William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

William Blake Quotes

  • ''"Why cannot the ear be closed to its own destruction?
    Or the glistening eye to the poison of a smile?''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. The Book of Thel (Plate 6, l. 11-12). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
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  • ''The Emmet's Inch and Eagle's Mile
    Make Lame Philosophy to smile.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. Auguries of Innocence (l. 105-106). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''When my mother died I was very young,
    And my father sold me while yet my tongue,
    Could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep.
    So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. From SONGS OF INNOCENCE. The Chimney Sweeper (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''The Child's Toys and the Old Man's Reasons
    Are the Fruits of the Two seasons.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. Auguries of Innocence (l. 91-92). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''"And because I am happy, & dance & sing,
    They think they have done me no injury,
    And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
    Who make up a heaven of our misery."''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. The Chimney Sweeper (l. 9-12). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''"When the sun rises, do you not see a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea?" O no, no, I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty."''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). A Vision of the Last Judgement (1810).
  • ''And the Angel told Tom if he'd be a good boy,
    He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

    And so Tom awoke and we rose in the dark
    And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
    Tho' the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm,
    So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. From SONGS OF INNOCENCE. The Chimney Sweeper (l. 19-24). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''"What," it will be questioned, "When the sun rises, do you not see a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea?" O no, no, I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty."''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. A Vision of the Last Judgement (1810), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).
  • ''A little black thing among the snow
    Crying "'weep, 'weep," in notes of woe!
    "Where are thy father & mother? say?"
    "They are both gone up to the church to pray.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. The Chimney Sweeper (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''Men are admitted into Heaven not because they have curbed & governed their passions or have no passions, but because they have cultivated their understandings. The treasures of Heaven are not negations of passion, but realities of intellect, from which all the passions emanate uncurbed in their eternal glory. The fool shall not enter into Heaven let him be ever so holy.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). A Vision of the Last Judgement (1810).

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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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