Monday, October 31, 2011

All thel pics

Friday, October 28, 2011

All the Thel Pics

These pictures came from the Digital Collections of the Library of Congress.
The url is http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=rbc3&fileName=rbc0001_2003rosen1798Apage.db&recNum=0
Blake's first large poem (not so large) was Thel. It consisted of 6 Plates with two
introductory pictures (called in Erdman's Illuminated Blake Plates i and ii:
Much can be said about all of them



This is Plate i:

"Does the Eagle know what is in the pit?
or wilt thou go ask the Mole:
Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod?
or Love in a golden bowl?"


This is Plate ii:

The Book of Thel

Blow this up and you'll see some interesting figures.
There's a figure within the second O; Erdman says it's
a shepherd with a crook like Thel's.


Plate 1:

PLATE 1 THEL
I  The daughters of Mne Seraphim led round their sunny flocks.
All but the youngest; she in paleness sought the secret air.
To fade away like morning beauty from her mortal day:
Down by the river of Adona her soft voice is heard:
And thus her gentle lamentation falls like morning dew.

O life of this our spring! why fades the lotus of the water?
Why fade these children of the spring? born but to smile & fall.
Ah! Thel is like a watry bow. and like a parting cloud.
Like a reflection in a glass. like shadows in the water.
Like dreams of infants. like a smile upon an infants face,
Like the doves voice, like transient day, like music in the air;
Ah! gentle may I lay me down, and gentle rest my head.
And gentle sleep the sleep of death. and gentle hear the voice
Of him that walketh in the garden in the evening time.

The Lilly of the valley breathing in the humble grass
Answer'd the lovely maid and said; I am a watry weed,
nd I am very small, and love to dwell in lowly vales;
So weak, the gilded butterfly scarce perches on my head.
Yet I am visited from heaven and he that smiles on all.
Walks in the valley. and each morn over me spreads his hand
Saying, rejoice thou humble grass, thou new-born lilly flower,
Thou gentle maid of silent valleys. and of modest brooks;
For thou shalt be clothed in light, and fed with morning manna:
Till summers heat melts thee beside the fountains and the springs
To flourish in eternal vales: then why should Thel complain,


Plate 2

PLATE 2 Why should the mistress of the vales of Har, utter a sigh.
She ceasd & smild in tears, then sat down in her silver shrine.
Thel answerd. O thou little virgin of the peaceful valley.
Giving to those that cannot crave, the voiceless, the o'ertired.
Thy breath doth nourish the innocent lamb, he smells thy milky
garments,He crops thy flowers. while thou sittest smiling in his face,
Wiping his mild and meekin mouth from all contagious taints.
Thy wine doth purify the golden honey, thy perfume,
Which thou dost scatter on every little blade of grass that springs
Revives the milked cow, & tames the fire-breathing steed.
But Thel is like a faint cloud kindled at the rising sun:
I vanish from my pearly throne, and who shall find my place.
Queen of the vales the Lilly answerd, ask the tender cloud,
And it shall tell thee why it glitters in the morning sky,
And why it scatters its bright beauty thro' the humid air.
Descend O little cloud & hover before the eyes of Thel.
The Cloud descended, and the Lilly bowd her modest head:
And went to mind her numerous charge among the verdant grass.

Plate 3:


Plate IV:

PLATE 4 Then Thel astonish'd view'd the Worm upon its dewy bed.
Art thou a Worm? image of weakness. art thou but a Worm?
I see thee like an infant wrapped in the Lillys leaf:
Ah weep not little voice, thou can'st not speak. but thou can'st weep;
Is this a Worm? I see thee lay helpless & naked: weeping,
And none to answer, none to cherish thee with mothers smiles.
The Clod of Clay heard the Worms voice, & raisd her pitying head;
She bowd over the weeping infant, and her life exhal'd
n milky fondness, then on Thel she fix'd her humble eyes.
O beauty of the vales of Har. we live not for ourselves,
Thou seest me the meanest thing, and so I am indeed;
My bosom of itself is cold. and of itself is dark,
Plate 5:


PLATE 5
But he that loves the lowly, pours his oil upon my head.
And kisses me, and binds his nuptial bands around my breast.
And says; Thou mother of my children, I have loved thee.
And I have given thee a crown that none can take away
But how this is sweet maid, I know not, and I cannot know,
I ponder, and I cannot ponder; yet I live and love.
The daughter of beauty wip'd her pitying tears with her white veil,
And said. Alas! I knew not this, and therefore did I weep:
That God would love a Worm I knew, and punish the evil foot
That wilful, bruis'd its helpless form: but that he cherish'd it
With milk and oil, I never knew; and therefore did I weep,
And I complaind in the mild air, because I fade away,
And lay me down in thy cold bed, and leave my shining lot.
Queen of the vales, the matron Clay answerd; I heard thy sighs.
And all thy moans flew o'er my roof. but I have call'd them down:
Wilt thou O Queen enter my house. 'tis given thee to enter,
And to return; fear nothing. enter with thy virgin feet.
Plate 6:

PLATE 6
The eternal gates terrific porter lifted the northern bar:
Thel enter'd in & saw the secrets of the land unknown;
She saw the couches of the dead, & where the fibrous roots
Of every heart on earth infixes deep its restless twists:
A land of sorrows & of tears where never smile was seen.
She wanderd in the land of clouds thro' valleys dark, listning
Dolours & lamentations: waiting oft beside a dewy grave
She stood in silence. listning to the voices of the ground,
Till to her own grave plot she came, & there she sat down.
And heard this voice of sorrow breathed from the hollow pit.
Why cannot the Ear be closed to its own destruction?
Or the glistning Eye to the poison of a smile!
Why are Eyelids stord with arrows ready drawn,
Where a thousand fighting men in ambush lie?
Or an Eye of gifts & graces, show'ring fruits & coined gold!
Why a Tongue impress'd with honey from every wind?
Why an Ear, a whirlpool fierce to draw creations in?
Why a Nostril wide inhaling terror trembling & affright.
Why a tender curb upon the youthful burning boy!
Why a little curtain of flesh on the bed of our desire?
The Virgin started from her seat, & with a shriek.
Fled back unhinderd till she came into the vales of Har

The End

Sunday, October 30, 2011

QUOTES FROM INNOCENCE

Blake was 32 years old in 1789, married and living on Poland Street in London. In the previous year he had begun experimenting with relief engraving by producing two small booklets: There is No Natural Religion and All religions are One. Now he engraved another book in the relief technique combining his poems and images to illustrate and enhance them. Songs of Innocence, simple enough for a child to understand and profound enough to be appreciated through a lifetime, continued to be printed by Blake into his last decade.

