Slum-flowers

Plate 4 of 'Visions of the Daughters of Albion' c.1795 by William Blake 1757-1827

Sprung deep between the cracks of the slabs in Peckham Rye
come the sprigs of empires children their old masters to defy.
Here where Blake saw angels where shepherds quenched a thirst,
the outcast and the stolen are reaching to be first.

From terraces and tower blocks confined as the unseen,
they soar with aspirations beyond their silent dreams.
Though Highwaymen of history defoliate the past,
their shoots will not be stunted as they forge upwardly at last.

English roses clipped and rootless look so pretty on the shelf,
Smooth stemmed, perfumed, useless, soul-less in their wealth.
Stronger grow the slum-flowers that climb toward the Sun
for abundant is the garden that is sown for everyone.

© Wolfgar 2020

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