Both The Daemon Lover and The Garden of Love show the struggles that these two faced when if comes to love. With love there comes strife in some cases. They both have their joy and desires briared up in some way. Blake talks about how the place that he used to know as a child as a happy place is now a place full of sorrow, with a chapel, graves, and priest watching everything that is around you. Such as the choice the woman in The Daemon Lover makes to leave her family for another man. She was thinking that this new adventure is going to give her happiness, when in the end she realizes that she was being tricked. The devil then destroys the ship and sinks them under the sea. I think that both of these characters have had bad experiences with love in these writings, which come from their own decision making.
In the first stanza, Blake talks about him going to The Garden of Love and seeing that there is a Chapel built where he used to play as a child. This is somewhere that he has never gone before, at least not with it looking this way. He had not seen this place since he was a child, before the chapel was even build. Just as the woman in The Daemon Lover goes to the ship with the devil, which is a place that she has never gone before. She has never gone off on a daring adventure with another man, leaving her husband and two children behind,leaving them feeling betrayed. Blake says that this was “Where I used to play on the green” (line 4). This was a happy place for him as a child, before the chapel took its place. Such as the woman’s happy place was with her family, before she was misguided to follow the devil to his ship.
In stanza two, the gates of the chapel are shut, much like the woman’s chances of going back to her family after getting on this ship are very slim. The fact that Blake says, “And Thou shalt not writ over the door;” (line 6) shows that this chapel is not a welcoming place, there will not be any change to this place. The woman in The Deamon Lover is not able to change her fate once she made the choice to step on the ship. The woman and Blake “turn’d to the Garden of Love” (line 7) to try and find happiness, where as the woman’s “garden of love” was the thought that leaving her family for another man to go on a “great adventure” would bring her happiness.
Both the woman and Blake saw that their “garden of love” was filled with “graves” or things that did not bring them joy. This woman had chosen the wrong path and realized when “she espied his cloven foot” (line 51). The “Priests in white gowns” (line 11) who were walking their rounds symbolize the sadness and strife that both Blake and this woman are surrounded by during this time. Both the priests and the devil for these two are “binding with briars (their) joys and desires” (line 12).
The story The Daemon Lover and the poem The Garden of Love show that life and love do not always go as planned. In both of these writings, the characters go through their own struggles in making decisions that are based on love, which do not always go as planned. Sometimes going after what your heart wants is not the best decision.
Blake, William. “The Garden of Love.” The Norton Anthology of British Literature: The
“The Daemon-lover.” The Norton Anthology of British Literature: The Romantic Period. 10th ed.
Stephen Greenblatt, General Editor. W. W. Norton, 2017. pp. 37-39.