1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Blake

Henry Crabb Robinson, 17 December 1825; Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence (1870; 1872) 2:11.



He reverted soon to his favorite expression, "My visions." "I saw Milton, and he told me to beware of being misled by his Paradise Lost. In particular, he wished me to show the falsehood of the doctrine, that carnal pleasures arose from the Fall. The Fall could not produce any pleasure. As he spoke of Milton's appearing to him, I asked whether he resembled the prints of him. He answered, "All." — "What age did he appear to be?" — "Various ages, — sometimes a very old man." He spoke of Milton as being at one time a sort of classical Atheist, and of Dante as being now with God. His faculty of vision, he says, he has had from early infancy. He thinks all men partake of it, but it is lost for want of being cultivated. He eagerly assented to a remark I made, that all men have all faculties in a greater or less degree. I am to continue my visits, and to read to him Wordsworth, of whom he seems to entertain a high idea.