Skip to content

Visions of the Garden of Eden: William Blake and The Garden of Love

I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst, Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut, And “Thou shalt not,” writ over the door; So I turn’d to the Garden of Love, That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves, And tombstones where flowers should be: And priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds, And binding with briars, my joys & desires.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

And when the woman saw the fruit of the tree and that it was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand.

The End.

Why Did we combine William Blake’s poem “The Garden of Love” with biblical excerpts from Genesis?

William Blake’s poem “The Garden of Love” may subtly allude to the biblical Genesis account of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The combination of these works, “The Garden of Love” by William Blake and excerpts from the biblical book of Genesis. grapple with themes of lost innocence and the consequences of gained knowledge and disobedience. By relating these two works, we gain insight into a layered commentary on purity and corruption, freedom and control.

Blake’s poem depicts a garden that once offered joy and freedom, but is now a closed-off churchyard with restricting rules like “Thou shalt not.” As the analysis notes, this symbolizes how organized religion and institutions tend to restrain natural human desires and impose order. The spontaneity and delight of the garden have been lost.

The Genesis passages describe God commanding Adam and Eve not to eat forbidden fruit in Eden, or else they will die. However, they disobey and are expelled from the perfect garden into a world of pain and toil. The biblical account shows consequences for moral transgression.

When viewed together, both texts mourn the loss of an ideal natural paradise due to innocence and freedom. The poem suggests restrictive religion destroys purity and joy, while Genesis shows punishment for disobedience. Where once humans acted freely in harmony with nature, rules and structures now limit behavior and expel humanity from their gardens of eden.

Blake’s poem powerfully evokes the image of beautiful gardens and natural joys contrasted with institutional walls and reprimanding rules. Combined with the Genesis story, themes emerge about corruption, lost innocence, and the complex relationship between freedom and control as humanity navigates moral choices and societal structures.