Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Plate 48


Therefore I write Albions last words. Hope is banish'd from me.

PLATE 48
These were his last words, and the merciful Saviour in his arms
Reciev'd him, in the arms of tender mercy and repos'd
The pale limbs of his Eternal Individuality
Upon the Rock of Ages. Then, surrounded with a Cloud:
In silence the Divine Lord builded with immortal labour,         
Of gold & jewels a sublime Ornament, a Couch of repose,
With Sixteen pillars: canopied with emblems & written verse.
Spiritual Verse, order'd & measur'd, from whence, time shall
     reveal.
The Five books of the Decologue, the books of Joshua & Judges,
Samuel, a double book & Kings, a double book, the Psalms &
     Prophets 
The Four-fold Gospel, and the Revelations everlasting
Eternity groan'd. & was troubled, at the image of Eternal Death!

Beneath the bottoms of the Graves, which is Earths central joint,
There is a place where Contrarieties are equally true:
(To protect from the Giant blows in the sports of intellect,     
Thunder in the midst of kindness, & love that kills its beloved:
Because Death is for a period, and they renew tenfold.)
From this sweet Place Maternal Love awoke Jerusalem

With pangs she forsook Beulah's pleasant lovely shadowy Universe
Where no dispute can come; created for those who Sleep.          

Weeping was in all Beulah, and all the Daughters of Beulah
Wept for their Sister the Daughter of Albion, Jerusalem:
When out of Beulah the Emanation of the Sleeper descended
With solemn mourning out of Beulahs moony shades and hills:
Within the Human Heart, whose Gates closed with solemn sound.   

And this the manner of the terrible Separation
The Emanations of the grievously afflicted Friends of Albion
Concenter in one Female form an Aged pensive Woman.
Astonish'd! lovely! embracing the sublime shade: the Daughters 
     of Beulah
Beheld her with wonder! With awful hands she took                
A Moment of Time, drawing it out with many tears & afflictions
And many sorrows: oblique across the Atlantic Vale
Which is the Vale of Rephaim dreadful from East to West,
Where the Human Harvest waves abundant in the beams of Eden
Into a Rainbow of jewels and gold, a mild Reflection from        
Albions dread Tomb. Eight thousand and five hundred years
In its extension. Every two hundred years has a door to Eden
She also took an Atom of Space, with dire pain opening it a
     Center
Into Beulah: trembling the Daughters of Beulah dried
Her tears. she ardent embrac'd her sorrows. occupied in labours  
Of sublime mercy in Rephaims Vale. Perusing Albions Tomb
She sat: she walk'd among the ornaments solemn mourning.
The Daughters attended her shudderings, wiping the death sweat
Los also saw her in his seventh Furnace, he also terrified
Saw the finger of God go forth upon his seventh Furnace:         
Away from the Starry Wheels to prepare Jerusalem a place.
When with a dreadful groan the Emanation mild of Albion.
Burst from his bosom in the Tomb like a pale snowy cloud,
Female and lovely, struggling to put off the Human form
Writhing in pain. The Daughters of Beulah in kind arms reciev'd  
Jerusalem: weeping over her among the Spaces of Erin,
In the Ends of Beulah, where the Dead wail night & day.

And thus Erin spoke to the Daughters of Beulah, in soft tears

Albion the Vortex of the Dead! Albion the Generous!
Albion the mildest son of Heaven! The Place of Holy Sacrifice! 
Where Friends Die for each other: will become the Place,
Of Murder, & Unforgiving, Never-awaking Sacrifice of Enemies
The Children must be sacrific'd! (a horror never known
Till now in Beulah.) unless a Refuge can be found
To hide them from the wrath of Albions Law that freezes sore     
Upon his Sons & Daughters, self-exiled from his bosom

Draw ye Jerusalem away from Albions Mountains
To give a Place for Redemption, let Sihon and Og
Remove Eastward to Bashan and Gilead, and leave

PLATE 49
The secret coverts of Albion & the hidden places of America
(Erdman 196-7) 

