A poet is a man who mixes up heaven and earth unconsciously.
A mystic is a man who separates heaven and earth even if he enjoys them both.
A brother artist said of Blake, with beautiful simplicity,
'He is a good man to steal from.'
The remark is as philosophical as it is practical.
Blake had the great mark of real intellectual wealth;
anything that fell from him might be worth picking up.
In many of Blake's pictures may be found one figure quite monotonously recurrent -
the figure of a monstrously muscular old man, with hair and beard like a snowstorm,
but with limbs like young trees.
That is Blake's root conception; the Ancient of Days;
the thing which is old with all the awfulness of its past,
but young with all the energies of its future.
...it is quite certain that Blake had more positive joy on his death-bed than any other of
the sons of Adam...He truly seemed to wait for the opening of the door of death as a
child waits for the opening of the cupboard on his birthday. He genuinely and solemnly
seemed to hear the hoofs of the horses of death as a baby hears on Christmas eve the
reindeer-hooves of Santa Claus. He was in his last moments in that wonderful world
of whiteness in which white is still a color. He would have clapped his hands at a white
snowflake and sung as at the white wings of an angel at the moment when he himself
turned suddenly white with death.
We do not know enough about the unknown to know that it is unknowable.
Madness is not an anarchy. Madness is a bondage: a contraction.
The mystic is not the man who makes mysteries but the man who destroys them.
The mystic is one who offers an explanation which may or may not be true or false,
but which is always comprehensible - by which I mean, not that it is always
comprehended, but that it always can be comprehended, because there is
always something to comprehend.
God is not a symbol of goodness.
Goodness is a symbol of God.
Blake's philosophy, in brief, was primarily the assertion
that the ideal is more actual than the real.
There is more of the song of mankind in a clerk putting on his Sunday clothes than in
a fanatic running naked down Cheapside. And there is more real mysticism in nailing
down a coffin lid than in pretending, in mere rhetoric, to throw open the doors of death.
...all the heathen mysteries are so far aristocratic, that they are understood by some,
and not understood by others. The Christian mysteries are so far democratic that
nobody understands them at all.
Against all emasculate mysticism Blake like Titan rears his colossal figure,
and his earthquake voice. Through all the cloud and chaos of his stubborn
symbolism and his perverse theories, through the tempest of exaggeration
and the full midnight of madness, he reiterates with passionate precision
that only that which is lovable can be adorable, that deity is either a person
or a puff of wind, that the more we know of higher things the more palpable
and incarnate we shall find them.