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Mister William BLAKE

5 août 2010


The Marriage between Heaven and Hell





As I was walking among the fires of
hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius, which to Angels look like the
torment and insanity, I collected some of their Proverbs; thinking that as the
sayings used in a nation mark its character, so the Proverbs of Hell show the
nature of Infernal wisdom better than any description of building or garments.

When I cam home: on te abyss of the
five senses, where a flat sided steep frowns over the present world, I saw a
mighty Devil folded in black clouds, hovering on the sides of the rocl: with
corroding fires he wrote the following sentence now perceived by the minds of
men, & read by them on earth:

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 ?



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

Drive your cart and your plow over the
bones of the dead.

The road of excess leads to the
palace of wisdom.

Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid
courted by Incapacity.

He who desires but acts not, breeds

The cut worm forgives the plow.

Dip him in the river who loves

A fool sees not the same tree as
the wise man sees.

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

Eternity is in love with the
productions of time.

The busy bee has no time for

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

All the wholesom food is caught
without a net or a trap.

Bring out number, weight &
measure in a year of dearth.

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

A dead body revenges not injuries.

The most sublime act is to set
another before you.

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

Folly is the cloke of knavery.

Shame is Pride’s cloke.


Prisons are built with stones of
Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion.

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.

Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of
joy weeps.

The roaring lions, the howling of
wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions
of eternity, too great for the eye of man.

The fox condemns the trap, not

Joys impregnate. Sorrow bring

Let man wear the fell of the lion,
woman the fleece of the sheep.

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

The selfish, smiling fool, &
the sullen, frowning fool shall be both thought wise, that they may be a rod.

What is now proved was once only

The rat, the mouse, the fox, the
rabbet watch the roots; the lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant watch the

The cistern contains: the fountain

One thought fills immensity.

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

Every thing possible to be believ’d
is an image of truth.

The eagle never lost so much time
as when submitted to learn of the crow.

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

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

He who has suffer’d you to impose
on him, knows you.

As the plow follows words, so God
rewards prayers.

The tygers of wrath are wiser than
the horses of instruction.

Expect poison from the standing

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

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

The eyes of fire, the nostrils of
air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.

The weak in courage is strong in

The apple tree never asks the beech
how he shall grow ; nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.

The thankful receiver bears a
plentiful harvest,

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

The soul of sweet delight can never
be defil’d.

When you seest an Eagle, thou seest
a portion of Genius; lift up the head!

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

To create a little flower is the labour
of ages.

Damn braces:
Bless relaxes.

The best wine is the oldest, the
best water is the newest.

Prayers plow not! Praises reap not!

Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not!

— My preliminary comment, for now: I love this interesting man! (I kept the original spelling. Remember, this is 1790-3 something! Wow, still freshness!)

2 commentaires leave one →
  1. LEAVES permalink
    6 août 2010 8 h 21 min

    Prayers plow not! Praises reap not!Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not!Chinese translation:祈祷者不耕作,赞美者不收获。 乐极不哭,悲极不笑。

  2. Jacques permalink
    6 août 2010 15 h 45 min

    Yes, Blake is more my style. A bit naive maybe sometimes, but full of good spirit and confident on new energies that lead us to the stars. Future is for Eagles and Lions. There will be great fears and incredible challenges, but also great victories and unimaginable accomplishments.

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