The English Romantic poet William Blake wrote two poems entitled "Holy Thursday": the first appeared in Songs of Innocence, and the second—the poem we're treating in this guide—in his Songs of Experience. He published those collections together in an omnibus 1794 edition, Songs of Innocence and of Experience; readers were meant to encounter one poem after the other. Both describe an old tradition in which orphaned or abandoned kids housed in London's "charity schools" paraded to St. Paul's Cathedral on Holy Thursday, a Christian holiday during Easter week. In the first poem, a softhearted speaker is touched by the children's innocence and their sweet singing in church. In this poem, by contrast, an angry speaker lets loose a tirade against the children's self-satisfied guardians and against poverty in general: what does it say about English society, they ask, that so very many impoverished children need to be housed in charity schools at all?