Verse > William Blake > Poetical Works
William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
On Art and Artists
To Venetian Artists
THAT God is colouring Newton does show,
And the Devil is a black outline, all of us know.
Perhaps this little fable may make us merry:
A dog went over the water without a wherry;
A bone which he had stolen he had in his mouth;        5
He cared not whether the wind was north or south.
As he swam he saw the reflection of the bone.
‘This is quite perfection—one generalizing tone! 1
Outline! There’s no outline, there’s no such thing:
All is chiaroscuro, poco-pen—it’s all colouring!’        10
Snap, snap! He has lost shadow and substance too.
He had them both before. ‘Now how do ye do?’
‘A great deal better than I was before:
Those who taste colouring love it more and more.’
Note 1. XXXII 8 Here ’s two for one, what a brilliant tone MS. 1st rdg. del. 9, 10 A marginal addition. [back]

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