Please explain the comparision between William Blake's "Holy Thursday" in his Songs of Innocence & "Holy Thursday" in his Songs of Experience.

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To compare these two poems is to compare the angelic and the miserable.  Both, of course, have to do with the service on Holy Thursday which needs a bit of explanation for most first-time readers.  In most cases, the Church of England considers Christ's Ascension day to be called "Holy Thursday," (although some insist that "Holy Thursday" can also be the day before Good Friday).  In any event, during the late eighteenth century (when the poem was written), the children from the charity schools of London were marched to a service at St. Paul's Cathedral. 

Blake's first "Holy Thursday" rightly belongs in his Songs of Innocence, for the children are seen as angelic:  they are "flowers" and "lambs," while with "radiance" they are "raising their innocent hands."  They were, of course, accompanied by the "beadles" who were instructed to enforce appropriate behavior.  The last line is meant to be a direct allusion to the thirteenth chapter of Hebrews that reads, "Do...

(The entire section contains 503 words.)

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