Blake addressed his book to children as innocent of the struggles of living; he wrote it from the perspective of one who had not been disappointed and damaged by the harshness of life; and he wrote it to demonstrate the state of innocence which resulted from living in harmony with eternal principles. Throughout the poems there runs a thread of gentleness and security. No difficulty fails to be resolved in a beneficial way. He may have been projecting an idea of Eden before the fall. There is no stress in this land of innocence for the helping hand is always reaching out.

It is not likely that Blake wrote Songs of Innocence without intending to follow it with poems which would complement and complete the perspective offered in Songs of Innocence. An ideal existence of simplicity, serenity and stability cannot represent the totality of human life. Man lives in a world of challenges and possibilities. Innocence is a temporary state; it may be entered periodically or returned to when complexities have been resolved. Whatever permanence innocence has may only be visited when the mind can eliminate the darker side which provides through experience the dynamics of living.

After Blake issued Songs of Experience, he ceased producing Songs of Innocence as a separate volume; the two were necessary to each other.

Here are some short, memorable quotes from Songs of Innocence which provide a flavor of its substance:

Songs of Innocence, Songs 4, (E 7)
Introduction

"Piper sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read--
So he vanish'd from my sight.
And I pluck'd a hollow reed.

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear"

Songs of Innocence, Song 8, (E 8)
The Lamb

"Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee"

Songs of Innocence, Song 9, (E 9)
Little Black Boy

"And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love,
...
Ill shade him from the heat till I can bear,
To lean in joy upon our fathers knee.
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me."

Songs of Innocence, Song 16, (E 12)
Cradle Song

"Sweet babe in thy face,
Holy image I can trace.
Sweet babe once like thee,
Thy maker lay and wept for me"

Songs of Innocence, Song 18, (E 12)
The Divine Image

"For Mercy has a human heart
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress."

Songs of Innocence, Song 20, (E 13)
Night

"The feet of angels bright;
Unseen they pour blessing,
And joy without ceasing,
On each bud and blossom,
And each sleeping bosom."

Song 21
"For wash'd in lifes river,
My bright mane for ever,
Shall shine like the gold,
As I guard o'er the fold."

Songs of Innocence, Song 24, (E 15)
Nurse's Song

"When the voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And every thing else is still"

Songs of Innocence, Song 27, (E 17)
On Anothers Sorrow

"O! he gives to us his joy,
That our grief he may destroy
Till our grief is fled & gone
He doth sit by us and moan"
Image from British MuseumSongs of Innocence
Frontispiece


Commenting on the frontispiece of Songs of Innocence in The Illuminated Blake, David Erdman states:

"In various ways in different copies the cloud is strongly emphasized: the child is divine, celestial, a human form of the bird of innocence; the realm is that of imagination. The cloud is here, inside the protection of the branching trees; he rests on a fold of it - and the piper's head is in it." (Page 43)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thel's Motto







The Book of Thel
is a poem by William Blake, dated 1789 .... It is illustrated by his own plates, and is relatively short and easy to understand, compared to his later prophetic books....it consists of eight plates executed in illuminated printing. Fifteen copies of the original print of 1789-1793 are known. Two copies bearing a watermark of 1815 are more elaborately colored than the others.

The silver rod and golden bowl can be interpreted as Blake's rejection of the conventional church (Church of England), in fact of all churches.
-----
The eagle knows only the sky and must ask the mole to gain knowledge about the pit; likewise, Thel knows only innocence and eternity and must be endowed mortality if she wants to learn about the ways of the mortal beings on Earth.
(Wikipedia)

[Image]PLATE i

THEL'S Motto,

Does the Eagle know what is in the pit?
Or wilt thou go ask the Mole:
Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod?
Or Love in a golden bowl?
*******************************************************************************************************

"An enigmatic quatrain, and one that opens more questions than it answers. The Eagle, from above, has a theoretical knowledge of the "pit" (i.e., worldly experience) which he sees from afar, but it is the blind mole who, even though he is blind, really experiences life in the pit. Which, therefore, of the two forms of knowledge, theoretical and experienced, is better?

The last two lines question whether Wisdom and Love really are, or should be, contained within physical form and moral experience: aren't they best left as untainted spiritual essences, uncorrupted by Experience? The "silver rod" is presumably intended as a phallic reference, whereas the "golden bowl" (the flesh) is not necessarily phallic."

This from William Blake: A Helpfile

********************************************************************************************************

In an excellent post on Romanticism the writer offers several meanings for Thel's Motto; here's one of them:

"One reading would be that it asserts a kind of environmentalism, that the mole knows about the pit better than the eagle because it’s the mole’s habitat.".

Read in toto much light is cast on Thel's Motto.

********************************************************************************************************

In “The Book of Thel:” An Analysis of Death as a Progenitor of Fear

there are many more important ideas re Thel's Motto.

Friday, October 28, 2011

SHAKESPEARE ILLUSTRATIONS

Othello and Desdemona
Dated about 1780
from Thomas Butts collection
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
acquired 1890
In the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is a group of Blake's illustrations to Shakespeare which are said to have been painted around 1780. Each picture is a close-up portrait of one or two characters in a play of Shakespeare. The pictures were later in Thomas Butts' collection although the estimated date of production is years before Butts is known to have been purchasing Blake's art.

