William Blake quotes and sayings
November 28, 1757
August 12, 1827
The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.
Drive your cart and plow over the bones of the dead.
If you, who are organized by Divine Providence for spiritual communion, refuse, and bury your talent in the earth, even though you should want natural bread, sorrow and desperation pursue you through life, and after death shame and confusion of face to eternity.
That the Jews assumed a right exclusively to the benefits of God will be a lasting witness against them and the same will it be against Christians.
He who replies to words of doubt doth put the light of knowledge out.
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh And thy maker is not by; Think not thou canst weep a tear And thy maker is not near.
The inquiry in England is not whether a man has talents and genius, but whether he is passive and polite and a virtuous ass and obedient to noblemen's opinions in art and science. If he is, he is a good man. If not, he must be starved.
Ages are All Equal. / But Genius is Always Above The Age.
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds and binding with briars my joys and desires.
I heard an Angel singing; When the day was springing, Mercy, Pity, Peace; Is the world's release.
The crow wished everything was black, the Owl, that everything was white.
Both read the Bible day and night, but thou read black where I read white.
Some say that happiness is not good for mortals, and they ought to be answered that sorrow is not fit for immortals and is utterly useless to any one; a blight never does good to a tree, and if a blight kill not a tree but it still bear fruit, let none say that the fruit was in consequence of the blight.
Children of the future age Reading this indignant page Know that in a former time Love, sweet love, was thought a crime.
A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.
England! awake! awake! awake! Jerusalem thy sister calls! Why wilt thou sleep the sleep of death And close her from thy ancient walls?
What seems to be, is, to those to whom it seems to be, and is productive of the most dreadful consequences to those to whom it seems to be, even of torments, despair, eternal death.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly, For the Last Judgement draweth nigh.
Nature has no outline. Imagination has.
Art degraded, Imagination denied.
A robin redbreast in a cage Puts all heaven in a rage.
To Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love All pray in their distress, And to these virtues of delight Return their thankfulness.
Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,Dreaming o'er the joys of night.Sleep, sleep: in thy sleepLittle sorrows sit and weep.
I turn my eyes to the schools and universities of Europe And there behold the loom of Locke whose woof rages dire, Washed by the water-wheels of Newton. Black the cloth In heavy wreaths folds over every nation; cruel works Of many wheels I view, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic Moving by compulsion each other: not as those in Eden, which Wheel within wheel in freedom revolve, in harmony and peace.
If you trap the moment before it's ripe, The tears of repentence you'll certainly wipe; But if once you let the ripe moment go You can never wipe off the tears of woe.
First thought is best in Art, second in other matters.
Mysteries are not to be solved. They eye goes blind when it only wants to see why.
My silks and fine array, My smiles and languished air, By love are driv'n away And mournful lean Despair Brings me yew to deck my grave: Such end true lovers have.
He who has suffered you to impose on him knows you.
The Angel that presided o'er my birth Said, 'Little creature, formed of joy and mirth, Go love without the help of any thing on earth'.
In what distant deeps or skies burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire?
Pride is a personal commitment. It is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity.
How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way, Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?
The spirits of the air live on the smells Of fruit; and joy, with pinions light, roves round The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.
I am in you and you in me, mutual in divine love.
Nothing is real beyond imaginative patterns men make of reality.
Does a firm persuasion that a thing is so, make it so?" He replied, "All poets believe it does. And in ages of imagination, this firm persuasion removes mountains; but many are not capable of firm persuasion of anything.
Prisons are built with stones of Law. Brothels with the bricks of religion.
Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place and governs the unwilling. And being restrain'd it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire.
Time is the mercy of Eternity; without Time's swiftness Which is the swiftest of all things, all were eternal torment.
Turn away no more; why wilt thou turn away? The starry floor, the watery shore, is given thee till the break of day.
Where others see but the dawn coming over the hill, I see the soul of God shouting for joy.
