William Blake and C.S. Lewis

Going through The Writer’s Almanac, I found yesterday happened to be the birthday of William Blake (Nov 28, 1757, London – August 12, 1827, London).  So here is a poem by him I read on The Literature Network:

The Land of Dreams
By William Blake

Awake, awake my little Boy!
Thou wast thy Mother’s only joy:
Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep?
Awake! thy Father does thee keep.

“O, what land is the Land of Dreams?
What are its mountains, and what are its streams?
O Father, I saw my Mother there,
Among the lilies by waters fair.

Among the lambs clothed in white
She walked with her Thomas in sweet delight.
I wept for joy, like a dove I mourn –
O when shall I return again?”

Dear child, I also by pleasant streams
Have wandered all night in the Land of Dreams;
But though calm and warm the waters wide,
I could not get to the other side.

“Father, O Father, what do we here,
In this land of unbelief and fear?
The Land of Dreams is better far
Above the light of the Morning Star.”

Today is the birthday of CS Lewis (Nov 28, 1898, Belfast – Nov 22, 1963, Oxford). Is there a connection between the two men? Both happened to write about Milton. Lewis wrote A Preface to Paradise Lost and Blake wrote Milton: a Poem.

Here is a clip from the movie, Shadowlands, about C.S. Lewis, which refers to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and where he meets Joy Davidman, the American writer whom he married in 1956. She died four years later of cancer at the age of 45.