Verse > William Blake > Poetical Works
William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
On Art and Artists
I askèd my dear friend Orator Prig
I ASKÈD 1 my dear friend Orator Prig:
‘What’s the first part of oratory?’ He said: ‘A great wig.
‘And what is the second?’ Then, dancing a jig
And bowing profoundly, he said: ‘A great wig.’
‘And what is the third?’ Then he snored like a pig,        5
And, puffing his cheeks out, replied: ‘A great wig.’
So if a great painter with questions you push,
‘What’s the first part of painting?’ he’ll say: ‘A paint-brush.’
‘And what is the second?’ with most modest blush,
He’ll smile like a cherub, and say: ‘A paint-brush.’        10
‘And what is the third?’ he’ll bow like a rush,
With a leer in his eye, he’ll reply: ‘A paint-brush.’
Perhaps this is all a painter can want:
But, look yonder—that house is the house of Rembrandt!
Note 1. III Blake has marked this piece ‘to come in Barry: a Poem’. 6 And, puffing his cheeks out,] And thrust out his cheeks and MS. 1st rdg. del. [back]

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