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I(1) wander(2) thro’ each charter’d(3) street
1. I = This first word is referred to the poet. This wants to stress the importance of individualism (romantic theme). The poet wants to drive us among the city and teach us the truth about the reality that surrounds us
2. Wander = Wandering is a typical romantic theme. The wanderer is a figure that wants to feel the world, travelling with no specific destination
3. Chartere’d = it is a very unusual term and wants to stress the fact that now everyone thinks only about money and profit

Near where the charter’d Thames(4) does flow
4. Charter’d Thames = the river is chartered too because it is used especially to make the ships that transport goods land
And mark(5) in every face I meet
5. Mark = sense of the sight

Marks of weakness(6), marks of woe
6. Weakness = Citizens are weak because they are poor (physical weakness) and also because they count nothing to the Government (political weakness)

In every cry of every man/In every infant’s cry of fear/In every voice, in every ban(7)
the mind-forg’d manacles(7) I hear(7)
7. Mind forg’g = Sense of earing
8. These are the limits that man puts himself when he establishes laws made only for some people (rich people)
How the chimney-sweeper’s cry(9)
9. Cry = sense of earing

Every black’ning(10) church appals
10. Black’ning = First colour: black. The church becomes black because of the pollution and also because it provides for the exploitation of the children

And the hapless soldier’s sigh/ runs in blood(12) down palace walls (11)
11. And...walls: Palace with capital letter = Government. The Government sends poor people in war to die
12. Second colour: red

But most thro’ midnight(13) streets I hear
13. Midnight = The night is used to stress the feeling of depression and anguish

How the youthful harlot’s curse/ Blasts the new born infants tears (15) /and blights with plagues the marriage hearse(16) (14)
14. How… hearse = He is not blaming the prostitutes but the Church
15. Blasts…tears = The infants are cursed because they are destined to live poorly and meagerly, probably with their mother’s diseases
16. The marriage hearse = The diseases are transmitted, through the husband, from the prostitute to the wife. Blake criticizes the marriage because he declares that it is an institution made of an unfair relationship based on strength. This could be compared to institutions as the Government and the Church.

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