William Blake - A Selection of Quotes

"Innocence dwells with Wisdom, but never with ignorance..."




"A truth that's told with bad intent, Beats all the lies you can invent..."



"love seeketh not itself to please, Nor for itself have any care, But for another gives it's ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair..."

William Blake was a man of vision, born ahead of his time.
William Blake was a man of vision, born ahead of his time. | Source

"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..." Auguries of Innocence, 1789.

William Blake - poet, artist and mystic - has to be one of the most extraordinary literary figures who ever lived. Thought by friends and admirers alike to have been insane, he was a man well ahead of his time and his concepts may have been unsettling for some in the 18th century.

Obviously one hub cannot do justice to such as William Blake but this is more of a small tribute to a mystical poet and artist who has not only inspired, but helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life. I hope that the snippets I have chosen from his numerous works will help some of you as well to find 'a heaven in a wild flower' .


"...Tyger Tyger burning bright,

In the forests of the night,

what immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?..." The Tyger.



Nature often inspired Blake to write the most beautiful words.
Nature often inspired Blake to write the most beautiful words. | Source
nature inspired William Blake to write some of his most famous words and poems.
nature inspired William Blake to write some of his most famous words and poems. | Source
Blake's artistic abilities were are beautiful as his written words.
Blake's artistic abilities were are beautiful as his written words. | Source

William Blake was born in London on 28th November, 1757. He was the second son of five surviving children of James and Catherine Blake. His father's trade was as a hosier - selling stockings, gloves, haberdashery etc. William had the strongest relationship with the youngest brother Robert - a frail child who died at a young age.

A Selection of Quotations

  • “If a thing loves, it is infinite"

  • Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache; do be my enemy - for friendship's sake”

  • “I am in you and you in me, mutual in divine love."

  • "The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom...for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.”

  • “He who doubts from what he sees
    Will ne'er believe, do what you please.”

  • "He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity's sunrise”


William Blake seems to have had the kind of early childhood that we would all have loved. For a start he missed formal schooling and was taught by his mother at home. But there seems to have been plenty of time to explore London and frequent excursions into the countryside.

At the age of ten it is possible that William became enrolled in a local art school run by Henry Par. Even at this early age the uniqueness of Blake's mind and ideas was showing and would sometimes get him into trouble. For example on one occasion he claimed to have seen a tree filled with angels - It was only the intervention of his mother that prevented the young William from getting a beating from his father.


“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 Endless Night.”


Blake sketched not only Christian symbolism but also those from Pagan beliefs. This sketch represents Hecate, one aspect of the Triple Goddess.
Blake sketched not only Christian symbolism but also those from Pagan beliefs. This sketch represents Hecate, one aspect of the Triple Goddess. | Source
William Blake's art work was as varied as his written work.
William Blake's art work was as varied as his written work. | Source

Before entering The Royal Academy at the age of 21 Blake had been an apprentice to an engraver. While he studied at the academy he continued to work as a journeyman engraver, mostly designing illustrations for booksellers.

As well as working and studying William Blake also taught his wife to read and write. Catherine was the daughter of a market-gardener and although their union was scorned by his family the match proved to be a very loving and enduring one for both of them.


"In seed time learn,

in harvest teach,

in winter enjoy.”


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


"The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”


"What is now proved was once imagined."


"To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun,

and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes."

The final resting place of William Blake.
The final resting place of William Blake. | Source

William Blake lived within his mind or more accurately his imagination. For Blake, the imagination was as real as the stone streets and houses where he lived. He often referred to his imagination as 'paradise'. It was within this 'paradise' that he captured the images and sounds and translated them into a more earthly form of poetry, art and songs. Blake believed that his work was spiritualy inspired. But like most great people not fully appreciated or understood in their time, William Blake died in poverty in 1827. He lies close to two other literary greats - Danief Defoe and John Bunyan.

Not only has Blake's work been enjoyed by the masses but he has also been a significant influence on other poets and writers even in to modern times. Author of 'Silence of the Lambs', Thomas Harris, was inspired and influenced by Blake. Poets such as Coleridge and Ginsberg have also fell under the Blake spell.

William Blake will continue to enthrall many of us now and in the future, with his beautiful art, words and insights into the human condition, the spiritual and nature. But does he know now how much his work is appreciated? Or is he too busy musing in another paradise - perhaps not of the imagination?


"Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.”


"This life's dim windows of the soul
Distorts the heavens from pole to pole
And leads you to believe a lie
When you see with, not through, the eye."


"Excessive sorrow laughs. Excessive joy weeps.”


"There is a smile of love,

And there is a smile of deceit,

And there is a smile of smiles In which these two smiles meet."


More by this Author


Comments 29 comments

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Excellent subject and quotes on the mystical genius Blake. One of my favorite poets. Faves here: If a thing loves, it is infinite; and What is now proved was once imagined.


AlienWednesday 5 years ago

Great hub! I do enjoy William Blake.


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

A wonderful article on many levelss, the subject but one.

I learned a great deal from this hub Seeker7: the way you handled tags, the way you used links, your images, and your layout.

Thank you so much.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

this was indeed an intelligent HUB.. and I love these selection of quotes too Frank


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

1. Hi Alastar, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub. I'm with you, Blake is certainly one of my favourites.

2. Hi AlienWednesday - glad that you liked the hub. I also enjoy William Blake. He always seems to have written something for every mood, season and event. Lovely to hear from you.

3. Hi Maralexa, lovely to hear from you and thanks for stopping by. Firstly I'm glad that you enjoyed this small tribute to one of my favourites. Secondly I'm glad that you got something else besides Blake from this hub -and thank you for saying so!

