William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

William Blake Quotes

  • ''When the voices of children are heard on the green
    And laughing is heard on the hill,
    My heart is at rest within my breast
    And everything else is still.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. Nurse's Song (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
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  • ''Can I see a falling tear,
    And not feel my sorrow's share?''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. From SONGS OF INNOCENCE. On Another's Sorrow (l. 5-6). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''Think not thou canst sigh a sigh
    And thy maker is not by;
    Think not thou canst weep a tear
    And thy maker is not near.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, mystic. From SONGS OF INNOCENCE. On Another's Sorrow (l. 29-32). . . The Complete Poems [William Blake]. Alicia Ostriker, ed. (1977) Penguin Books.
  • ''The moment of desire! the moment of desire! The virgin
    That pines for man shall awaken her womb to enormous joys
    In the secret shadows of her chamber: the youth shut up from
    The lustful joy shall forget to generate & create an amorous image
    In the shadows of his curtains and in the folds of his silent pillow.
    Are not these the places of religion, the rewards of continence,
    The self-enjoyings of self-denial? why dost thou seek religion?
    Is it because acts are not lovely that thou seekest solitude
    Where the horrible darkness is impressed with reflections of desire?''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). Oothoon, in Visions of the Daughters of Albion, plate 7 (1793).
  • ''O God, protect me from my friends, that they have not power over me.
    Thou hast giv'n me power to protect myself from thy bitterest enemies.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Palamabron, in Milton, bk. 1 (c. 1810), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). The saying has earlier proverbial antecedents in several languages: Queen Elizabeth I, quoted in J.E. Neale, Elizabeth I and Her Parliament ch. 4 (1957), said: "There is an Italian proverb which saith, 'From my enemy let me defend myself; but from a pretensed friend, good Lord deliver me.'..."
  • ''He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. "Proverbs of Hell," plate 7, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-1793).
  • ''Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. "Proverbs of Hell," plate 9, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790).
  • ''The hours of folly are measured by the clock, but of wisdom no clock can measure.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. "Proverbs of Hell," plate 7, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790).
  • ''I am really sorry to see my countrymen trouble themselves about politics. If men were wise, the most arbitrary princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the freest government is compelled to be a tyranny. Princes appear to me to be fools. Houses of Commons & Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools; they seem to me to be something else besides human life.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). Public Address (c. 1810).
  • ''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 who do.''
    William Blake (1757-1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Published in Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957). "Public Address," (written c. 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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