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The Sick Rose

The Sick Rose


by William Blake

Lines 5-8 Summary

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

Lines 5-6

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:

  • The speaker tells us more about the worm; it has found the rose's bed.
  • The status of this "bed" is ambiguous. It could be just a place where the rose sleeps that happens to be "crimson."
  • It could also be a "bed" of something, like a "bed of roses" (not unlikely since the poem is called "The Sick Rose") or something else that's red. This would make the rose a gardener of some kind.

Lines 7-8

And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy

  • The speaker tells us that the worm's "love" kills the rose.
  • It's strange that "love" is killing something here, since we usually associate love with life.
  • "Dark secret love" could mean three things. It could mean the worm's love, as in "My love for you will never die."
  • It could also refer to something that the worm loves, as in, "Hello, my love, I'm home."
  • It might even refer to the act of making love, or sex.

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