William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

William Blake Quotes

  • ''Ah, Sun-flower, weary of time,
    Who countest the steps of the Sun,
    Seeking after that sweet golden clime
    Where the traveller's journey is done:
    Where the Youth pined away with desire,
    And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow
    Arise from their graves, and aspire
    Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Songs of Experience, "Ah! Sun-flower," (1794), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).
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  • ''Where the Youth pined away with desire,
    And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow,
    Arise from their graves and aspire,
    Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. Ah Sun-flower! (L. 5-8). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''My mother groan'd! my father wept.
    Into the dangerous world I leapt:
    Helpless, naked, piping loud:
    Like a fiend hid in a cloud.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Songs of Experience, "Infant Sorrow," (1794), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).
  • ''Opposition is true friendship.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. "A Memorable Fancy," plates 17-20, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-1793).
  • ''O Rose, thou art sick!
    The invisible worm
    That flies in the night,
    In the howling storm,
    Has found out thy bed
    Of crimson joy:
    And his dark secret love
    Does thy life destroy.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Songs of Experience, "The Sick Rose," (1794), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).
  • ''That the Jews assumed a right exclusively to the benefits of God will be a lasting witness against them & the same will it be against Christians.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). Annotations to Bishop Watson, An Apology for the Bible in a Series of Letters Addressed to Thomas Paine (1798).
  • ''Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
    In the forests of the night,
    What immortal hand or eye
    Could frame thy fearful symmetry?''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Songs of Experience, "The Tyger," st. 1 (1794), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).
  • ''Nothing can be more contemptible than to suppose Public RECORDS to be true.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). Annotations to Bishop Watson, An Apology for the Bible in a Series of Letters Addressed to Thomas Paine (1798).
  • ''Love seeketh only self to please,
    To bind another to its delight,
    Joys in another's loss of ease,
    And builds a Hell in Heaven's despite.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Songs of Experience, "The Clod & the Pebble," st. 1 (1794), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). Reply of the Pebble to the Clod of Clay's verse: "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."
  • ''It appears to me that men are hired to run down men of genius under the mask of translators, but Dante gives too much of Caesar: he is not a republican.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. "Annotations to Boyd's Dante," (written c. 1800), published in Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (c. 1957).

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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

To Tirzah

Whate'er is Born of Mortal Birth
Must be consumed with the Earth
To rise from Generation free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

The Sexes sprung from Shame & Pride,
Blow'd in the morn, in evening died;
But Mercy chang'd Death into Sleep;
The Sexes rose to work & weep.

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