William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

William Blake Quotes

  • ''When Sir Joshua Reynolds died
    All Nature was degraded;''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. Sir Joshua Reynolds (l. 1-2). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
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  • ''I walked abroad in a snowy day;
    I asked the soft snow with me to play;
    She played and she melted in all her prime,
    And the winter called it a dreadful crime.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. Soft Snow (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''Bring me an axe and spade,
    Bring me a winding-sheet;
    When I my grave have made
    Let winds and tempests beat:
    Then down I'll lie as cold as clay.
    True love doth pass away!''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. Song (l. 13-18). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. letter, Aug. 23, 1799. Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).
  • ''My silks and fine array,
    My smiles and languish'd air,
    By Love are driv'n away;
    And mournful lean Despair
    Brings me yew to deck my grave:
    Such end true lovers have.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. Song (l. 1-6). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''Sweet babe, in thy face
    Soft desires I can trace,
    Secret joys and secret smiles,
    Little pretty infant wiles.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. A Cradle Song (l. 5-8). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''Cruelty has a Human Heart,
    And jealousy a Human Face;
    Terror the Human Form Divine,
    And secrecy the Human Dress.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Songs of Experience, "A Divine Image," (1794), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). This poem, etched on a copper plate in his usual manner, does not appear in any copy of the Songs of Experience, and so was probably rejected by him.
  • ''O the cunning wiles that creep
    In thy little heart asleep!
    When thy little heart doth wake,
    Then the dreadful night shall break.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. A Cradle Song (l. 13-16). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''In every cry of every man,
    In every infant's cry of fear,
    In every voice, in every ban,
    The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Songs of Experience, "London," (1794), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).
  • ''Acts themselves alone are history.... 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), British poet, painter, engraver. repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). A Descriptive Catalogue, no. 5 (1809).

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Best Poem of William Blake

A Poison Tree

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.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Read the full of A Poison Tree

Love's Secret

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 did depart!

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