Quotes by William Blake

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What is a wife and what is a harlot? What is a church and what is a theatre? are they two and not one? Can they exist separate? Are not religion and politics the same thing? Brotherhood is religion. O demonstrations of reason dividing families in cruelty and pride!

To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy or imagination, and I feel flattered when I am told so. What is it sets Homer, Virgil and Milton in so high a rank of art? Why is the Bible more entertaining and instructive than any other book? Is it not because they are addressed to the imagination, which is spiritual sensation, and but immediately to the understanding or reason?
Expect poison from standing water.
The generations of men run on in the tide of time, but leave their destined lineaments permanent for ever and ever.
To Generalize is to be an Idiot. To Particularize is the Alone Distinction of Merit. General Knowledges are those Knowledges that Idiots possess.
All futurity seems teeming with endless destruction never to be repelled; Desperate remorse swallows the present in a quenchless rage.
Fun I love, but too much fun is of all things the most loathsome. Mirth is better than fun, and happiness is better than mirth.
The strongest poison ever known came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Eternity is in love with the productions of time.
Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
The foundation of empire is art and science. Remove them or degrade them, and the empire is no more. Empire follows art and not vice versa as Englishmen suppose.
If the Sun and Moon should doubt, They'd immediately Go out
Then my verse I dishonor, my pictures despise, my person degrade and my temper chastise; and the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame; and my talents I bury, and dead is my fame.
Want of money and the distress of a thief can never be alleged as the cause of his thieving, for many honest people endure greater hardships with fortitude. We must therefore seek the cause elsewhere than in want of money, for that is the miser's passion, not the thief s.
I must create a system or be enslaved by another man s; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.
Christianity is art and not money. Money is its curse.
Commerce is so far from being beneficial to arts, or to empire, that it is destructive of both, as all their history shows, for the above reason of individual merit being its great hatred. Empires flourish till they become commercial, and then they are scattered abroad to the four winds.
Nothing can be more contemptible than to suppose Public Records to be true.
My mother groaned, my father wept, into the dangerous world I leapt; helpless, naked, piping loud, like a fiend hid in a cloud.
When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head!
I have no name: I am but two days old. What shall I call thee? I happy am, Joy is my name. Sweet joy befall thee!
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.
What is the price of experience? Do men buy it for a song? Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price of all the man hath, his house, his wife, his children.
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.
Sooner strangle an infant in its cradle than nurse un-acted desires.
Whate'er is Born of Mortal Birth Must be consumed with the Earth To rise from Generation free.
For Mercy has a human heartPity, a human face:And Love, the human form divine,And Peace, the human dress. Then every man of every clime,That prays in his distress,Prays to the human form divineLove Mercy Pity Peace.
The Sun does arise, And make happy the skies; The merry bells ring To welcome the Spring.
O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit Beneath my shady roof, there thou may'st rest, And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe; And all the daughters of the year shall dance! Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love All pray in their distress; And to these virtues of delight Return their thankfulness.