The Divine Image

"The Divine Image" is the first song in Virgil Thomson's Five Songs from William Blake.

Though perhaps his most well-known vocal works might be his operas, Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of Us All, American composer Virgil Thomson did write nearly seventy songs for voice and piano, including several important song cycles. One of these cycles, the Five Songs from William Blake, represents an impressive composition unifying the profound influence of Blake on Whitman and poets of the late 19th century.

Date: 1951Composer: Virgil ThomsonText: William BlakeSong Collection: Five Songs From William Blake

Print vitals & song text




    The Divine Image
    by William Blake

    To Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love
    All pray in their distress;
    And to these virtues of delight
    Return their thankfulness.

    For Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love
    Is God, our Father dear,
    And Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love
    Is man, His child and care.

    For Mercy has a human heart,
    Pity a human face,
    And Love, the human form divine,
    And Peace, the human dress.

    Then every man, of every clime,
    That prays in his distress,
    Prays to the human form divine,
    Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

    And all must love the human form,
    In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
    When Mercy, Love and Pity dwell
    There God is dwelling too.

    Related Information

    Sheet Music

    Five Songs From William Blake

    Composer(s): Virgil Thomson

    Voice Type: Low

    Buy via Sheet Music Plus

    Support us and help us grow

    Dear friends, Thank you for helping us build a comprehensive online archive of American song. Your gift is greatly appreciated.