In 1779 Blake had completed his apprenticeship as an engraver with Basire. He was enrolled in the Royal Academy Schools and was seeking to establish himself as a painter as well as an engraver. The Shakespeare pictures are conventional subjects painted in a conventional style, far from the subject matter and methods of production Blake was to employ as he matured.

Here are more of Blake's illustrations for Shakespeare's plays in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston:
Lear and Cordelia

Cordelia and Sleeping Lear

Lear Grasping a Sword

Falstaff and Prince Hal

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

Juliet Asleep

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thel 2

Here's a plate from Thel:
PLATE 2

Right-click on the image and you will get a much larger scale
Picture. Or you may see it in the William Blake Archive; You
may see eight of them in fact. The Archive has 8 copies of
Thel (Blake made each of these illuminated poems individually.)

The Picture shows Thel in color under a tree (what tree?) the cloud
is grey, while Thel is a peach color (These colors undoubtedly had
distinctive significance for Blake. Ellie tells me that in Blake's
pictures of The Divine Comedy Dante's clothing was colored in red and
his teacher Virgil's was a bluish color. Looking at this picture we might
surmise that Thel was the protagonist, and the Cloud advised her.)

Here's the text of Plate 2:

(1) "Why should the mistress of the vales of Har utter a sigh.
She ceasd & smild in tears, then sat down in her silver
shrine.

(2) Thel answerd. O thou little virgin of the peaceful valley.
Giving to those that cannot crave, the voiceless, the o'ertired.
Thy breath doth nourish the innocent lamb, he smells thy milky garments,
He crops thy flowers. while thou sittest smiling in his face,
Wiping his mild and meekin mouth from all contagious taints.
Thy wine doth purify the golden honey, thy perfume,
Which thou dost scatter on every little blade of grass that springs
Revives the milked cow, & tames the fire-breathing steed.(3)

(4) But Thel is like a faint cloud kindled at the rising sun:
I vanish from my pearly throne, and who shall find my place.
Queen of the vales the Lilly answerd, ask the tender cloud,
And it shall tell thee why it glitters in the morning sky,
And why it scatters its bright beauty thro' the humid air.
Descend O little cloud & hover before the eyes of Thel.
The Cloud descended, and the Lilly bowd her modest head:
And went to mind her numerous charge among the verdant grass."

*************************************************************************
Notes:

(1) Har: A large variety of interpretations of Har is found in the literature.
Here's an extract
from one of them:

"Damon believes that Har represents both the "decadent poetry of Blake's
day"
[2] and the spirit of conventional Christianity.

[3] Northrop Frye reaches a similar conclusion, but also sees divergence in
the character, arguing that although Har and Heva are
based on Adam
and
Eve, "Har is distinguished from Adam. Adam is ordinary man in his
mixed twofold nature of imagination and
Selfhood.
Har is the human Selfhood. Har, never outgrows his garden but remains
there
shut up from the world in a permanent state of near-existence."

[4] Harold Bloom agrees with this interpretation, arguing that "Har is
natural man,
the isolated selfhood."

(
From Har (Blake) in Wikipedia)
(2) The last paragraph of the previous plate (the Lilly of the Valley) is best read together with this one (Thel's answer)

(3) This Thel seems to be uniformly benevolent. Never having been created or partaking
in the fatal fruit of The Garden of Eden, there is no sin nor evil in her.

(4) But Thel is certainly aware of her evanescence and seems to hanker for something more; she hears the Queen of the Vales (perhaps Christ creating?). But obviously Thel was not ready to be created. (It's said that the nymphs and others in Eternity thirst for Creation; but who knows.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

JEALOUSY

Los plays many roles in Blake's mythology but among the most compelling and disturbing is his relationship to his son Orc.

When the psyche is divided into competing entities the problem of jealousy arises and is projected outward. The unresolved struggle between Urthona (Los) and Luvah (Orc) results from Urthona's inability to assimilate Luvah into the psychic structure. Intuition as the imaginative function protects his own interests from the initiatives of the emotions. The emotions which should be valued and released become dysfunctional and are likely to be expressed explosively.

Blake gives us a vivid portrayal poetically and graphically of the result of failing to allow expression to psychic traits which are unrecognized or undervalued.

British Museum
A Large Book of Designs
From Book of Urizen


Book of Urizen, Plate 20, (E 79)
Chap. VII.

"1. They named the child Orc, he grew
Fed with milk of Enitharmon

2. Los awoke her; O sorrow & pain!
A tight'ning girdle grew,
Around his bosom. In sobbings
He burst the girdle in twain,
But still another girdle
Opressd his bosom, In sobbings
Again he burst it. Again
Another girdle succeeds
The girdle was form'd by day;
By night was burst in twain.

3. These falling down on the rock
Into an iron Chain
In each other link by link lock'd

4. They took Orc to the top of a mountain.
O how Enitharmon wept!
They chain'd his young limbs to the rock
With the Chain of Jealousy
Beneath Urizens deathful shadow

5. The dead heard the voice of the child
And began to awake from sleep
All things. heard the voice of the child
And began to awake to life."

