Title Image - Quotes by Author William BlakePhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by William Blake. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for William Blake

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. While he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich œuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God" or "human existence itself".

Although Blake was considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, he is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of the Romantic movement and as "Pre-Romantic". A committed Christian who was hostile to the Church of England (indeed, to almost all forms of organised religion), Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions. Though later he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine; he was also influenced by thinkers such as Emanuel Swedenborg. Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th-century scholar William Michael Rossetti characterised him as a "glorious luminary", and "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors".

The person who does not believe in miracles surely
makes it certain that he or she will never take part in one.

--William Blake

How sweet I roamed from field to field, and tasted all the summer's pride.

--William Blake

The errors of a wise man make your rule rather than the perfections of a fool.

--William Blake

All futurity seems teeming with endless destruction never to be repelled. Desperate remorse swallows the present in a quenchless rage.

--William Blake

Mechanical excellence is the only vehicle of genius.

--William Blake

Cruelty has a human heart, And Jealousy a human face; Terror the human form divine, And Secrecy the human dress.

--William Blake

The moon, like a flower In heaven's high bower, With silent delight Sits and smiles on the night.

--William Blake

Twas on a Holy Thursday their innocent faces clean The children walking two and two in red and blue and green Grey headed beadles walked before with wands as white as snow Till into the high dome of Pauls they like Thames waters flow.

--William Blake

And throughout all eternity, I forgive you and you forgive me.

--William Blake

The generations of men run on in the tide of time, but leave their destined lineaments permanent for ever and ever.

--William Blake

Dip him in the river who loves water.

--William Blake

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 alone.

--William Blake

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.

--William Blake

Longer Version:

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 water'd it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunnéd 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 veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.


What is it men in women do require: The lineaments of gratified desire. What is it women do in men require: The lineaments of gratified desire.

--William Blake

Every tear from every eyeBecomes a babe in eternity.

--William Blake

Nothing can be more contemptible than to suppose Public Records to be true.

--William Blake

She who dwells with me whom I have loved with such communion, that no place on earth can ever be solitude to me.

--William Blake

If you have form'd a circle to go into,
Go into it yourself, and see how you would do.
They said this mystery never shall cease:
The priest promotes war, and the soldier peace.

--William Blake

If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning.

--William Blake

Re-engrav'd time after time
Ever in their youthful prime
My designs unchang'd remain
Time may rage, but rage in vain
For above Time's troubled fountains
On the great Atlantic Mountains
In my Golden House on high
There they shine eternally.

--William Blake

All pictures that's painted with sense and with thought Are painted by madmen as sure as a groat; For the greater the fool in the pencil more blest, And when they are drunk they always paint best.

--William Blake

Now hear a plain fact: Swedenborg has not written one new truth. Now hear another: he has written all the old falsehoods.

--William Blake

Enthusiastic Admiration is the first Principle of Knowledge and its last.

--William Blake

We are here to learn to endure the beams of love.

--William Blake

Like a fiend in a cloud,
With howling woe,
After night I do crowd,
And with night will go;
I turn my back to the east,
From whence comforts have increased;
For light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain.

--William Blake

The hours of folly are measur'd by the clock, but of wisdom: no clock can measure.

--William Blake

If others had not been foolish, we should be so.

--William Blake

Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from Hell a human soul.

--William Blake

My work is visionary or imaginative. That which can be made explicit to the idiot is not worth my care.

--William Blake

Listen to the fool's reproach! It is a kingly title!

--William Blake

Imitation is criticism.

--William Blake

Knowledge of ideal beauty is not to be acquired. It is born with us. Innate ideas are in every man, born with him; theyare truly himself.

--William Blake

I'm sure this Jesus will not do Either for Englishman or Jew.

--William Blake

Invention depends altogether upon execution or organization; as that is right or wrong so is the invention perfect or imperfect.

--William Blake

Mutual forgiveness of each vice. Such are the Gates of Paradise.

--William Blake

The cistern contains: The fountain overflows.

--William Blake

Does a firm persuasion that a thing is so, make it so?

--William Blake

To Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love All pray in their distress, And to these virtues of delight Return their thankfulness.

--William Blake

Longer Version:

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
All pray in their distress:
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is God, our father dear:
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity, 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 divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew.
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell,
There God is dwelling too.


Without contraries there is no progression.

--William Blake

Longer Version:

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


The ruins of time build mansions in eternity.

--William Blake

In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between them, there are doors.

--William Blake

The most sublime act is to set another before you.

--William Blake

Tools were made and born were hands, Every farmer understands.

--William Blake

Art is the Tree of Life, Science is the Tree of Death.

--William Blake

The child's toys and the old man's reasons are the fruits of two seasons.

