Quotations by Blake, William


To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
“Auguries of Innocence,” l. 1 (1803)
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Added on 28-Jan-13 | Last updated 28-Jan-13
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He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be beloved by men.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
“Auguries of Innocence,” l. 29 (1803)
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Added on 18-Feb-13 | Last updated 18-Feb-13
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A dog starved at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
“Auguries of Innocence,” l. 9 (1803)
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The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar’s laurel crown.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
“Auguries of Innocence,” l. 97 (1803)
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Added on 11-Feb-13 | Last updated 11-Feb-13
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A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all Heaven in a rage.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
“Auguries of Innocence,” l.5 (1803)
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Added on 21-Jan-13 | Last updated 21-Jan-13
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A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
“Auguries of Innocence,” l.53 (1803)
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The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar’s laurel crown.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
“Auguries of Innocence,” l.97 (1803)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Sep-12
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But if at the Church they would give us some ale,
And a pleasant fire, our souls to regale,
We’d sing and we’d pray all the live-long day,
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.
… And God like a father rejoicing to see
His children as pleasant and happy as he,
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the barrel,
But kiss him and give him both drink and apparel.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
“The Little Vagabond,” Songs of Experience (1794)
Added on 21-Oct-16 | Last updated 21-Oct-16
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Nothing can be more contemptible than to suppose Public RECORDS to be True.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Annotations to “An Apology for the Bible” by R. Watson (1797)
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Added on 8-Oct-12 | Last updated 8-Oct-12
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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 of Christians.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Annotations to “An Apology for the Bible” by R. Watson (1797)
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Added on 15-Oct-12 | Last updated 15-Oct-12
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Degrade first the arts if you’d mankind degrade,
Hire idiots to paint with cold light and hot shade.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Annotations to Sir Joshua Reynolds’s “Discourses”, title page (c. 1798–1809)
Added on 22-Oct-12 | Last updated 22-Oct-12
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Acts themselves alone are history, and these are neither the exclusive property of Hume, Gibbon nor Voltaire, Echard, Rapin, Plutarch, nor Herodotus. Tell me the Acts, O historian, and leave me to reason upon them as I please; away with your reasoning and your rubbish. All that is not action is not worth reading.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Blake’s Exhibition and Catalogue, Vol. 5 “The Ancient Britons” (1809)
Added on 5-Nov-12 | Last updated 5-Nov-12
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It is easier to forgive an Enemy than to forgive a Friend!

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (c. 1803–20)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Sep-12
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Poetry fettered fetters the human race. Nations are destroyed, or flourish, in proportion as their poetry, painting, and music are destroyed or flourish!

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion, “To the Public,” Plate 1 (c. 1803–20)
Added on 11-Mar-13 | Last updated 11-Mar-13
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He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars;
General good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer:
For art and science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion, ch. 3, plate 55, l. 60 (c. 1803–20)
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Added on 18-Mar-13 | Last updated 18-Mar-13
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And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Milton: A Poem, preface, st. 1-2 (1804-08)
Added on 25-Feb-13 | Last updated 25-Feb-13
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Bring me my Bow of burning gold,
Bring me my Arrows of desire,
Bring me my Spear — O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Milton: A Poem, preface, st. 3 (1804-08)
Added on 4-Mar-13 | Last updated 4-Mar-13
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I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant Land.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Milton: A Poem, preface, st. 4 (1804-08)
Added on 7-Dec-09 | Last updated 4-Sep-12
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The sword sung on the barren heath,
The sickle in the fruitful field;
The sword he sung a song of death,
But could not make the sickle yield.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Notebooks “The Sword Sung” (c. 1791-92)
Added on 3-Dec-12 | Last updated 3-Dec-12
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He’s a Blockhead who wants a proof of what he Can’t Perceive
And he’s a Fool who tries to make such a Blockhead believe.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Notebooks (1793)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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When nations grow old, the Arts grow cold,
And Commerce settles on every tree.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
On Art And Artists, “On the Foundation of the Royal Academy” (1800)
Added on 29-Oct-12 | Last updated 29-Oct-12
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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.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Songs of Experience, “A Poison Tree”, st. 1 (1794)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Sep-12
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Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a heaven in hell’s despair.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Songs of Experience, “The Clod and the Pebble”, st. 1 (1794)
Added on 10-Dec-12 | Last updated 10-Dec-12
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Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
in the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Songs of Experience, “The Tyger”, st. 1 (1794)
Added on 17-Dec-12 | Last updated 17-Dec-12
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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?

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Songs of Experience, “The Tyger”, st. 5 (1794)
Added on 31-Dec-12 | Last updated 31-Dec-12
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The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.
The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.
The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.
The nakedness of a woman is the work of God.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-93)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Sep-12
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A man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, “A Memorable Fancy” (1790)
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What is now proved was once only imagined.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, “Proverbs of Hell” (1790–93)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Sep-12
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Prisons are built with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, “Proverbs of Hell”, l. 21 (1790–93)
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Added on 12-Nov-12 | Last updated 12-Nov-12
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You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, “Proverbs of Hell”, l. 46 (1790-93)
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The ancient poets animated all objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could perceive. And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity; Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of, & enslav’d the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects: thus began priesthood; Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales. And at length they pronounc’d that the Gods had order’d such things. Thus men forgot that all deities reside in the human breast.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, “Proverbs of Hell”, l. 71 (1790–93)
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Added on 26-Nov-12 | Last updated 26-Nov-12
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Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, “The Argument” (1790–93)
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Added on 19-Nov-12 | Last updated 19-Nov-12
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I have written this Poem from immediate Dictation, twelve or sometimes twenty or thirty lines at a time, without Premeditation and even against my Will; the Time it has taken in writing was thus render’d Non Existent, and an immense Poem Exists which seems to be the Labor of a long life, all produc’d without Labor or Study.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Letter to his patron Thomas Butts (25 Apr 1803)
Added on 6-Jan-10 | Last updated 6-Jan-10
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As a man is, so he sees.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Letter to Rev. D. Trusler (23 Aug 1799)
Added on 10-Sep-13 | Last updated 10-Sep-13
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What is Grand is necessarily obscure to Weak men. That which can be made Explicit to the idiot is not worth my care.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Letter to Rev. Dr. Trusler (23 Aug 1799)
Added on 7-Jan-13 | Last updated 7-Jan-13
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Fun I love, but too much Fun is of all things the most loathsome. Mirth is better than Fun & Happiness is better than Mirth.

William Blake (1757-1827) English poet, mystic, artist
Letter to Rev. Dr. Trusler (23 Aug 1799)
Added on 14-Jan-13 | Last updated 14-Jan-13
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