Page:Life of William Blake 2, Gilchrist.djvu/238

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180
SELECTIONS FROM BLAKE'S WRITINGS.

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, and make us reverence the Word of God, the only light of Antiquity that remains unperverted by war. Virgil, in the Eneid, 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 criticise, but not make. Grecian is mathematic form. Mathematic form is eternal in the reasoning memory. Living form is eternal existence. Gothic is living form.