For a tear is an intellectual thing, and a sigh is the sword of an angel king, and the bitter groan of the martyr's woe is an arrow from the almighty's bow.
Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life.
There can be no Good Will. Will is always Evil; it is persecution to others or selfishness.
The Vision of Christ that thou dost see, Is my vision's greatest enemy. Thine is the Friend of all Mankind, Mine speaks in Parables to the blind. Thine loves the same world that mine hates, Thy heaven-doors are my hell gates.
The soul of sweet delight, can never be defiled.
I asked a thief to steal me a peach: He turned up his eyes. I asked a lithe lady to lie her down: Holy and meek, she cries. As soon as I went An angel came. He winked at the thief And smiled at the dame- And without one word spoke Had a peach from the tree, And 'twixt earnest and joke Enjoyed the lady.
When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy, And the dimpling stream runs laughing by; When the air does laugh with our merry wit, And the green hill laughs with the noise of it.
What is it men in women do require: The lineaments of gratified desire. What is it women do in men require: The lineaments of gratified desire.
The voice of honest indignation is the voice of God.
Christ's crucifix shall be made an excuse for executing criminals.
To be an Error and to be Cast out is a part of God's Design.
When the stars threw down their spears, and watered heaven with their tears, did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
And throughout all eternity I forgive you, you forgive me.
And there the lion's ruddy eyes shall flow with tears of gold, and pitying the tender cries, and walking round the fold, saying: wrath by his meekness, and by his health, sickness, is driven away from our immortal day.
Want of money and the distress of a thief can never be alleged as the cause of his thieving, for many honest people endure greater hardships with fortitude. We must therefore seek the cause elsewhere than in want of money, for that is the miser's passion, not the thief s.
Embraces are comminglings from the head even to the feet, And not a pompous high priest entering by a secret place.
Fiery the angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder rolled around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc.
Joy and woe are woven fine, A clothing for the soul divine. Under every grief and pine Runs a joy with silken twine.
God is the poetic genius in each of us.
Let light Rise from the chambers of the east, and bring The honey'd dew that cometh on waking day. O radiant morning.
Then the Parson might preach, and drink, and sing, And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring; And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church, Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.
Like a fiend in a cloud, With howling woe, After night I do crowd, And with night will go; I turn my back to the east, From whence comforts have increased; For light doth seize my brain With frantic pain.
The most sublime act is to set another before you.
And I made a rural pen, And I stained the water clear, And I wrote my happy songs Every Child may joy to hear.
Enthusiastic Admiration is the first Principle of Knowledge and its last.
Great things are done when men and mountains meet; this is not done by jostling in the street.
As I was walking among the fires of Hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity, I collected some of their Proverbs.
Father, O father! what do we here In this land of unbelief and fear?
What has reason to do with the art of painting?
I see every thing I paint in this world, but everybody does not see alike. To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes.
The little ones leaped, and shouted, and laugh'd And all the hills echoed.
Sooner strangle an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.
Eternity is in love with the productions of time.
What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? What dread grasp dare its deadly terrors clasp?
Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.
The atoms of Democritus And Newton's particles of light Are sands upon the Red Sea shore, Where Israel's tents do shine so bright.
I love hanging and drawing and quartering Every bit as well as war and slaughtering.
He who makes his law a curse, by his own law shall surely die.
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel'd to heaven is no artist.
Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee?
A DIVINE IMAGE Cruelty has a human heart, And Jealousy a human face; Terror the human form divine, And Secresy the human dress. The human dress is forged iron, The human form a fiery forge, The human face a furnace sealed, The human heart its hungry gorge.
The grave is Heaven's golden gate, And rich and poor around it wait; O Shepherdess of England's fold, Behold this gate of pearl and gold!
There is no mistake so great as the mistake of not going on.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
William Butler Yeats
T. S. Eliot
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Rainer Maria Rilke
W. H. Auden
James Russell Lowell
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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