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By William Blake

William Blake is a poet with out parallel, who remains a resource of knowledge and thought to numerous participants through the international.

This choice was once commissioned in 1905 via the enterprise of George Routledge from W.B. Yeats, who had formerly been one of many pioneer editors of Blake's prophetic books. Yeats, one of many few poets whose paintings can be in comparison with that of Blake, ready a special choice of his poetic and prose writings. there isn't any higher technique to stumble upon the paintings of 1 poetic genius than because it is gifted through one other, and Yeats understood Blake in a manner few others did.

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Sample text

AN IMITATION OF SPENSER Golden Apollo, that through heaven wide Scatter’st the rays of light, and truth his beams, In lucent words my darkling verses dight, And wash my earthy mind in thy clear streams, That wisdom may descend in fairy dreams, All while the jocund Hours in thy train Scatter their fancies at thy poet’s feet: And, when thou yield’st to Night thy wide domain, Let rays of truth enlight his sleeping brain. For brutish Pan in vain might thee assay With tinkling sounds to dash thy nervous verse, an imitation of spenser Sound without sense; yet in his rude affray (For Ignorance is Folly’s leasing nurse, And love of Folly needs none other’s curse) Midas the praise hath gained of lengthened ears, For which himself might deem him ne’er the worse To sit in council with his modern peers, And judge of tinkling rhymes and elegances terse.

Had they not sacrificed the intellectual outline to indefinite lights and shadows, and renounced imaginative things for what seemed to him unimaginative copying of corporeal life and lifeless matter? Were they not his enemies in all things, and the enemies of Raphael and Angelo and Durer? He made, in a blind hopeless way, something of the same protest made afterwards by the pre-Raphaelites with more success. They saw nothing but an artistic issue, and were at peace; whereas he saw in every issue the whole contest of light and darkness, and found no peace.

Though Tatham, bound in by systematic theology, did him well nigh the greatest wrong one man can do another, none the less is Tatham’s MS. life of Blake a introduction long cry of admiration. He speaks of “his noble and elastic mind,” of his profound and beautiful talk, and of his varied knowledge. Yet, alas, could he only have convinced himself that it was not for him to judge whether, when Blake wrote of vision “a bad cause”—to use his own phrase, “made a bad book”—we might still have that account of Genesis, “as understood by a Christian visionary,” of which a passage, when read out, seemed “striking,” even to conventional Crab Robinson, and perhaps “The Book of Moonlight,” a work upon art, though for this I do not greatly long, and the “Othoon,” and many lyrics and designs, whereof the very names are dead.

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