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

Selections from ‘Jerusalem’

[The Holiness of Minute Particulars]

(Jerusalem, f. 55, ll. 48–53, 60–6.)

AND many conversèd on these things as they labour’d at the furrow,

Saying: ‘It is better to prevent misery than to release from misery;

It is better to prevent error than to forgive the criminal.

Labour well the Minute Particulars: attend to the Little Ones;

And those who are in misery cannot remain so long,

If we do but our duty: labour well the teeming Earth.…

He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars.

General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer;

For Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars,

And not in generalizing Demonstrations of the Rational Power:

The Infinite alone resides in Definite and Determinate Identity.

Establishment of Truth depends on destruction of Falsehood continually,

On Circumcision, not on Virginity, O Reasoners of Albion!