--William Blake

A tyrant is the worst disease, and the cause of all others.

--William Blake

I have mental joys and mental health, Mental friends and mental wealth, I've a wife that I love and that loves me; I've all but riches bodily.

--William Blake

The naked woman's body is a portion of eternity too great for the eye of man.

--William Blake

The cut worm forgives the plow.

--William Blake

Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.

--William Blake

Wisdom is sold in a desolate marketplace where none can come to buy.

--William Blake

And I watered it in fears, Night and morning with my tears; And I sunned it with smiles, And with soft deceitful wiles.

--William Blake

And we are put on earth a little space, That we may learn to bear the beams of love.

--William Blake

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.

--William Blake

But to go to school in a summer morn, O! It drives all joy away; Under a cruel eye outworn, The little ones spend the day In sighing and dismay.

--William Blake

Each man is haunted until his humanity awakens.

--William Blake

Mere enthusiasm is the all in all.

--William Blake

Longer Version:

Mere enthusiasm is the all in all... Passion and expression are beauty itself.


Everything is beautiful in its own way. Exuberance is beauty.

--William Blake

Forgive what you do not approve and love me for this energetic exertion of my talent.

--William Blake

How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way, Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?

--William Blake

Death is terrible, tho' borne on angels' wings!

--William Blake

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

--William Blake

It is the greatest of crimes to depress true art and science.

--William Blake

Make your own rules or be a slave to another man's.

--William Blake

How have you left the ancient love That bards of old enjoyed in you! The languid strings do scarcely move! The sound is forced, the notes are few!

--William Blake

Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves the feet of angels bright; unseen they pour blessing, and joy without ceasing, on each bud and blossom, and each sleeping bosom.

--William Blake

Such, such were the joys
When we all, girls and boys,
In our youth time were seen
On the Echoing Green.

--William Blake

Then the Parson might preach, and drink, and sing, And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring; And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church, Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.

--William Blake

The vision of Christ that thou dost see Is my vision's greatest enemy.

--William Blake

All the destruction in Christian Europe has arisen from deism, which is natural religion.

--William Blake

O why was I born with a different face? Why was I not born like the rest of my race?

--William Blake

Man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.

--William Blake

When the doors of perception are cleansed, men will see things as they truly are, infinite.

--William Blake

It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted.

--William Blake

Poetry fettered, fetters the human race.

--William Blake

Longer Version:

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


The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.

--William Blake

More! More! is the cry of a mistaken soul.

--William Blake

Heaven is in a grain of sand.

--William Blake

The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.

--William Blake

The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.

--William Blake

Longer Version:

The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God. The nakedness of woman is the work of God.


As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.

--William Blake

To some people a tree is something so incredibly beautiful that it brings tears to the eyes. To others it is just a green thing that stands in the way.

--William Blake

But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.

--William Blake

I cry, Love! Love! Love! happy happy Love! free as the mountain wind!

--William Blake

He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars.

--William Blake

Longer Version:

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.


Innate ideas are in every man, born with him; they are truly himself. The man who says that we have no innate ideas must be a fool and knave, having no conscience or innate science.

--William Blake

Abstinence sows sand all over The ruddy limbs and flaming hair, But desire gratified Plants fruits of life and beauty there.

--William Blake

The Man who never in his Mind and Thoughts travel'd to Heaven Is No Artist.

--William Blake

Expect poison from the standing water.

--William Blake

The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged and numerous senses could perceive.

--William Blake

The inquiry in England is not whether a man has talents and genius, but whether he is passive and polite and a virtuous ass and obedient to noblemen's opinions in art and science. If he is, he is a good man. If not, he must be starved.

--William Blake

The Vision of Christ that thou dost see,

Is my vision's greatest enemy.

Thine is the Friend of all Mankind,

Mine speaks in Parables to the blind.

Thine loves the same world that mine hates,

Thy heaven-doors are my hell gates.

--William Blake

Where others see but the dawn coming over the hill, I see the soul of God shouting for joy.

--William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England's mountains green? And was the holy Lamb of God On England's pleasant pastures seen?

--William Blake

Longer Version:

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant Land.


I see the Past, Present and Future existing all at once Before me.

--William Blake

Reason, or the ratio of all we have already known, is not the same that it shall be when we know more.

--William Blake

To my eye Rubens' colouring is most contemptible. His shadows are a filthy brown somewhat the colour of excrement.

--William Blake

The countless gold of a merry heart, The rubies and pearls of a loving eye, The indolent never can bring to the mart, Nor the secret hoard up in his treasury.

--William Blake

A dog starved at his master's gate Predicts the ruin of the state.

--William Blake

A skylark wounded in the wing, A cherubim does cease to sing.

--William Blake

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