His whole life is an epigram smart, smooth and neatly penn’d,
Plaited quite neat to catch applause, with a hang-noose at the end.
My Eternal Man set in repose,
The Female from his darkness rose;
And she found me beneath a Tree,
Mandrake, and in her Veil hid me.
Serpent Reasonings us entice
Of good and evil, virtue and vice,
Doubt self-jealous, Watery folly;
Struggling thro’ Earth’s melancholy;
Naked in Air, in shame and fear;
Blind in Fire, with shield and spear;
Two-horn’d Reasoning, cloven fiction,
In doubt, which is self-contradiction,
A dark Hermaphrodite we stood—
Rational truth, root of evil and good.
Round me flew the Flaming Sword;
Round her snowy Whirlwinds roar’d,
Freezing her Veil, the Mundane Shell.
I rent the Veil where the Dead dwell:
When weary Man enters his Cave,
He meets his Saviour in the grave.
Some find a Female Garment there,
And some a Male, woven with care;
Lest the Sexual Garments sweet
Should grow a devouring Winding-sheet.
dies! Alas! the Living and Dead!
One is slain! and One is fled!
Vain-glory hatcht and nurst,
By double Spectres, self-accurst.
My Son! my Son! thou treatest me
But as I have instructed thee.
the shadows of the Moon,
Climbing thro’ Night’s highest noon;
Time’s Ocean falling, drown’d;
In Agèd Ignorance profound,
Holy and cold, I clipp’d the wings
Of all sublunary things,
And in depths of my dungeons
Closed the Father and the Sons.
But when once I did descry
The Immortal Man that cannot die,
Thro’ evening shades I haste away
To close the labours of my day.
The Door of Death I open found,
And the Worm weaving in the ground:
Thou’rt my Mother, from the womb;
Wife, Sister, Daughter, to the tomb;
Weaving to dreams the Sexual strife,
And weeping over the Web of Life.
TERRIFIÈD at Non-Existence—
For such they deem’d the death of the body—Los his vegetable hands
Outstretch’d; his right hand, branching out in fibrous strength,
Seiz’d the Sun; his left hand, like dark roots, cover’d the Moon,
And tore them down, cracking the heavens across from immense to immense.
Then fell the fires of Eternity, with loud and shrill
Sound of loud Trumpet, thundering along from heaven to heaven,
A mighty sound articulate: ‘Awake! ye Dead, and come
To Judgement from the four winds! awake, and come away!’
Folding like scrolls of the enormous volume of Heaven and Earth,
With thunderous noise and dreadful shakings, rocking to and fro,
The Heavens are shaken, and the Earth removèd from its place;
The foundations of the eternal hills discover’d.
The thrones of Kings are shaken, they have lost their robes and crowns;
The Poor smite their oppressors, they awake up to the harvest; 1
The naked warriors rush together down to the seashore,
Trembling before the multitudes of slaves now set at liberty:
They are become like wintry flocks, like forests stripp’d of leaves.
The Oppressèd pursue like the wind; there is no room for escape.…
The Books of Urizen unroll with dreadful noise! The folding Serpent
Of Orc began to consume in fierce raving fire; his fierce flames
Issu’d on all sides, gathering strength in animating volumes,
Roaring abroad on all the winds, raging intense, reddening
Into resistless pillars of fire, rolling round and round, gathering
Strength from the earths consum’d, and heavens, and all hidden abysses,
Where’er the Eagle has explor’d, or Lion or Tiger trod,
Or where the comets of the night, or stars of day
Have shot their arrows or long-beamèd spears in wrath and fury.
And all the while the Trumpet sounds.
From the clotted gore, and from the hollow den
Start forth the trembling millions into flames of mental fire,
Bathing their limbs in the bright visions of Eternity.
Then, like the doves from pillars of smoke, the trembling families
Of women and children throughout every nation under heaven
Cling round the men in bands of twenties and of fifties, pale
As snow that falls round a leafless tree upon the green.
Their oppressors are fall’n; they have stricken them; they awake to life.
Yet, pale, the Just man stands erect, and looking up to Heav’n.
Trembling and strucken by the universal stroke, the trees unroot;
The rocks groan horrible and run about; the mountains and
Their rivers cry with a dismal cry; the cattle gather together,
Lowing they kneel before the heavens; the wild beasts of the forests
Tremble. The Lion, shuddering, asks the Leopard: ‘Feelest thou
The dread I feel, unknown before? My voice refuses to roar,
And in weak moans I speak to thee. This night,
Before the morning’s dawn, the Eagle call’d the Vulture,
The Raven call’d the Hawk. I heard them from my forests,
Saying: “Let us go up far, for soon I smell upon the wind
A terror coming from the South.” The Eagle and Hawk fled away
At dawn, and ere the sun arose, the Raven and Vulture follow’d.
Let us flee also to the North.’ They fled. The Sons of Men
Saw them depart in dismal droves. The trumpets sounded loud,
And all the Sons of Eternity descended into Beulah.
A Tale, Founded On A Fact, Which Happened In January, 1779 -
Where Humber pours his rich commercial stream,
There dwelt a wretch, who breathed but to blaspheme.
In subterraneous caves his life he led,
Black as the mine, in which he wrought for bread.
When on a day, emerging from the deep,
A Sabbath-day, (such Sabbaths thousands keep!)
The wages of his weekly toil he bore
To buy a cock -- whose blood might win him more;
As if the noblest of the feathered kind
Were but for battle and for death designed;
As if the consecrated hours were meant
For sport, to minds on cruelty intent.
It changed, (such chances Providence obey,)
He met a fellow-labourer on the way,
Whose heart the same desires had once inflamed,
But now the savage temper was reclaimed.
