near,
Who replied, 'What wailing wight
Calls the watchman of the night?
'I am set to light the ground,
While the beetle goes his round:
Follow now the beetle's hum;
Little wanderer, hie thee home!
Written by William Blake and published in his collection of poems called Songs of Innocence in 1789.
Recorded by Chip.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Illustration by Monique Palomares.