Four Zoas, Night V
, Page 62, (E 342)
"But when returnd to Golgonooza Los & Enitharmon
Felt all the sorrow Parents feel. they wept toward one another
And Los repented that he had chaind Orc upon the mountain
And Enitharmons tears prevaild parental love returnd
Tho terrible his dread of that infernal chain They rose
At midnight hasting to their much beloved care
Nine days they traveld thro the Gloom of Entuthon Benithon
Los taking Enitharmon by the hand led her along
The dismal vales & up to the iron mountains top where Orc
Howld in the furious wind he thought to give to Enitharmon
Her son in tenfold joy & to compensate for her tears
Even if his own death resulted so much pity him paind

But when they came to the dark rock & to the spectrous cave
Lo the young limbs had strucken root into the rock & strong
Fibres had from the Chain of Jealousy inwove themselves
In a swift vegetation round the rock & round the Cave
And over the immortal limbs of the terrible fiery boy
In vain they strove now to unchain. In vain with bitter tears
To melt the chain of Jealousy. not Enitharmons death
Nor the Consummation of Los could ever melt the chain
Nor unroot the infernal fibres from their rocky bed
Nor all Urthonas strength nor all the power of Luvahs Bulls
Tho they each morning drag the unwilling Sun out of the deep
Could uproot the infernal chain. for it had taken root"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thel






Second Plate of Thel


The second plate of Thel gives us the text. There are several ways to make it more readable. Try a ctrl shift plus. You may also see several versions of this plate by clicking on BlakeArchives. Click on one of them; at the bottom you may have an option to compare. Click on that and you should have a wide selection of the various copies of this plate.
**************************************************************************************
THEL
"The daughters of Mne Seraphim led round their sunny flocks.
All but the youngest; she in paleness sought the secret air.
To fade away like morning beauty from her mortal day:
Down by the river of Adona her soft voice is heard:
And thus her gentle lamentation falls like morning dew.
O life of this our spring! why fades the lotus of the water?
Why fade these children of the spring? born but to smile & fall.
Ah! Thel is like a watry bow. and like a parting cloud.
Like a reflection in a glass. like shadows in the water.
Like dreams of infants. like a smile upon an infants face,
Like the doves voice, like transient day, like music in the air;
Ah! gentle may I lay me down, and gentle rest my head.
And gentle sleep the sleep of death. and gentle hear the voice
Of him that walketh in the garden in the evening time.
The Lilly of the valley breathing in the humble grass
Answer'd the lovely maid and said; I am a watry weed,
And I am very small, and love to dwell in lowly vales;
So weak, the gilded butterfly scarce perches on my head.
Yet I am visited from heaven and he that smiles on all.
Walks in the valley. and each morn over me spreads his hand
Saying, rejoice thou humble grass, thou new-born lilly flower,

Thou gentle maid of silent valleys. and of modest brooks;
For thou shalt be clothed in light, and fed with morning manna:
Till summers heat melts thee beside the fountains and the springs
To flourish in eternal vales: then why should Thel complain"
(Erdman 3-4)

*******************************************************************************************************
Who is Mne Seraphim? Like the Mother Superior of a convent?

From Milton we read:
"The Eternal Great Humanity Divine surrounded by His Cherubim & Seraphim in ever happy Eternity" (In this case the context would lead you off the track.) Of course the man who printed Thel in 1789 was an entirely different man from the one who printed Milton in 1804. The young man's ideas of seraphims may have been very different from whom the middle aged man meant.

What is the river of Adona?"
Adonis was a young man who was loved by the goddess Venus, and perhaps the river
of Adona represents budding sexuality. The name may be cognate with Hebrew "Adonai" (G-d), and perhaps the
"river of Adona" is one of the rivers that flowed from the biblical Eden, or garden of God. (from Pathology Guy
Enjoying the Book of Thel).

Thel complains: "O life of this our spring! why fades the lotus of the water?" The classic complaint of
people in general: why do we have to die? Thel is answered by: "The Lilly of the valley breathing in the humble grass Answer'd the lovely maid and said; I am a watry weed, And I am very small..... "She's visited from Heaven and will be clothed in light, and fed with morning manna: Till summers heat melts thee beside the fountains and the springs To flourish in eternal vales."

These verses undoubtedly have many interpretations. I wonder if the Lilly of the Valley was sung in Blake's childhood days.
*******************************************************************************************************

Here's a good commentary on Thel.

Monday, October 24, 2011

RETURN TO THE MOTHER

On the back of a sketch for the final plate for Blake's Milton these words appear:

Notebook, Inscriptions, (E 674)
"Father & Mother I return
From flames of fire tried & pure & white"

Milton ends Paradise Regained with the statement that Jesus returned to his home and mother, while Luke and Matthew state simply that Jesus returned to Galilee. Blake uses this last illustration to Paradise Regained, which was his final illustration of Milton's works, to tie together the Biblical temptation, Paradise Regained and his own teaching about the role of the feminine. To Blake the process described in Jesus' encounter with temptation in the wilderness was incomplete until the relationship of Jesus with the feminine was included.

Paradise Regained ends with these words:

Paradise Regained
"Hail, Son of the Most High, heir of both Worlds,
Queller of Satan! On thy glorious work
Now enter, and begin to save Mankind."
Thus they the Son of God, our Saviour meek,
Sung victor, and, from heavenly feast refreshed,
Brought on his way with joy. He, unobserved,
Home to his mother's house private returned. "

The wilderness experience in Luke ends with these words:

Luke
[13] And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
[14] And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

Jesus is about to enter a new phase of his life. His time in the wilderness (40 days, a symbolic period of testing and preparation) completed, Jesus returns to his home, his mother, the community of which he had been a part. The man who comes back is not the man who left. His relationship with his mother is altered. She had been a cord who tied him to the physical world of family, neighbors and mundane responsibilities. Now he sees the female dimension differently. Man must be united with the feminine as his emanation, his Jerusalem, the connectivity between heaven and earth. The incarnation which Jesus would teach depended on reuniting the contraries of masculine and feminine which are divided in the world of generation.

Jerusalem, PLATE 39 [44],(E 187)
"Man is adjoind to Man by his Emanative portion:
Who is Jerusalem in every individual Man: and her
Shadow is Vala, builded by the Reasoning power in Man
O search & see: turn your eyes inward: open O thou World
Of Love & Harmony in Man: expand thy ever lovely Gates."

Blake is teaching us to distinguish the characteristics of the Eternal world from those of the world of our experience, the world of generation.