Persuasion on his lips had taken place;
For all plead well who plead the cause of grace.
His iron-heart with Scripture he assailed,
Wooed him to hear a sermon, and prevailed.
His faithful bow the mighty preacher drew,
Swift as the lightning-glimpse the arrow flew.
He wept; he trembled; cast his eyes around,
To find a worse than he; but none he found.
He felt his sins, and wondered he should feel.
Grace made the wound, and grace alone could heal.
Now farewell oaths, and blasphemies, and lies!
He quits the sinner's for the martyr's prize.
That holy day was washed with many a tear,
Gilded with hope, yet shaded too by fear.
The next his swarthy brethren of the mine
Learned by his altered speech, the change divine,
Laughed when they should have wept, and swore the day
Was nigh when he would swear as fast as they.
'No,' said the penitent: 'such words shall share
This breath no more; devoted now to prayer.
Oh! if thou seest, (thine eye the future sees,)
That I shall yet again blaspheme, like these,
Now strike me to the ground, on which I kneel,
Ere yet this heart relapses into steel;
Now take me to that heaven I once defied,
Thy presence, thy embrace!' -- He spoke, and died!
And throughout all eternity I forgive you, you forgive me.
Never seek to tell thy love love that never told can be; for the gentle wind does move silently, invisibly. I told my love, I told my love, I told her all my heart; trembling, cold, in ghastly fears ah, she doth depart. Soon as she was gone from me a traveler came by silently, invisibly- he took her with a sigh.
The true method of knowledge is experiment.
My sin and judgment are alike peculiar. I am a castaway, deserted and condemned.
When his wife asked him to change clothes to meet the German Ambassador: If they want to see me, here I am. If they want to see my clothes, open my closet and show them my suits.
All women have a claim on us.
A cat has a reputation to protect. If it had a halo, it would be worn cocked to one side.
If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a body-guard. – Sierra Leonean Proverb
If the man in front falls into a hole, do not follow him. – Ugandan Proverb
I am in no sense of the word a great artist, not even a great animator; I have always had men working for me whose skills were greater than my own. I am an idea man.
A million people—manners free and superb— open voices—hospitality—the most courageous and friendly young men; the free city! no slaves! no owners of slaves! The beautiful city! the city of hurried and sparkling waters! The city of spires and masts! The city nested in bays! my city! The city of such women, I am mad to be with them! I will return after death to be with them! The city of such young men, I swear I cannot live happy, without I often go talk, walk, eat, drink, sleep, with them!
Out of the rolling ocean the crowd came a drop gently to me, whispering I love you, before long I die, I have travel'd a long way merely to look on you to touch you, for I could not die till I once look'd on you, for I fear'd I might afterward lose you. Now we have met, we have look'd, we are safe, return in peace to the ocean my love, I too am part of that ocean my love, we are not so much separated, behold the great rondure, the cohesion of all, how perfect! But as for me, for you, the irresistible sea is to separate us, as for an hour carrying us diverse, yet cannot carry us diverse forever; be not impatient--a little space--know you I salute the air, the ocean and the land, every day at sundown for your dear sake my love.
Children are what the mothers are; no fondest father's fondest care can so fashion the infant's heart, or so shape the life.
Here, where precipitate Spring with one light bound into hot Summer's lusty arms expires; and where go forth at morn, at eve, at night, soft airs, that want the lute to play with them, and softer sighs, that know not what they want; under a wall, beneath an orange-tree whose tallest flowers could tell the lowlier ones of sights in Fiesole right up above, while I was gazing a few paces off at what they seemed to show me with their nods, their frequent whispers and their pointing shoots, a gentle maid came down the garden-steps and gathered the pure treasure in her lap. I heard the branches rustle, and stept forth to drive the ox away, or mule, or goat, (Such I believed it must be); for sweet scents are the swift vehicles of still sweeter thoughts, and nurse and pillow the dull memory that would let drop without them her best stores. They bring me tales of youth and tones of love, and 'tis and ever was my wish and way to let all flowers live freely, and all die, whene'er their Genius bids their souls depart, among their kindred in their native place. I never pluck the rose; the violet's head hath shaken with my breath upon its bank and not reproacht me; the ever-sacred cup of the pure lily hath between my hands felt safe, unsoil'd, or lost one grain of gold. I saw the light that made the glossy leaves more glossy; the fair arm, the fairer cheek warmed by the eye intent on its pursuit; I saw the foot, that, altho half-erect from its grey slipper, could not lift her up to what she wanted: I held down a branch and gather'd her some blossoms, since their hour was come, and bees had wounded them, and flies of harder wing were working their way thro and scattering them in fragments under foot. So crisp were some, they rattled unevolved, others, ere broken off, fell into shells, for such appear the petals when detacht, unbending, brittle, lucid, white like snow, and like snow not seen thro, by eye or sun: yet every one her gown received from me was fairer than the first . . I thought not so, but so she praised them to reward my care. I said: you find the largest. This indeed, cried she, is large and sweet. She held one forth,whether for me to look at or to take she knew not, nor did I; but taking it would best have solved (and this she felt) her doubts. I dared not touch it; for it seemed a part of her own self; fresh, full, the most mature of blossoms, yet a blossom; with a touch to fall, and yet unfallen. She drew back the boon she tendered, and then, finding not the ribbon at her waist to fix it in, dropt it, as loth to drop it, on the rest.
Joining in the amusements of others is, in our social state, the next thing to sympathy in their distresses, and even the slenderest bond that holds society together should rather be strengthened than snapt.
The monument of the greatest man should be only a bust and a name. - If the name alone is insufficient to illustrate the bust, let them both perish.