The page includes the very best William Blake quotes – both personal quotes, and quotes from his many poems.

William Blake was an 18th century painter and poet, responsible for one of the most influential sets of poems in the English canon. The Songs of Innocence and Experience are eminently quotable as they fall on to the tongue in the way nursery rhymes do. They are remarkable in that they express some of the most profound ideas one could find among English poets but, indeed, his poem about the wonder of creation and its diversity is often given to little children to recite as though it were, indeed, a nursery rhyme: “Tyger, tyger burning bright/In the forests of the night…” etc. And another: “Little lamb who made thee…?”

Blake’s poetry is markedly political. He is the author of Jerusalem – “And did those feet in ancient times…”. Put to Music by Hugo Parry, it is one of the most sung songs in English history. It is sung as a hymn in churches and used as an anthem by more than one establishment organisation, such as the Women’s Union. That is misguided as when one looks at the poem it is clearly a critique of the evils of the industrial revolution and the establishment bosses who drove it. Never-the-less, Blake’s many works provide a wonderful diversity of incredible quotes. Read our favourite William Blake quotes below:

“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.”

William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”

William Blake quote

“A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.”

William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

“If a thing loves, it is infinite.”

William Blake quote

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

William Blake, Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”

William Blake, The Tyger

“Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.”

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”

William Blake quote

“What is now proved was once only imagined.”

William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

“The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself.”

William Blake quote

“I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”

William Blake, Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion

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

William Blake quote

“To generalize is to be an idiot.”

William Blake quote

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.”

William Blake quote

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

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”

William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience

“I was walking among the fires of Hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity.”

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“Truth can never be told so as to be understood and not be believed.”

William Blake, The Proverbs of Hell

“He who kisses joy as it flies by will live in eternity’s sunrise.”

William Blake, Eternity

“Throughout all eternity, I forgive you and you forgive me.”

William Blake, Broken Love

“Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.”

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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

William Blake, The Proverbs of Hell

“My mother groaned, my father wept,
into the dangerous world I leapt.”

William Blake, Infant Sorrow

“Excessive sorrow laughs. Excessive joy weeps.”

William Blake, The Proverbs of Hell

What do you think of these William Blake quotes – any great one’s that we’re missing? Let us know in the comments section below!

WIlliam Blake quote over Taj Mahal backgorund - 'the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom'


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