4. Hi Frank, great to hear from you and many thanks for stopping by. Glad that you enjoyed the hub. The quotes were a difficult choice - there is so much to choose from with Blake.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Seeker7, I really enjoyed your use of pictures in this hub. You have thoroughly done your homework on William Blake. Thanks for the great info.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Cloverleaf,

Many thanks for stopping by it was lovely to hear from you. Thank you so much for the lovely comment on the hub - really appreciated.


jami l. pereira 5 years ago

Excellent quotes and hub , thanks for sharing


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

William Blake was an intelligent man and I love the quotes here, but some of the pictures you've used seem to be of a masonic or Illuminati background. I see pyramids and shapes of pyramids in at least two of them. Where did you get your pictures, if you don't mind me asking? I'm not trying to criticize your hub by the way, you know I love your writing! I've sort of fallen into the belief that the Illuminati exist and now I'm seeing the signs everywhere. Anyway, I could just be crazy, which is okay too. :) LOL. I voted up and beautiful for the wonderful quotes here.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

1. Hi jami, many thanks for stopping by, always lovely to hear from you. Glad that you enjoyed the quotes - he was a fabulous poet among many other things.

2. Hi Kitty, the pictures came from wikimedi commons along with other William Blake sketches, engravings, portraits etc. Just another one of his talents! I think what you might be experiencing is synchronicity - very often when we are developing spiritually we will come across subjects, people and other things that have taken on a significant meaning to us and we tend to meet them or they crop up unexpectedly. It shows that you are developing and are on the right spiritual path for you. As to the Illuminati - I would say that there is good reason to believe that they exist.

Many thanks for stopping by, as usual it is always lovely to hear from you and I always love your comments, insights and views. Many, many thanks!!


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

Seeker7 - I'll have to look into the synchronicity thing, because I'm definitely experiencing it lately! I'm glad to know that I'm on the right spiritual path though. I have been extra spiritual lately and finding myself in ways that I didn't know before. Thanks for responding so quickly. And again, this hub was wonderful. :)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Kitty,

It's always a very exciting and fascinating time when you take another leap forward in spiritual development and it sounds as if things are certainly happenig with you - well done!


vidhimayur profile image

vidhimayur 5 years ago

B'ful collection of quotes..n very informative too. :) looking forward for hubs from you.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi vidhimayur, - love the name!!

Many thanks for taking the time to read my hub and I'm glad that you enjoyed the quotes and the information. He is one of my favourite poets and I never tire of reading his work.


vidhimayur profile image

vidhimayur 5 years ago

Hey seeker7 thanks a lot :) n looking forward to such beautiful hubs from u.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

Though I'm not too much into poetry, I love truth and beauty that poetry can assimilate. I felt so light to read these beautiful lines.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello Vinaya,

Lovely to hear from you and many thanks for visiting the hub.

I think William Blake was in a category of his own and his words always inspire me. I don't write poetry, and only read a little, but Blake is special to me and so I'm glad that you also enjoyed his words.


Impostora profile image

Impostora 5 years ago from Anaheim, Ca

I loved the quotations and the bio. You did an excellent job at weaving the quotations, the poems and the bio in this hub. It's definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing this.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Impostora - (I love the name by the way, how did you choose it?)

Many thanks for your lovely, positive comment and glad that you enjoyed it.

Thanks as well for the smashing e-mail - everything I said about your excellent writing is true!!


AngelTrader profile image

AngelTrader 5 years ago from New Zealand

I love Blake, especially Auguries of Innocence! The opening four lines are so beautiful and for me captures the eternal nature of our earthly incarnation. It opens up the whole concept of our single consciousness and the spark of god that resides in us all. If only we could hold on to that sweet childlike innocence throughout the course of our lives...there is beauty and magnificence all around us, we just need to open our minds to experience it!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi AngelTrader,

Many thanks for stopping by and for one of the most profound and beautiful comments I have read. Thank you!

Blake is so special and the amount of times his beautiful but profound words have helped me to keep on going and to get re-inspired with life is countless. He takes the simplest of things and shows us the wondrous complexity of each.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

I love William Blake. I really enjoyed reading your article. I believe that all good writers live within their own heads. I wa not surprized that he did so. Up and interesting.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi KoffeeKlatchGals - always lovely to hear from you.

I agree with you about Blake. Even after about 20 years of reading his works he can still inspire me. But most of all, his words have very often helped me to get back into life, when I wanted to hide. Many thanks for the visit and the vote up!!


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Hi seeker7 Great hub. I love Blake and was pleased to be reacquainted with his work.

"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..." Auguries of Innocence, 1789.

I love this idea. We are surrounded by beauty and the elegance of nature. Science is only now catching on to some of Blakes ideas.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi molometer - I love this name you've chosen!!!

The quote that you have above is one of my all time favourites. Whenever I'm down in mood or things are not going right, I often read this and it never fails to lift my mood and my spirit.

I agree with you - Blake was not only a poet and artist but a visionary! And yes, science is only just catching up!

It was lovely to hear from you and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment - much appreciated!


Talisker profile image

Talisker 5 years ago from UK

A great hub. I enjoyed looking at the etchings and paintings as well as reading the various quotes. Some I am familiar with, others not. It's a celebratory hub of a great visionary.

Thank you. Very much voted up.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello Talisker,

Many thanks for your visit and glad that you enjoyed the hub. I think William Blake has to be one of the most unique human beings who ever lived. A man born ahead of his time I think.

Thanks again, for the comment and the vote up - it's greatly appreciated.


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

That is great hub ..I like William blake and I like to read about him a lot


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello htodd,

Many thanks for stopping by and glad that you not only enjoyed the hub but that you're a fellow fan of the wonderful Blake!!

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