Friday, May 2, 2008

"Auguries of Innocence" (excerpt) by William Blake

I've quoted William Blake a few times on this site because more than any other poet or philosopher Blake has shaped the way I think about the world, the church and art. The man in the flames to the left of this, the image that I've adopted as my own personal avatar, is one of Blake's many famous images. But it occurred to me that I've never actually posted any Blake on this site. Well, I've fixed that now.

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.


He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.
If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.
The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding sheet.
The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.
Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born.
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.
We are led to believe a lie
When we see not through the eye
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.
God appears, and God is light
To those poor souls who dwell in night,
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

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