To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.
The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert, that God spoke to them; and whether they did not think at the time, that they would be misunderstood, & so be the cause of imposition.Isaiah answer'd, I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover'd the infinite in every thing, and as I was then persuaded, & remain confirm'd; that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.
When the stars threw down their spears, and watered heaven with their tears, did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
He who binds to himself a joyDoes the winged life destroy,But he who kisses the joy as it fliesLives in eternity's sun rise.
What is grand is necessarily obscure to weak men. That which can be made explicit to the idiot is not worth my care.
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.
To see a World in a grain of sand,And a Heaven in a wild flower,Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,And Eternity in an hour.
I wander through each chartered street,Near where the chartered Thames does flow;A mark in every face I meet,Marks of weakness, marks of woe.In every cry of every man,In every infant’s cry of fear,In every voice, in every ban,The mind-forged manacles I hear:How the chimney-sweeper’s cryEvery blackening church appals,And the hapless soldier’s sighRuns in blood down palace-walls.But most, through midnight streets I hearHow the youthful harlot’s curseBlasts the new-born infant’s tear,And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.
I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst, Where I used to play on the green. And the gates of this Chapel were shut, And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door; So I turn'd to the Garden of Love, That so many sweet flowers bore. And I saw it was filled with graves, And tomb-stones where flowers should be: And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds, And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
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 dayIn sighing and dismay.
How can the bird that is born for joySit in a cage and sing?How can a child, when fears annoy,But droop his tender wing,And forget his youthful spring?
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.
excuse my enthusiasm or rather madness, for I am really drunk with intellectual vision whenever I take a pencil or graver into my hand.
The Devil answer'd: bray a fool in a morter with wheat, yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him; if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the sabbaths God? murder those who were murder'd because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defense before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments; Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.
But when he has done this, let him not say that he knows better than his master, for he only holds a candle in sunshine.
Time is the mercy of Eternity without Time's swiftness/ Which is the swiftest of all things: all were eternal torment.
We live as One Man for contracting our infinite senses we behold multitude or expanding: we behold as one.
Man has no Body distinct from his soul; for that called Body is a portion of a Soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.
The following Discourse [on art, by Sir Joshua Reynolds] is particularly Interesting to Blockheads as it endeavours to prove that There is No such thing as Inspiration & that any Man of a plain Understanding may by Thieving from Others become a Mich Angelo.
All futurity seems teeming with endless destruction never to be repelled, Desperate remorse swallows the present in a quenchless rage.
IV The bounded is loathed by its possessor. The same dull round even of a universe would soon become a mill with complicated wheels.V If the many become the same as the few, when possess'd, More! More! is the cry of a mistaken soul, less than All cannot satisfy Man.VI If any could desire what he is incapable of possessing, despair must be his eternal lot.VII The desire of Man being Infinite the possession is Infinite & himself Infinite.
I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body & mind to exercise the Divine Arts of ImaginationImagination the real & eternal World of which this Vegetable Universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more. The Apostles knew of no other Gospel.