• Annotated Full Text
  • Literary Period: Romanticism
  • Publication Date: 1792
  • Flesch-Kincaid Level: 9
Poetry

London

William Blake wrote “London” in 1792, during the Industrial Revolution and at the beginning of the Romantic era. The somber ballad is told from the perspective of a speaker who walks through London. All around him, people are suffering; he sees “marks of weakness, marks of woe” in their faces and hears the cries of men, infants, and chimney-sweeps. Like many Romantic writers, Blake addresses social concerns that worsened as a result of industrialism—such as child labor, poverty, and the prevalence of prostitution—while condemning society as a whole for bringing such atrocities upon itself.

  • Annotated Full Text
  • Literary Period: Romanticism
  • Publication Date: 1792
  • Flesch-Kincaid Level: 9