I wander thro’ each charter­’d street,
Near where the charter­’d Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weak­ness, marks of woe,

In every city of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-for­g’d man­acles I hear.

How the chim­ney-sweep­er­’s cry
Every black­’n­ing church appals;
And the hap­less sol­diers sigh
Runs in blood down palace walls.

But most thro’ mid­night streets I hear
How the youth­ful bar­lot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,
And blights with plagues the mar­riage hearse.

Lon­don was writ­ten by Wil­li­am Blake in 1794, in the after­math of the French Revolu­tion — a time of great polit­ic­al con­flict in Britain.