William Blake


English Poet, Engraver, Painter, Visionary Mystic

Author Quotes

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.

Those who restrain their desires, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.

True superstition is ignorant honesty and this is beloved of God and man.

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.

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.

With sweet may dews my wings were wet, and phoebus fir'd my vocal rage; he caught me in his silken net, and shut me in his golden cage. He loves to sit and hear me sing, then, laughing, sports and plays with me; then stretches out my golden wing, and mocks my loss of liberty.

Thou fair-haired angel of the evening, now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown put on, and smile upon our evening bed!

Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believed. Enough! Or too much.

What is the divine spirit? Is the holy ghost any other than an intellectual fountain?

When the painted birds laugh in the shade, when our table with cherries and nuts is spread: come live, and be merry, and join with me to sing the sweet chorus of 'ha, ha, he!

Thus men forgot that all deities reside in the human breast.

Truth lies within a little and certain compass, but error is immense.

What is the price of experience? Do men buy it for a song? Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy and in the wither'd field where the farmer ploughs for bread in vain it is an easy thing to triumph in the summer's sun and in the vintage and to sing on the waggon loaded with corn it is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted to speak the laws of prudence to the homeless wanderer to listen to the hungry raven's cry in wintry season when the red blood is fill'd with wine and with the marrow of lambs it is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements to hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughterhouse moan; to see a God on every wind and a blessing on every blast to hear sounds of love in the thunderstorm that destroys our enemies' house; to rejoice in the blight that covers his field and the sickness that cuts off his children while our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door and our children bring fruits and flowers then the groan and the dolour are quite forgotten and the slave grinding at the mill and the captive in chains and the poor in the prison and the soldier in the field when the shatter'd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead it is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity: thus could I sing and thus rejoice: but it is not so with me.

When the stars threw down their spears, and water'd heaven with their tears, did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache: do be my enemy for friendship's sake.

Turn away no more; why wilt thou turn away? The starry floor, the watery shore, is given thee till the break of day.

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.

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English Poet, Engraver, Painter, Visionary Mystic