Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/282

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WILLIAM BLAKE

also said that Swedenborg was wrong in endeavouring to explain to the rational faculty what the reason cannot comprehend: he should have left that. As Blake mentioned Swedenborg and Dante together I wished to know whether he considered their visions of the same kind. As far as I could collect, he does. Dante he said was the greater poet. He had political objects. Yet this, though wrong, does not appear in Blake's mind to affect the truth of the vision. Strangely inconsistent with this was the language of Blake about Wordsworth. Wordsworth he thinks is no Christian but a Platonist. He asked me, 'Does he believe in the Scriptures?' On my answering in the affirmative he said he had been much pained by reading the introduction to the Excursion. It brought on a fit of illness. The passage was produced and read:

'Jehovah—with his thunder, and the choir
Of shouting Angels, and the empyreal thrones,
I pass them unalarmed.'

This pass them unalarmed greatly offended Blake. 'Does Mr. Wordsworth think his mind can surpass Jehovah? ' I tried to twist this passage into a sense corresponding with Blake's own theories, but filled [sic = failed], and Wordsworth was finally set down as a pagan. But still with great praise as the greatest poet of the age.

Jacob Boehmen was spoken of as a divinely