Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

William Blake

English Poet, Engraver, Painter, Visionary Mystic

"A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent."

"Contracting our Infinite sense we behold Multitude, or expanding we behold as one."

"He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence."

"If a fool would persist in his folly he would become wise."

"If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite."

"Innocence dwells with wisdom, but never with ignorance."

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."

"Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires."

"The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship."

"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind."

"The most sublime act is to set another before you."

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough."

"The voice of the Devil. All Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following errors: 1. That man has two real existing principles; vis; a body and a soul. 2. That energy, called evil, is alone from body, and that reason, called good, is alone from the soul. 3. That God will torment man in eternity for the following energies. But the following contraries to these are true: 1. Man has no body distinct from his soul; for that called body is a portion of soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of the soul in this age. 2. Energy is the only life, and is from the body; and reason is bound or outward circumference of energy. 3. Energy is eternal delight."

"The world of imagination is the world of eternity. It is the divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of the vegetated body. This world of imagination is infinite and eternal, whereas the world of generation, of vegetation, is finite and temporal. There exist in that eternal world the permanent realities of everything which we see reflected in this vegetable glass of nature."

"Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you."

"Energy is Eternal delight."

"Energy is the only life, and is from the body; and reason is the bound or outward circumference of energy. Energy is eternal delight."

"Eternity is in love with the productions of time."

"Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth."

"Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps."

"Expect poison from the standing water."

"Exuberance is Beauty."

"For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life."

"He who binds to himself a joy does the winged life destroy. But he who kisses the joy as it flies lives in eternity's sunrise."

"I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow."

"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' chinks of his cavern."

"If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise."

"If you trap the moment before it's ripe, the tears of repentance you'll certainly wipe; but if once you let the ripe moment go you can never wipe off the tears of woe."

"Imitation is criticism."

"Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius."

"Joy impregnate. Sorrows bring forth."

"Man has no body distinct from his Soul: for that called Body is a portion of Soul discern’d by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age."

"Men are admitted into Heaven not because they have curbed and governed their Passions or have no Passions, but because they have Cultivated their Understandings."

"One thought fills immensity."

"The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness."

"The notion that man has a body distinct from his soul is to be expunged; this I shall do by... melting apparent surfaces away, and displaying the infinite which was hid."

"Thought alone can make monsters, but the affections cannot."

"To be in a Passion you Good man do, But no Good if a Passion is in you."

"To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, to hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour."

"To some people a tree is something so incredibly beautiful that it brings tears to the eyes. To others it is just a green thing that stands in the way."

"To the eyes of a miser a guinea is far 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 tree which moves some to tears of joy in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way. As a man is, so he sees."

"War is energy Enslav'd."

"What is now proved was only once imagined."

"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 that do."

"Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason, and Energy, Love and hate, are necessary to Human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell."

"You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough."

"Celebrate your existence."

"Every unkindness to another is a little Death in the Divine Image; nor can Man exist but by Brotherhood."

"Everything that lives is holy, life delights in life."

"Brotherhood is Religion!"