Paradise Regained
Image # 12
Christ returns to His mother

At the physical level the feminine is split from the masculine. If the feminine (substance) competes with the masculine aspect (spirit), a destructive paradigm results. As a perfect unity the feminine exists as an aspect of the complete male. If the return to his mother's house meant return to the divided condition which existed before the temptation, Blake would have portrayed separation and disintegration in his illustration. Instead he portrays the feminine as Jerusalem the spiritual nature which binds together man's multiple dimensions and binds man to man.

Jerusalem , Plate 71, (E 224)
"As the Soul is to the Body, so Jerusalems Sons,
Are to the Sons of Albion: and Jerusalem is Albions Emanation
What is Above is Within, for every-thing in Eternity is translucent:
The Circumference is Within: Without, is formed the Selfish Center
And the Circumference still expands going forward to Eternity."

In
Jerusalem, Plate 88 (E246), we learn why the female Emanations are so essential to man:
"When in Eternity Man converses with Man they enter
Into each others Bosom (which are Universes of delight)
In mutual interchange. and first their Emanations meet
Surrounded by their Children. if they embrace & comingle
The Human Four-fold Forms mingle also in thunders of Intellect
But if the Emanations mingle not; with storms & agitations
Of earthquakes & consuming fires they roll apart in fear
For Man cannot unite with Man but by their Emanations
Which stand both Male & Female at the Gates of each Humanity"

Jerusalem, Plate 4,(E 146)
"Where hast thou hidden thy Emanation lovely Jerusalem
From the vision and fruition of the Holy-one?
I am not a God afar off, I am a brother and friend;
Within your bosoms I reside, and you reside in me:
Lo! we are One; forgiving all Evil; Not seeking recompense!
Ye are my members O ye sleepers of Beulah, land of shades!"

The contrasting condition which the sexes play in the fallen condition is epitomized in this passage:

Jerusalem, Plate 92 (E 251)
"Los answerd swift as the shuttle of gold. Sexes must vanish & cease
To be, when Albion arises from his dread repose O lovely Enitharmon:
When all their Crimes, their Punishments their Accusations of Sin:
All their Jealousies Revenges. Murders. hidings of Cruelty in Deceit
Appear only in the Outward Spheres of Visionary Space and Time.
In the shadows of Possibility by Mutual Forgiveness forevermore
And in the Vision & in the Prophecy, that we may Foresee & Avoid
The terrors of Creation & Redemption & Judgment. Beholding them
Displayd in the Emanative Visions of Canaan in Jerusalem & in Shiloh
And in the Shadows of Remembrance, & in the Chaos of the Spectre
Amalek, Edom, Egypti, Moab, Ammon, Ashur, Philistea, around Jerusalem"

How different is the female in her eternal dimension:

Four Zoas, Page 104, Night VIII, (FIRST PORTION), (E 376)
"And Enitharmon namd the Female Jerusa[le]m the holy
Wondring she saw the Lamb of God within Jerusalems Veil
The divine Vision seen within the inmost deep recess
Of fair Jerusalems bosom in a gently beaming fire"

Joseph Anthony Wittreich, in his chapter 'Opening the Seals' in Blake's Sublime Allegory, considers Paradise Regained and its theme of return to hold the essence of Blake's myth.
"It should be said that, for Blake, Paradise Regained was the one poem in epic tradition to which he could give his allegiance, the one poem from which he would accept 'dictation.' The form of Blake's Milton and the form of Blake's Jerusalem emphasize return. Both poems pick up where Paradise Regained leaves off - with the true poet-prophet-orator (Milton-Los-Blake), having annihilated selfhood, which is Satan, returning to civilization to begin the work of redemption. By withstanding the temptation of the pinnacle, Christ displays his enormous love for God; by returning to his mother's house he displays his enormous love for man. This moment of return is Christ's deed above heroic, and it constitutes the moment when contemplation, having unfolded into vision, is translated into form and action. Blake's designs to [Paradise Regained] - the last complete set of illustrations to Milton that Blake did (and he did them during the time when Jerusalem was being etched) - fasten attention on the moment on the pinnacle and to the moment of return." (Page 51-2)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blake's Style

One simple clue to reading Blake concerns his use of dialogue; he spoke with many voices. He exercised this freedom especially with the larger prophecies, the three major works. These on first reading may seem to present insuperable difficulties, but the reader who pays close attention to the identity of the speaker at each point may thereby break down the forest into manageable groves of trees. In his three long poems Blake gave titles to various elements or speeches; they became units, landmarks or guideposts, casting light on what at first seemed general confusion.

In Night i of 'The Four Zoas' for example we find Enitharmon's Song of Death (FZ1-10.9; E305), the "Nuptial Song" of the "demons of the deep" (FZ1-13.20; E308), and the message of the Daughters of Beulah, which they call the "Wars of Death Eternal"(FZ1-21.13; E311). These three songs comprise three of the many selves of the human psyche; needless to say their ideas and attitudes vary immensely. They all describe the same event, but they see it, oh, so differently. They use the same words with different meanings. For example consider that what the daughters call "Death Eternal" the demons call marriage. In this way Blake challenges the reader and stretches his mind and immensely rewards whoever will accept the challenge. He gives us the end of a golden string.

---------------------------------
To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour. (Blake)
we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (Paul)

In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (the 2nd Memorable Fancy) Blake placed in the mouth of Ezekiel a statement of his own primary purpose as an artist and as a man, "the desire of raising other men into a perception of the infinite". That basic aim pervades Blake's art; he was supremely interested in what he called the infinite or the eternal, and he believed that every man has access to it through his imagination. For a fuller discussion of MHH go to chapter 9.

In the majority culture people consider the material realm to be the real. This viewpoint is so dominant that in mathematics we speak of real and imaginary numbers as opposites. But Blake understood that our only experience of the material comes through our images of it. He saw reality as existing beyond the material. Like Plato he believed that the material lacks substance; it is only the shadow of the real. The real is the infinite or the eternal, accessible through the imagination.

All this does not mean that Blake was otherworldly in the conventional sense. His heaven existed very much in the here and now; its reality was not geographical but psychic. His poetry reflects a vital interest in everything around him: personal relationships, the social scene, politics, all the works of art and literature that he encountered.