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


Plate 48 starts with 'the merciful Saviour in his arms
Reciev'd him [Albion] and set him on the Rock of Ages coming from Isaiah 26:3, 
'everlasting Rock.'
     Rock is very persuasive in the Bible and in Blake:
When the Children in the wilderness from Egypt moaned because of lack of water, 
Moses angrily struck a rock, from which came 'everlasting water'  God penalized 
him for that lapse by prohibiting from from entering the Promised Land.
This is an example of the ambiguous way Blake (an the Bible as well) dealt with 
the events of the O.T.
The Divine Lord is working (timelessly) before Abraham or Moses: "Before Abraham 
was I am" was spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of John. (Many Bible students 
believe that Jesus was reported to have said he existed before Abraham; however 
a better idea (IMO) was that 'I am' was used elsewhere as a name for God. 
the books of the Bible: "from whence, time shall reveal. The Five books of the 
Decologue", etc. This is a step down from Heaven to earth (from the Eternal to 
the temporal).
Like so many of these posts Blake gives an alternation: heaven, fall to earth 
("I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven") (Luke 10:18; memorialized by 
Milton in Paradise Lost.)
"Eternity groan'd....at the image of Eternal Death!" we understand 'Eternal 
Death' to mean being born (from Heaven to 'this vale of tears'.

"a place where Contrarieties are equally true:" which is to say 'Beulah': the 
first place where man descended from Heaven.
 
  And on and on and on he goes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Plate 47 CONTINUED


Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 47


This image shows as clearly as any the divisions in the one man Albion. These are words we find in the text:

'tore forth'
'break forth'
'Mingles'
'enslaved and tormented'
'bound in vengeance & enmity'



 

Jerusalem , PLATE 47, (E 196)
"[When Albion utterd his last words Hope is banishd from me]
From Camberwell to Highgate where the mighty Thames shudders along,
Where Los's Furnaces stand, where Jerusalem & Vala howl:
Luvah tore forth from Albions Loins, in fibrous veins, in rivers
Of blood over Europe: a Vegetating Root in grinding pain.
Animating the Dragon Temples, soon to become that Holy Fiend
The Wicker Man of Scandinavia in which cruelly consumed
The Captives reard to heaven howl in flames among the stars
Loud the cries of War on the Rhine & Danube, with Albions Sons,
Away from Beulahs hills & vales break forth the Souls of the Dead,
With cymbal, trumpet, clarion; & the scythed chariots of Britain.

And the Veil of Vala, is composed of the Spectres of the Dead

Hark! the mingling cries of Luvah with the Sons of Albion
Hark! & Record the terrible wonder! that the Punisher
Mingles with his Victims Spectre, enslaved and tormented
To him whom he has murderd, bound in vengeance & enmity
Shudder not, but Write, & the hand of God will assist you!
Therefore I write Albions last words. Hope is banish'd from me.
"

The words of the text speak of the one man being violently divided and yet being unable to be split apart in complete separation. The picture shows three figures linked as if in a chain. They can be seen as one figure, Albion, being torn apart into Luvah, Vala and Jerusalem. Jerusalem would be the central figure under the feet of Vala yet reaching up to heaven with one hand and down to earth with the other. Vala and Luvah exhibit the arm position of despair and being locked off from any influx of enlightenment.

The paradox of the psyche is unity in diversity. It is a whole which may be expressed as parts. The parts cannot exist independently although they may attempt to. Luvah apart from Albion tears Jerusalem from her position and creates Vala as a tormented slave. The bonds of love within the psyche become bonds of 'vengeance & enmity.'

War is the image of this psychological condition. War results from individual nations attempting to establish separate, dominant positions. When nations do not acknowledge their inclusion in the unity and interdependence of the whole, they become hostile to nations who exhibit different values. Projection ensues and each nation perceives threat from others. The recognition of Brotherhood breaks down projection because the enemy seen as brother is no longer a threat. But if the victim cannot see the punisher as his brother his own Selfhood will unite with the punisher and he will become slave to his Selfhood.

Blake recognises that error is not apparent until the consequences become unbearable. At which point the 'wheels of war' can be exchanged for the 'wings of cherubim' through forgiveness.

