William Blake

William Blake

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Excerpt: ...alike. It is hopeless to reckon how far the timid, the perverse, or the malignant irrelevance of human remarks will go; to set bounds to the incompetence or devise landmarks for the imbecility of men. Blake's way was not the worst; to indulge his impulse to the full and write what fell to his hand, making sure at least of his own genius and natural instinct. In this his greatest book he has at once given himself freer play and set himself to harder labour than elsewhere: the two secrets of great work. Passion and humour are mixed in his writing like mist and light; whom the light may scorch or the mist confuse it is not his part to consider. In the prologue Blake puts forth, not without grandeur if also with an admixture of rant and wind, a chief tenet of his moral creed. Once the ways of good and evil were clear, not yet confused by laws and religions; then humility and benevolence, the endurance of peril and the fruitful labour of love, were the just man's proper apanage; behind his feet the desert blossomed; by his toil and danger, by his sweat and blood, the desolate Pg 207 places were made rich and the dead bones clothed with flesh as the flesh of Adam. Now the hypocrite has come to reap the fruits, to divide and gather and eat; to drive forth the just man and to dwell in the paths which he found perilous and barren, but left safe and fertile. Churches have cast out apostles; creeds have rooted out faith. Henceforth anger and loneliness, the divine indignation of spiritual exile, the salt bread of scorn and the bitter wine of wrath, are the portion of the just man; he walks with lions in the waste places, not worth making fertile that others may reap and feed. "Rintrah," the spirit presiding over this period, is a spirit of fire and storm; darkness and famine, wrath and want, divide the kingdoms of the world. "Prisons are built with stones of Law; brothels with bricks of Religion." "As the caterpillar...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 104 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 200g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236730585
  • 9781236730589