Tuesday, November 15, 2011


After the death of his beloved younger brother Robert at the age of 19, Blake kept the notebook in which his brother had sketched. He continued to use the pages until they were crowded with poems, sketches and fragments of ideas. After Blake's death the book was in the possession of his friend Samuel Palmer; later it was purchased by Dante Gabriel Rossetti at which time it became known as the Rossetti Manuscript.

A late poem in the notebook sums up much of the character of our poet: his defiance, his faith and his all encompassing vision.

Songs & Ballads , Blake's Notebook, (E 477)
"Mock on Mock on Voltaire Rousseau
Mock on Mock on! tis all in vain!
You throw the sand against the wind
And the wind blows it back again

And every sand becomes a Gem
Reflected in the beams divine
Blown back they blind the mocking Eye
But still in Israels paths they shine

The Atoms of Democritus
And Newtons Particles of light
Are sands upon the Red sea shore
Where Israels tents do shine so bright"

Page from Blake's Notebook
BBC News Website

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