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

Selections from ‘Milton’

[The Nature of Infinity]

(Milton, f. 14, ll. 21–35.)

THE NATURE of Infinity is this: That every thing has its

Own Vortex; and when once a traveller thro’ Eternity

Has pass’d that Vortex, he perceives it roll backward behind

His path, into a Globe itself enfolding, like a sun,

Or like a moon, or like a universe of starry majesty,

While he keeps onwards in his wondrous journey on the Earth,

Or like a human form, a friend with whom he liv’d benevolent.

As the eye of man views both the East and West, encompassing

Its vortex, and the North and South with all their starry host,

Also the rising sun and setting moon he views, surrounding

His corn-fields and his valleys of five hundred acres square.

Thus is the Earth one infinite plane, and not as apparent

To the weak traveller confin’d beneath the moony shade.

Thus is the Heaven a Vortex pass’d already, and the Earth

A Vortex not yet pass’d by the traveller thro’ Eternity.