Poetic Exploration of the Heart

William Blake Quotes

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)

•    A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.

•    Every harlot was a virgin once.

•    Eternity is in love with the productions of time.

•    Excessive sorrow laughs. Excessive joy weeps.

•    If a thing loves, it is infinite.

•    Exuberance is beauty.

•    Active Evil is better than Passive Good.

•    One thought fills immensity.

•    Opposition is true friendship.

•    For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life.

•    Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed.

•    Art is the tree of life. Science is the tree of death.

•    A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.

•    Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.

•    As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed, such are its powers.

•    Better murder an infant in its cradle than nurse an unacted desire.

•    Both read the Bible day and night, but thou read black where I read white.

•    Can I see another’s woe, and not be in sorrow too? Can I see another’s grief, and not seek for kind relief?

•    Christ’s crucifix shall be made an excuse for executing criminals.

•    Do what you will, this world’s a fiction and is made up of contradiction.

•    Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.

•    Great things are done when men and mountains meet.

•    He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sun rise.

•    He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.

•    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.

•    He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.

•    I am in you and you in me, mutual in divine love.

•    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!

•    I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

•    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.

•    If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.

•    If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.

•    If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they’d immediately go out.

•    Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.

•    In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.

•    It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.

•    It is not because angels are holier than men or devils that makes them angels, but because they do not expect holiness from one another, but from God only.

•    Lives in eternity’s sun rise.

•    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.

•    Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that called Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.

•    No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.

•    Poetry fettered, fetters the human race. Nations are destroyed or flourish in proportion as their poetry, painting, and music are destroyed or flourish.

•    Prisons are built with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion.

•    Prisons are built with stones of Law. Brothels with the bricks of religion.

•    Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity.

•    That the Jews assumed a right exclusively to the benefits of God will be a lasting witness against them and the same will it be against Christians.

•    The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.

•    The difference between a bad artist and a good one is: the bad artist seems to copy a great deal; the good one really does.

•    The eye altering, alters all.

•    The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.

•    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.

•    The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.

•    The hours of folly are measured by the clock; but of wisdom, no clock can measure.

•    The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.

•    The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel’d to heaven is no artist.

•    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

•    The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom… for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.

•    The soul of sweet delight, can never be defiled.

•    The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.

•    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

•    The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.

•    The true method of knowledge is experiment.

•    The weak in courage is strong in cunning.

•    Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.

•    Those who restrain their desires, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.

•    To generalize is to be an idiot.

•    To generalize is to be an idiot. To particularize is the alone distinction of merit. General knowledges are those knowledges that idiots possess.

•    To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.

•    To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.

•    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.

•    Travelers repose and dream among my leaves.

•    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.

•    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!

•    What is grand is necessarily obscure to weak men. That which can be made explicit to the idiot is not worth my care.

•    What is now proved was once only imagined.

•    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 a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend.

•    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.

•    When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.

•    Where mercy, love, and pity dwell, there God is dwelling too.

•    Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.

•    You cannot have Liberty in this world without what you call Moral Virtue, and you cannot have Moral Virtue without the slavery of that half of the human race who hate what you call Moral Virtue.

•    You never know what is enough unless you know more than enough.

•    You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.

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