All these things became the raw material for the eternal vision that haunted his mind. No one of Blake's era recorded a more intense experience of life, a more gripping drama of the passing scene. The political events and military campaigns of Europe march through his poems and pictures. People have written lengthy and meaningful books on Blake as a political commentator.

However from the perspective of two centuries the political level of his thought pales beside the spiritual dimension which was always his deepest concern. The political events interested Blake primarily as expressions of the human spirit.

Poetry by its nature yields meaning at more than one level. Most of Blake's poetry has significance at three primary levels: political or historical, personal or psychological, and religious or metaphysical. Blake would have denied these distinctions because life to him was all one.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

GLORY TO GOD

The moment when Jesus completely envisioned the trust he must place in God's love, was (and is) the decisive moment in the redemption of man. It is followed by a realization of being under the care of the spiritual forces through which the cosmos is ordered and maintained. Blake used angels also in the third image of his illustrations to Paradise Regained: Andrew and Peter searching for Christ.

Matthew 4
[11] Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Milton elaborates the ministration of the angels and echos the angel songs of the nativity:

Paradise Regained
"From his uneasy station, and upbore,
As on a floating couch, through the blithe air;
Then, in a flowery valley, set him down
On a green bank, and set before him spread
A table of celestial food, divine
Ambrosial fruits fetched from the Tree of Life,
And from the Fount of Life ambrosial drink, [590]
That soon refreshed him wearied, and repaired
What hunger, if aught hunger, had impaired,
Or thirst; and, as he fed, Angelic quires
Sung heavenly anthems of his victory
Over temptation and the Tempter proud:
'True Image of the Father, whether throned
In the bosom of bliss, and light of light
Conceiving, or, remote from Heaven, enshrined
In fleshly tabernacle and human form,
Wandering the wilderness whatever place, [600]
Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
The Son of God, with Godlike force endued
Against the attempter of thy Father's throne
And thief of Paradise! Him long of old
Thou didst debel, and down from Heaven cast
With all his army; now thou hast avenged
Supplanted Adam, and, by vanquishing
Temptation, hast regained lost Paradise, '"

Paradise Regained

Image # 11
Angels ministering to Christ
The angels appeared in the previous illustration to Paradise Regained as insurance that Jesus would not dash his foot against a stone. They appear in this image enveloping him in the light of Eternity. Blake is emphasizing that Jesus has passed through any doubt or indecision concerning the determination to follow the path God was opening to him. The angels offer him the bread and wine: spiritual food which will sustain his Spiritual Body.

Milton has the angels announce that Jesus 'by vanquishing Temptation, hast regained lost Paradise.' Blake's symmetrical image incorporating multiple symbols of completion, reinforces the idea that integration has been achieved restoring paradise.

Four Zoas: Night the Eighth, Page 103 (E376)
"Then sang the Sons of Eden round the Lamb of God & said
Glory Glory Glory to the holy Lamb of God
Who now beginneth to put off the dark Satanic body
Now we behold redemption Now we know that life Eternal
Depends alone upon the Universal hand & not in us"

Here are a few words from Peter Ackroyd's biography: Blake, commenting on Blake's development as an artist and the use to which he put his art.

"Blake has liberated himself from the stern dictates of 'the bounding line' and 'determinate and bounding form' that had been so much an aspect of his exhibition catalogue. He is less inclined to linearity, and is therefore more painterly. The same fluency and fluidity are to be seen in the set of twelve illustrations to Paradise Regained, but the freer manner is not achieved at the expense of Blake's spiritual intensity; the figure of Christ is illuminated with an extraordinary radiance and, with such watercolors as 'Christ in the Wilderness' and Christ's Troubled Dream', we explore the art of a man who has removed himself from the world and from all worldly hopes. It is spiritual art, too, because of the extraordinarily posed and poised figures surrounded by the blue and yellow of vision; the hieratic and numinous qualities of each scene are powerfully evoked, since this is a true nineteenth-century spiritual art that has no counterparts and no proper successors."
(Page 308)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Blake's Sun

For Blake, as well as most poets the Sun has (at least one) special meaning:

Here is this from a simple Song of Innocence.
In the Ecchoing Green:
"The Sun does arise.
And make happy the skies.
......
Till the little ones weary
No more can be merry
The Sun does descend
And our sports have an end."

Perhaps the only special meaning of this is
The rising sun connotes energy
The setting sun..rest," 


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In 1808 Blake used pen and watercolor for A Vision of the Last Judgment; he provided a prose interpretation:

Descriptions of the Last Judgment (Erdman 552-66). Here's an extract from it: 

"What it will be Questiond When the Sun rises do you not see a round Disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea O no no I see an Innumerable company of the Heavenly host crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight I look thro it & not with it. (What it will be Questiond When the Sun rises do you not see a round Disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea O no no I see an Innumerable company of the Heavenly host crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight I look thro it & not with it." 

(Vision of the Last Judgment; Erdman 565 -6)
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Another interesting use of the Sun is found in Blake's celebration of what he
saw as a consequence of the American Revolution:
(In America A Prophesy (Erdman 53)

PLATE 6 
"The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations;
The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrapped up;
The bones of death, the cov'ring clay,
the sinews shrunk & dry'd.
Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing!awakening!
Spring like redeemed captives when their bonds & bars are burst;
Let the slave grinding at the mill, run out into the field:
Let him look up into the heavens & laugh in the bright air;
Let the inchained soul shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years;
Rise and look out, his chains are loose, his dungeon doors
are open.
And let his wife and children return from the opressors scourge;
They look behind at every step & believe it is a dream. Singing.
The Sun has left his blackness, & has found a fresher    
morning And the fair Moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night;
For Empire is no more, and now the Lion & Wolf shall cease."

