Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/203

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179
WILLIAM BLAKE

The same image is used again:

'As the Pilgrim passes while the Country permanent remains,
So Men pass on; but States remain permanent for ever ';

and, again, in almost the same words, in the prose fragment on the picture of the 'Last Judgment': 'Man passes on, but states remain for ever; he passes through them like a traveller, who may as well suppose that the places he has passed through exist no more, as a man may suppose that the states he has passed through exist no more: everything is eternal.' By states Blake means very much what we mean by moods, which, in common with many mystics, he conceives as permanent spiritual forces, through which what is transitory in man passes, while man imagines that they, more transitory than himself, are passing through him. It is from this conception of man as a traveller, and of good and evil, the passions and virtues and sensations and ideas of man, as spiritual countries, eternally remaining, through which he passes, that Blake draws his inference: condemn, if you