Verse > William Blake > Poetical Works
William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
On Friends and Foes
For this is being a friend just in the nick
—FOR 1 this is being a friend just in the nick,
Not when he’s well, but waiting till he’s sick;
He calls you to his help; be you not mov’d
Until, by being sick, his wants are prov’d.
You see him spend his soul in prophecy:        5
Do you believe it a confounded lie,
Till some bookseller, and the public fame,
Prove there is truth in his extravagant claim.
For ’tis atrocious in a friend you love
To tell you anything that he can’t prove,        10
And ’tis most wicked in a Christian nation
For any man to pretend to inspiration.
Note 1. XXIX Following a wholly erased stanza in the MS. 9 atrocious] most wicked MS. 1st rdg. del. [back]

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