A Memorable Fancy
As I was walking among the fires of hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity, I collected some of their Proverbs; thinking that as the sayings used in a nation, mark its character, so the Proverbs of Hell, shew the nature of Infernal wisdom better than any description of buildings or garments.
When I came home: on the abyss of the five senses, where a flat sided steep frowns over the present world, I saw a mighty Devil folded in black clouds, hovering on the sides of the rock, with corroding fires he wrote the following sentence now perceived by the minds of men & read by them on earth.
How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?
— William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, ca. 1794
If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.
Near the temple is a garden;
Near the garden is a window;
Near the window is a pond;
Near the pond is a stone;
Near the stone is a road;
On the road is their approach;
They rest upon the stone;
The fool a pebble casts;
The pond is thus disturbed;
The wise man laughs;
His laughter is a window;
Near the window is a garden;
Near the garden is a temple;
Through the temple is a wind that blows.
From Songs and Letters, Vol. 16, The Annotated Proverbs of Hell.