© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Sick Rose

The Sick Rose

by William Blake

Lines 1-4 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 1

O rose thou art sick

  • The poem opens with the speaker addressing the rose.
  • The speaker tells the rose that it is sick.

Lines 2-4

The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm

  • The speaker describes an "invisible worm" that flies.
  • The worm can also fly when it's raining.
  • We don't know what this worm is doing in the poem or even what kind of worm it is. An invisible worm that can fly? Is it some kind of butterfly?