Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/268

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244

WILLIAM BLAKE

in what cannot be defined to the intellectual part, or to calculation': that, which is Walt Whitman's definition of his own aim, defines Blake's. Where others doubted he knew; and he saw where others looked vaguely into the darkness. He saw so much further than others into what we call reality, that others doubted his report, not being able to check it for themselves; and when he saw truth naked he did not turn aside his eyes. Nor had he the common notion of what truth is, or why it is to be regarded. He said: 'When I tell a truth it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those who do.' And his criterion of truth was the inward certainty of instinct or intuition, not the outward certainty of fact. 'God forbid,' he said, 'that Truth should be confined to mathematical demonstration. He who does not know Truth at sight is unworthy of her notice.' And he said: 'Error is created, truth is eternal. Error or creation will be burned up, and then, not till then, truth or eternity will appear. It is burned up the moment men cease to behold it.'