Jerusalem , Plate 22,(E 168)
"Why should Punishment Weave the Veil with Iron Wheels of War
When Forgiveness might it Weave with Wings of Cherubim"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Plate 47


PLATE 47 [When Albion utterd his last words Hope is banishd from me
From Camberwell to Highgate where the mighty Thames shudders along, 
Where Los's Furnaces stand, where Jerusalem & Vala howl: Luvah tore forth from Albions Loins, in fibrous veins, in rivers Of blood over Europe: 
a Vegetating Root in grinding pain. 
Animating the Dragon Temples, soon to become that Holy Fiend The Wicker Man of Scandinavia in which cruelly consumed 
The Captives reard to heaven howl in flames among the stars Loud the cries of War on the Rhine & 
Danube, with Albions Sons,  
Away from Beulahs hills & vales break forth the 
Souls of the Dead, With cymbal, trumpet, clarion; & the scythed chariots of Britain. And
Plate 47
the Veil of Vala, is composed of the Spectres of the Dead 
 Hark! the mingling cries of Luvah with the Sons of Albion Hark! & 
Record the terrible wonder! that the Punisher Mingles with his Victims Spectre, enslaved and tormented 
To him whom he has murderd, bound in vengeance & enmity 
Shudder not, but Write, & the hand of God will assist you! 
Therefore I write Albions last words. Hope is banish'd from me

The Picture belongs between two sections of the text  right before mention of Vala's veil.  You might guess that the three figures are Albion (on the right) and Vala and jerusalem on the left.

Notes:
From Camberwell to Highgate: two areas: one in South London, the other in North London.

Luvah tore forth from Albions Loins, a quaint way of mentioning the Fall.  This fallen Luvah (one of the four zoas, is bloody in the extreme; he was soon to become "the Wicker Man of Scandinavia"

"War on the Rhine & Danube": Much of most intense fighting in the later Roman Empire occured in the area embraced by these two river valleys.  Gibbon in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire spoke exhaustively of this campaign.  Blake had undoubted familiarity with Gibbon's work. (See Erdman's Prophet Against Empire, p. 468.)

"Away from Beulah's hills and vales" the fallen souls turn avidly to War.

Notice how Blake wrote 'Albion's last words. Hope is bansh'd from me' at the beginning and again at the end of the Plate.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

BLAKE & MILTON III




Milton published a speech addressed to the Parliament in 1644 in the midst of the Civil War addressing the threat of censorship of the print media. Blake and Milton shared an intense concern that lively distribution of ideas in print not be restricted. Northrop Frye recognized that Areopagitica became an important link to Milton for Blake:


"It is in Areopagitica that Milton is nearest to Blake and Areopagitica supplies for the student of Blake not only a guide to most of Blake's leading ideas but an illustration of many of his symbols. It was undoubtedly a major influence in forming Blake's doctrine that the Christian Church cannot exist outside the arts because the secondary Word of God which unites us to the primary Word or Person of Christ is a book and not a ceremony. ..
The greatness of Areopagitica is that it speaks for liberty not tolerance: it is not a plea of nervous intellectual who hopes that a brutal majority will at least leave him alone, but a demand for the release of creative power and vision of an imaginative culture in which the genius is not an intelllectual as much as a prophet and seer. The release of creative genius is the only social problem that matters, for such a release is not the granting of extra privileges to a small class, but the unbinding of the Titan in man who will soon begin to tear down the sun and moon and enter paradise. The creative impulse in man is God in man." Frye, Fearful Symmetry, (Page 159)

Blake's high regard for the printed or written word as a gift from God is acknowledged at the beginning of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, Plate 3, (E 145)
Reader! [lover] of books! [lover] of heaven,
And of that God from whom [all books are given,]
Who in mysterious Sinais awful cave
To Man the wond'rous art of writing gave,
Again he speaks in thunder and in fire!
Thunder of Thought, & flames of fierce desire:
Even from the depths of Hell his voice I hear,
Within the unfathomd caverns of my Ear.
Therefore I print; nor vain my types shall be:
Heaven, Earth & Hell, henceforth shall live in harmony
Of the Measure, in which
the following Poem is written"
Blake chose to become his own printer and publisher in order to combine the two art forms which in conjunction could express his ideas to his audience.

