A poem by William Blake:

I die I die the Mother said
My Children die for lack of Bread
What more has the merciless Tyrant said
The Monk sat down on the Stony Bed

The blood red ran from the Grey Monks side
His hands & feet were wounded wide
His Body bent his arms & knees
Like to the roots of ancient trees

His eye was dry no tear could flow
A hollow groan first spoke his woe
He trembled & shudderd upon the Bed
At length with a feeble cry he said

When God commanded this hand to write
In the studious hours of deep midnight
He told me the writing I wrote should prove
The Bane of all that on Earth I lovd

My Brother starvd between two Walls
His Childrens Cry my Soul appalls
I mockd at the wrack & griding chain
My bent body mocks their torturing pain

Thy Father drew his sword in the North
With his thousands strong he marched forth
Thy Brother has armd himself in Steel
To avenge the wrongs thy Children feel

But vain the Sword & vain the Bow
They never can work Wars overthrow
The Hermits Prayer & the Widows tear
Alone can free the World from fear

For a Tear is an Intellectual Thing
And a Sigh is the Sword of an Angel King
And the bitter groan of the Martyrs woe
Is an Arrow from the Almighties Bow

The hand of Vengeance found the Bed
To which the Purple Tyrant fled
The iron hand crushd the Tyrants head
And became a Tyrant in his stead

One of Allen Ginsberg’s favorite poets was William Blake, and "The Grey Monk" was one of his favorite Blake poems. It was one of a number of poems he had set to music on a 1970 album he produced of Blake’s poetry.

During the protests surrounding the 1968 Democratic convention, he was introduced to the crowd of protestors during MC5’s performance. After some Hare Krishna chanting, he sang this poem. A report in Ginsberg’s FBI file reads "{Name blacked out} advised he observed GINSBERG at Grant Park in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel in conversation with associates…GINSBERG chanted unintelligible poems in Grant Park on August 28, 1968."

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