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William Blake (1757–1827). The Poetical Works. 1908.

Appendix to the Prophetic Books

On Virgil

SACRED TRUTH has pronounced that Greece and Rome, as Babylon and Egypt, so far from being parents of Arts and Sciences as they pretend, were destroyers of all Art. Homer, Virgil and Ovid confirm this opinion, and make us reverence the Word of God, the only light of antiquity that remains unperverted by War. Virgil in the Æneid, Book vi, line 848, says ‘Let others study Art: Rome has somewhat better to do, namely War and Dominion’.

Rome and Greece swept Art into their maw and destroyed it; a warlike State never can produce Art. It will rob and plunder and accumulate into one place, and translate and copy and buy and sell and criticize, but not make. Grecian is Mathematic Form: Gothic is Living Form. Mathematic Form is eternal in the Reasoning Memory: Living Form is Eternal Existence.