Prospectus, (E 692)
"TO THE PUBLIC October 10, 1793.
The Labours of the Artist, the Poet, the Musician, have been
proverbially attended by poverty and obscurity; this was never
the fault of the Public, but was owing to a neglect of means to
propagate such works as have wholly absorbed the Man of Genius.
Even Milton and Shakespeare could not publish their own works.
This difficulty has been obviated by the Author of the
following productions now presented to the Public; who has
invented a method of Printing both Letter-press and Engraving in
a style more ornamental, uniform, and grand, than any before
discovered, while it produces works at less than one fourth of the expense.
If a method of Printing which combines the Painter and the
Poet is a phenomenon worthy of public attention, provided that it
exceeds in elegance all former methods, the Author is sure of his reward.
Mr. Blake's powers of invention very early engaged the
attention of many persons of eminence and fortune; by whose means
he has been regularly enabled to bring before the Public works
(he is not afraid to say) of equal magnitude and consequence with
the productions of any age or country: among which are two large
highly finished engravings (and two more are nearly ready) which
will commence a Series of subjects from the Bible, and another
from the History of England."

Blake, like Milton, aims to set right in the New Age the errors which prevent us from being
'just & true to our own Imaginations.'' The means what they both need for the task are printed pages uncensored by 'Daughters of Memory' and 'slaves of the Sword.'
Milton, Plate i, (E 95)
"To justify the Ways of God to Men
PLATE 1
Preface.
The Stolen and Perverted Writings of Homer & Ovid: of Plato &
Cicero. which all Men ought to contemn: are set up by artifice
against the Sublime of the Bible. but when the New Age is at
leisure to Pronounce; all will be set right: & those Grand Works
of the more ancient & consciously & professedly Inspired Men,
will hold their proper rank, & the Daughters of Memory shall
become the Daughters of Inspiration. Shakspeare & Milton were
both curbd by the general malady & infection from the silly Greek
& Latin slaves of the Sword.
Rouze up O Young Men of the New Age! set your foreheads
against the ignorant Hirelings! For we have Hirelings in the
Camp, the Court, & the University: who would if they could, for
ever depress Mental & prolong Corporeal War. Painters! on you I
call! Sculptors! Architects! Suffer not the fash[i]onable Fools
to depress your powers by the prices they pretend to give for
contemptible works or the expensive advertizing boasts that they
make of such works; believe Christ & his Apostles that there is a
Class of Men whose whole delight is in Destroying. We do not
want either Greek or Roman Models if we are but just & true to
our own Imaginations, those Worlds of Eternity in which we shall
live for ever; in Jesus our Lord."

Without the freedom to express ideas openly society becomes entrapped in a downward spiral of self destruction.

Jerusalem, Plate 38 [43], (E 185)
"And the soft smile of friendship & the open dawn of benevolence
Become a net & a trap, & every energy renderd cruel,
Till the existence of friendship & benevolence is denied:
The wine of the Spirit & the vineyards of the Holy-One.
Here: turn into poisonous stupor & deadly intoxication:
That they may be condemnd by Law & the Lamb of God be slain!
And the two Sources of Life in Eternity[,] Hunting and War,
Are become the Sources of dark & bitter Death & of corroding Hell:
The open heart is shut up in integuments of frozen silence
That the spear that lights it forth may shatter the ribs & bosom
A pretence of Art, to destroy Art: a pretence of Liberty
To destroy Liberty. a pretence of Religion to destroy Religion
Oshea and Caleb fight: they contend in the valleys of Peor
In the terrible Family Contentions of those who love each other:
The Armies of Balaam weep---no women come to the field
Dead corses lay before them, & not as in Wars of old.
For the Soldier who fights for Truth, calls his enemy his brother:
They fight & contend for life, & not for eternal death!"
Frye says that: "... to release liberty is to kindle a flame which can never be extinguished until it is merged in the final consummation of all things." Page 160

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Plate 46

Plate 46 [32] 

pale stood Albion at his eastern gate,

PLATE 46 [32]
Leaning against the pillars, & his discase rose from his skirts
Upon the Precipice he stood! ready to fall into Non-Entity.

Los was all astonishment & terror: he trembled sitting on the Stone Of London
but the interiors of Albions fibres & nerves were hidden
From Los; astonishd be beheld only the petrified surfaces:
And saw his Furnaces in ruins, for Los is the Demon of the
Furnaces;
He saw also the Four Points of Albion reversd inwards
He siezd his Hammer & Tongs, his iron Poker & his Bellows,
Upon the valleys of Middlesex, Shouting loud for aid Divine.

