Poison Tree

I was angry with my friend:

I told my wrath, my wrath did end.

I was angry with my foe:

I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,

Night and morning with my tears;

And I sunned it with my smiles,

And with soft deceitful wiles.


And it grew both day and night,

Till it bore an apple bright.

And my foe beheld it shine

And he knew that it was mine


And into my garden stole

When the night had veiled the pole;

In the morning glad I see

My foe outstretched beneath the tree.


This poem of William Blake tells a salutary lesson: speak of your anger, to friend or foe. A friend will forgive and the friendship will endure.

Whether a foe listens, understands and reforms – or not – you will be a better person. Do not permit anger to dominate you and make of you a fiend. 

What good to rejoice in the death of another, even a foe? 


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