I am no Homers Hero you all know

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Blake manuscript - Notebook 1808 - 24 Mr Cromek to Mr Stothard

Edited text:[1][edit]


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I AM[2] no Homer’s hero you all know;
I profess not generosity to a foe.
My generosity is to my friends,
That for their friendship I may make amends.
5 The generous to enemies promotes their ends,
And becomes the enemy and betrayer of his friends.[3]

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The original text:[4][edit]


* * *

I am no Homers Hero you all know
I profess not Generosity to a Foe
My Generosity is to my Friends
That for their Friendship I may make amends
5 The Generous to Enemies promotes their Ends
And becomes the Enemy & Betrayer of his Friends

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Notes[edit]

  1. The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes by John Sampson, Hon. D.Litt. Oxon., 1862–1931. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1908.
  2. The Epigrams arranged in this section, all taken from the Rossetti MS. and written circa 1807–10, refer to the unhappy period in Blake’s history, when, embittered by the treatment of Cromek, and the ungenerous attitude of contemporaries towards his art, culminating in Hunt’s attack in the Examiner, he conceived himself to be the victim of a conspiracy, and became wholly alienated from most of his old friends. Cp. Gilchrist’s Life, 1 (chap. 26 and passim), Blake’s Letters, ed. Russell, and his own references in the ‘Advertisement’ and the Descriptive Catalogue.
  3. Cp. ‘Everlasting Gospel’, γ 25:
    He who loves his enemies betrays his friends.
  4. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 502.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.