William Blake


English Poet, Engraver, Painter, Visionary Mystic

Author Quotes

Where the youth pined away with desire, and the pale virgin shrouded in snow, arise from their graves and aspire, where my sun-flower wishes to go.

To my eye Rubens' coloring is most contemptible. His shadows are a filthy brown somewhat the color of excrement.

Weeps incessantly for my sin.

When I tell any truth it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it but for the sake of defending those who do. It is not because angels are holier than men or devils that makes them angels but because they do not expect holiness from one another but from God only thinking as I do that the creator of this world is a very cruel being, I cannot help saying: "the son, o how unlike the father!" first God almighty comes with a thump on the head.

Where there is money there is no art.

This life's dim windows of the soul Distorts the heavens from pole to pole And leads you to believe a lie When you see with, not through, the eye.

To open the eternal worlds, to open the immortal eyes of man inwards into the worlds of thought: into eternity ever expanding in the bosom of God, the human imagination.

What has reasoning to do with painting?

When my mother died, I was very young, and my father sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry `'weep! 'Weep! 'Weep! 'Weep!' so your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.

Why a tender curb upon the youthful burning boy? Why a little curtain of flesh on the bed of our desire?

This world of imagination is the world of eternity.

To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun and and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity, and by these I shall not regulate my proportions; and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed, such are its powers.

What is a wife and what is a harlot? What is a church and what is a theatre? Are they two and not one? Can they exist separate? Are not religion and politics the same thing? Brotherhood is religion o demonstrations of reason dividing families in cruelty and pride!

When nations grow old the arts grow cold and commerce settles on every tree.

Why art thou silent and invisible, father of jealousy?

Those who control their passions do so because their passions are weak enough to be controlled.

Tools were made and born with hands, Every farmer understands.

What is above is within ... The circumference is within, without is formed the selfish center, and the circumference still expands going forward to eternity.

When Sir Joshua Reynolds died all nature was degraded; the king dropped a tear in the queen's ear, and all his pictures faded.

Why cannot the ear be closed to its own destruction? Or the glistening eye to the poison of a smile?

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.

Travelers repose and dream among my leaves.

What is Grand is necessarily obscure to Weak men. That which can be made Explicit to the idiot is not worth my care.

When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite.

Why wilt thou examine every little fibre of my soul, spreading them out before the sun like stalks of flax to dry? ... naught shalt thou find in it but Death, Despair and Everlasting brooding Melancholy. thou wilt go mad with horror if thou dost examine thus every moment of my secret hours.

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English Poet, Engraver, Painter, Visionary Mystic