In stern defiance came from Albions bosom Hand, Hyle, Koban,
Gwantok, Peachy, Brertun, Slaid, Huttn, Skofeld, Kock, Kotope

Bowen: Albions Sons: they bore him a golden couch into the porch
And on the Couch reposd his limbs, trembling from the bloody
field.

Rearing their Druid Patriarchal rocky Temples around his limbs.

(All things begin & end, in Albions Ancient Druid Rocky Shore.)
(Erdman 195-6)

Notes:
The Plate opens with Albion standing at the Eastern Gate, diseased and teetering on a precipice
(much like the United States in 2012).

Los sat on the Stone of London and trembled.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Stone)
As wikipedia points out many legends center on the Stone of London.

As far as I know, this is Blake's only occurrence of the Stone of London, but we have this passage in Europe:
"aged ignorance preach canting
on a vast , perciev'd by those senses that are clos'd from thought:
Bleak, dark, abrupt, it stands & overshadows London city"

Albion's rock is central and very common in Blake's myth.

Los saw his Furnaces in ruins, for Los is the Demon of the Furances
He saw also the Four Points of Albion reversd inwards
He siezd his Hammer & Tongs, his iron Poker & his Bellow
Shouting loud for aid Divine.
(Did you ever pray, shouting loud for help;?)

stern defiance came from Albions bosom Hand, Hyle, Koban, etc
A veritable theives gallery in his bosom. All these characters were expressions of Albion's fallenness.

Most of these posts seem to end on a redemptive note, but not this one.
**********************************************************************************************
   The text is brief, suggesting a juicy picture, which we indeed have:
The classical picture of naked Jerusalem with her children on her left and a veiled Vala on her right.
I wonder what's the meaning of that small one on her right???

Friday, February 24, 2012

BLAKE & MILTON II

Milton wrote Paradise Lost late in his life having lived through the English Civil War, the Commonwealth, Cromwell's rule, and the restoration of monarchy. Although Paradise Lost is an epic on a biblical theme it is, as well, Milton's political message for the nation following the turmoil it had endured.

Anna Beer's recent biography, Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer, and Patriot comments on the form which Milton chose in order to make his voice heard.

"His response to his nation's crisis was in blank verse, unrhymed iambic pentameter, yet another sign of his opposition to current literary fashion...Milton's chosen meter is the closest to to the natural rhythms of English speech, and remains familiar now since it is the dominant mode of Shakespeare's plays. Milton's choice suggests not only his vision of epic as a kind of drama, not only, perhaps, as a nostalgia for the rhythms of the drama of his youth, but, more importantly, the use of blank verse is a further indication that the author intended his epic to do political work. Milton made this point explicitly in the note on the 'measure' added in 1668. To use blank verse, he writes, is to restore ancient liberty to the 'Heroic Poem from the troublesome and modern bondage to Rhyming. Even the choice of the meter is an attempt to to free the English people from bondage. Milton's epic was designed in both structure and content to minister to a nation in distress." (Page 344)

Blake remarks on his desire to further free poetry from 'bondage' as Milton himself had done, by using 'variety in every line, both of cadences & number of syllables.'

Jerusalem, Plate 3,(E 145)
"When this Verse was first dictated to me I consider'd a
Monotonous Cadence like that used by Milton & Shakspeare & all
writers of English Blank Verse, derived from the modern bondage
of Rhyming; to be a necessary and indispensible part of Verse.
But I soon found that
in the mouth of a true Orator such monotony was not only awkward,
but as much a bondage as rhyme itself. I therefore have produced
a variety in every line, both of cadences & number of syllables.
Every word and every letter is studied and put into its fit
place: the terrific numbers are reserved for the terrific
parts--the mild & gentle, for the mild & gentle parts, and the
prosaic, for inferior parts: all are necessary to each other.
Poetry Fetter'd, Fetters the Human Race! Nations are Destroy'd,
or Flourish, in proportion as Their Poetry Painting and Music,
are Destroy'd or Flourish! The Primeval State of Man, was Wisdom,
Art, and Science."