The afore bolded line is repeated near the end of Night IX of The Four Zoas:

"The Sun has left his blackness & has found a fresher morning   
And the mild moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night     
And Man walks forth from midst of the fires the evil is all   
consumd His eyes behold the Angelic spheres arising night & day
The stars consumd like a lamp blown out & in their stead behold
The Expanding Eyes of Man behold the depths of wondrous worlds
One Earth one sea beneath nor Erring Globes wander but
Stars Of fire rise up nightly from the Ocean &
one Sun Each morning like a New born Man issues with songs &
Joy Calling the Plowman to his Labour & the Shepherd to his rest
He walks upon the Eternal Mountains raising his heavenly voice 
Conversing with the Animal forms of wisdom night & day
That risen from the Sea of fire renewd walk oer the Earth" 
(The Four Zoas; Erdman 406)

some biblical symbols from A Biblical Symbol Chart:

SymbolSun.jpg (6638 bytes) Sun - represents the Gospel.
Sunshine cheers us. Sunshine warms us. The sun's rays have the power to heal. What better picture could we have of the joy of the Gospel - Good News - of salvation and God's planned Kingdom of Righteousness? It provides us with spiritual health and gladdens our hearts.
Even now, God has blest the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). In his Kingdom, he will give all mankind the opportunity for everlasting life on a perfect earth, demanding only their obedience.
SymbolSun2.jpg (6066 bytes) Sun of Righteousness - represents Christ and his faithful followers in heavenly glory.
The scripture that speaks of the "sun of righteousness" is different from the more general symbol of "sun" meaning "Gospel." Jesus is the center of the Sun, the Gospel, the Good News. His faithful Church, his joint-heirs, will be there with him to heal the nations, the people of the world.
"But unto that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." Malachi 4:2

Thursday, October 20, 2011

THIRD TEMPTATION

The third and final temptation of Jesus comprises 6 verses in Luke. The devil quotes scripture as he invites Jesus to throw himself off the pinnacle to which he has brought him. Jesus replies using scripture as well. The devil ceases the testing of Jesus following his reply.

Luke
[9] And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
[10] For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
[11] And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
[12] And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
[13] And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Psalms 91
[11] For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
[12] They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Deuteronomy 6

[16] Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

Millton follows the Biblical account adding greater detail:

Paradise Regained
" I here have had
To try thee, sift thee, and confess have found thee
Proof against all temptation, as a rock
Of adamant and as a centre, firm
To the utmost of mere man both wise and good,
Not more; for honours, riches, kingdoms, glory,
Have been before contemned, and may again.
Therefore, to know what more thou art than man,
Worth naming the Son of God by voice from Heaven,
Another method I must now begin." [540]
So saying, he caught him up,
...
There, on the highest pinnacle, he set
The Son of God, and added thus in scorn: [550]
"There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand upright
Will ask thee skill. I to thy Father's house
Have brought thee, and highest placed: highest is best.
Now shew thy progeny; if not to stand,
Cast thyself down. Safely, if Son of God;
For it is written, 'He will give command
Concerning thee to his Angels; in their hands
They shall uplift thee, lest at any time
To whom thus Jesus: "Also it is written, [560]
'Tempt not the Lord thy God.'" He said, and stood;
But Satan, smitten with amazement, fell."

Blake illustrated the third temptation in the series for Paradise Regained between 1816 and 1818. Several years earlier (1803-05) he had included the third temptation as one of a series of Biblical illustration for Thomas Butts.

















Image in Victoria and Albert Museum______________Image in Fitzwilliam Museum
1803-05_____________________________________1816-18

The image of Jesus in the two illustration provides dramatic contrast. The first image presents Jesus as calm, composed and static. In the image for Milton's Paradise Regained we see Jesus balanced by one toe on the pinnacle, with his arms raised in praise or joy. Blake frequently used the position of outstretched arms as a reminder of the crucifixion as well. It would appear that Blake was affirming the more approachable, inviting Jesus (or perhaps even the resurrected Christ) in the second image. He appears to emphasize the Son of God in the first image and the Brother of Mankind in the second.

Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 255)
"Then Jesus appeared standing by Albion as the Good Shepherd
By the lost Sheep that he hath found & Albion knew that it
Was the Lord the Universal Humanity, & Albion saw his Form
A Man. & they conversed as Man with Man, in Ages of Eternity
And the Divine Appearance was the likeness & similitude of Los"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Spectre Again

This subject has come up over and over in our blog. You might like to look at some of the earlier ones, such as this one, material in John Middleton Murry's book with extensive quotations from the book, where he quotes Night VII of The Three Zoas:

Page 196-7:
"Soon after the moment when, in Night VII, Los is united with the Spectre, 'by Divine Mercy inspired', gives him 'tasks enormous' to fulfill. The two and a half lines which tell of them are a later addition. Originally the lines ran:
[added lines inserted in bold]

Four Zoas , Night VII, Page 87 (E 368)
"But mingling together with his Spectre the Spectre of Urthona
Wondering beheld the Center opend by Divine Mercy inspired
They Builded Golgonooza"

He in his turn Gave Tasks to Los Enormous to destroy
That body he created but in vain for Los performd
Wonders of labour


"The discarding of the previous version of Night VII, and the substitution for it of the Night which this union of Spectres is the culmination, marks the point of change in Blake's total conception of the work. This point of change is marked, psychologically and spiritually, by the union of the Spectre through Los's Self-annihilation; it is marked artistically and creatively, by the building of Golgonnoza. At some time not long afterwards Blake looked back, in the light of new experience and added two lines and a half [as shown above]."


Page 164
"..the psychological meaning is, that by being reconciled to the Spectre within himself, by recognizing and receiving Urizen as a part of his own Self, Los/Blake attains a new understanding, a new synthesis (as we might call it today). Not, of course, an intellectual synthesis; but a real and decisive act of a new spiritual understanding, involving a revolution of the total man - an act of the Self-annihilation which is Imagination. Blake understands now that Urizen is not a separate, demonic power, from whose dominion Blake alone is free; he is in Blake himself, a necessary element of Blake's being."
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This image is from Blake's poem, For The Sexes Gates of Paradise. The poem begins at Erdman 259; the Epilogue is pictured here:



[Epilogue]

To The Accuser Who is
The God of This World
Truly My Satan thou art but a Dunce
And dost not know the Garment from the Man
Every Harlot was a Virgin once
Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan
Tho thou art Worshipd by the Names Divine
Of Jesus & Jehovah thou art still
The Son of Morn in weary Nights decline
The lost Travellers Dream under the Hill"
(The Spectre is not named,
but Blake is obviously pointing
to the Devil, Satan, and in this
case the personal spectre.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ARRIVAL OF MORN

In image 9 of Blake's illustrations to Paradise Regained he continues to draw upon his own methods of presenting psychological and spiritual content in illustrating Milton.

Dominating this image, titled 'Morning chasing away the phantoms', is the lovely female presence which personifies morning, an awakening from the dreams which troubled the sleep of Jesus. Blake like Milton can paint word pictures of the waking of the day in 'minute particulars' of nature coming to life.









Paradise Regained

"till Morning fair
Came forth with pilgrim steps, in amice grey,
Who with her radiant finger stilled the roar
Of thunder, chased the clouds, and laid the winds,
And griesly spectres, which the Fiend had raised [430]
To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.
And now the sun with more effectual beams
Had cheered the face of earth, and dried the wet
From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds,
Who all things now behold more fresh and green,
After a night of storm so ruinous,
Cleared up their choicest notes in bush and spray,
To gratulate the sweet return of morn.
Nor yet, amidst this joy and brightest morn,
Was absent, after all his mischief done, [440]
The Prince of Darkness; glad would also seem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came;"

Milton, Plate 30 [33], (E 131)
"First eer the morning breaks joy opens in the flowery bosoms
Joy even to tears, which the Sun rising dries; first the Wild Thyme
And Meadow-sweet downy & soft waving among the reeds.
Light springing on the air lead the sweet Dance: they wake
The Honeysuckle sleeping on the Oak: the flaunting beauty
Revels along upon the wind; the White-thorn lovely May
Opens her many lovely eyes: listening the Rose still sleeps
None dare to wake her. soon she bursts her crimson curtaind bed
And comes forth in the majesty of beauty; every Flower:
The Pink, the Jessamine, the Wall-flower, the Carnation
The Jonquil, the mild Lilly opes her heavens! every Tree,
And Flower & Herb soon fill the air with an innumerable Dance
Yet all in order sweet & lovely, Men are sick with Love!
Such is a Vision of the lamentation of Beulah over Ololon"

In his image Blake goes beyond the arrival of the new light of day to show the night visitors which have been dispelled. In the air, the territory of Urizen, the demons of thought flee from the wakening Jesus. Blake pictures three, one of whom displays the bat wings of Satan. Sinking back into the earth, the territory of Urthona, are unconscious elements of the psyche which surfaced in the dream state. The figure of 'morn' is more than ego consciousness returning as ordinary sleep is dispelled; she is Eternal consciousness which is being strengthened in Jesus' growing awareness.

'Morn' displays a blue halo: the the moon's reflected sunlight. The feminine aspect of the 'undivided essence' of humanity is symbolized by the moon. The radiant light that surrounds the head of Jesus indicates the transition in consciousness which is transforming the way he perceives reality.

The divisions which must be overcome in achieving the Universal Manhood in the 'morn of ages' is indicated in his passage.

Four Zoas , Night VII, PAGE 84, (E 359)
"The Spectre said [to Vala]. Thou lovely Vision this delightful Tree
Is given us for a Shelter from the tempests of Void & Solid
Till once again the morn of ages shall renew upon us
To reunite in those mild fields of happy Eternity
Where thou & I in undivided Essence walkd about
Imbodied. thou my garden of delight & I the spirit in the garden
Mutual there we dwelt in one anothers joy revolving
Days of Eternity with Tharmas mild & Luvah sweet melodious
Upon our waters. This thou well rememberest listen I will tell
What thou forgettest. They in us & we in them alternate Livd
Drinking the joys of Universal Manhood."

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Golden Bowl

In the beginning of Thel we read:

Does the Eagle know what is in the pit?
Or wilt thou go ask the Mole:
Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod?
Or Love in a golden bowl?


The golden bowl! How do you place
Love in a golden bowl?
Does that make any sense? the golden bowl here is an antitype; but what is the type?

Look at

Revelation 15:7

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

7-8 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God who lives for timeless ages. The Temple was filled with smoke from the glory and power of God, and no one could enter the Temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were past and over.

I found this in http://www.revelation-today.com/A1Bible%20Symbols.htm

Golde

wpe551.jpg (9292 bytes)

Bowl of Manna - represents immortality.

The golden bowl of manna was kept in the ark of the covenant. This manna never spoiled, representing the incorruptible characteristic of immortal life.

"...To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna..." Revelation 2:17

Back to Chart.

Almond.jpg (16323 bytes)

Aaron's Rod that Budded - represents divine authority given to the royal priesthood.

Aaron's rod was kept in the ark of the covenant. When Aaron's rod budded, it demonstrated that he was God's chosen priest. The Church, head and body, is God's chosen "royal priesthood" and mediator for establishing the new covenant between God and the world of mankind.

Look at Ecclesiastes 12:3-8:
"In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

4And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

5Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

6Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

8Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity."

Here we have not only the golden bowl, but also the silver rod.

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Early in Thel we're introduced to the Lilly, in fact the Lilly of the Valley, a name for Christ; the Bible also uses the lamb for that purpose, in Rev 5 in fact. So Blake took the lamb and the golden bowl from Rev 5, and used it to set the stage for Thel, one of his earliest lessons for us from the Bible.

Move now down to Blake's first vision of light, and note the identity that God (Christ) gave to him:

Thou ram horn'd with gold. You might say we're still in Rev 15.