We are given a view of circumstances under which Milton worked by Beer, and from Milton's own words how he was dependant on nightly visits of inspiration to compose his epic.

"Paradise Lost was a great achievement in itself but an even more remarkable one for an elderly, blind man living in a world of persecution and plague. According to Milton's nephew, the epic was composed in his uncle's mind, often in the early hours of the morning, and then, the day begun, the new lines were dictated to anyone who could write the words." (Page 305)

Paradise Lost, Book IX
"If answerable style I can obtaine [ 20 ]
Of my Celestial Patroness, who deignes
Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,
And dictates to me slumb'ring, or inspires
Easie my unpremeditated Verse:"

Blake too claims not to be the author of his verse but to receive it in the night to be set down in the morn.

Jerusalem, Plate 4, (E 146)
"Of the Sleep of Ulro! and of the passage through
Eternal Death! and of the awaking to Eternal Life.

This theme calls me in sleep night after night, & ev'ry morn
Awakes me at sun-rise, then I see the Saviour over me
Spreading his beams of love, & dictating the words of this mild song."

Blake became a collaborator with Milton by illustrating Il Penseroso and L'Allegro which portray the two moods of passivity and activity. These two illustrations might represent the night in which the mind receives inspiration, and the morn in which the inspiration is productive of results.

Il Penseroso


"I woo to hear thy eeven-Song ;
And missing thee, I walk unseen [ 65 ]
On the dry smooth-shaven Green,
To behold the wandring Moon,
Riding neer her highest noon,
Like one that had bin led astray
Through the Heav'ns wide pathles way"











L'Allegro

"Som time walking not unseen
By Hedge-row Elms, on Hillocks green,
Right against the Eastern gate,
Wher the great Sun begins his state, [ 60 ]
Rob'd in flames, and Amber light,
The clouds in thousand Liveries dight.
While the Plowman neer at hand,
Whistles ore the Furrow'd Land,
And the Milkmaid singeth blithe, [ 65 ]
And the Mower whets his sithe,
And every Shepherd tells his tale
Under the Hawthorn in the dale."




Read Milton's poetry at this Dartmouth website.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Plate 45



Plate 1
So Los in lamentations followd Albion, Albion coverd,

PLATE 45 [31]
His western heaven with rocky clouds of death & despair.

Fearing that Albion should turn his back against the Divine
     Vision
Los took his globe of fire to search the interiors of Albions
Bosom, in all the terrors of friendship, entering the caves
Of despair & death, to search the tempters out, walking among 
Albions rocks & precipices! caves of solitude & dark despair,
And saw every Minute Particular of Albion degraded & murderd
But saw not by whom; they were hidden within in the minute
     particulars
Of which they had possessd themselves; and there they take up
The articulations of a mans soul, and laughing throw it down   
Into the frame, then knock it out upon the plank, & souls are
     bak'd
In bricks to build the pyramids of Heber & Terah. But Los
Searchd in vain: closd from the minutia he walkd, difficult.
He came down from Highgate thro Hackney & Holloway towards London
Till he came to old Stratford & thence to Stepney & the Isle     
Of Leuthas Dogs, thence thro the narrows of the Rivers side
And saw every minute particular, the jewels of Albion, running
     down
The kennels of the streets & lanes as if they were abhorrd.
Every Universal Form, was become barren mountains of Moral
Virtue: and every Minute Particular hardend into grains of sand:
And all the tendernesses of the soul cast forth as filth & mire,
Among the winding places of deep contemplation intricate
To where the Tower of London frownd dreadful over Jerusalem:
A building of Luvah builded in Jerusalems eastern gate to be
His secluded Court: thence to Bethlehem where was builded   
Dens of despair in the house of bread: enquiring in vain
Of stones and rocks he took his way, for human form was none:
And thus he spoke, looking on Albions City with many tears
What shall I do! what could I do, if I could find these 
     Criminals
I could not dare to take vengeance; for all things are so
     constructed    
And builded by the Divine hand, that the sinner shall always
     escape,
And he who takes vengeance alone is the criminal of Providence;
If I should dare to lay my finger on a grain of sand
In way of vengeance; I punish the already punishd: O whom
Should I pity if I pity not the sinner who is gone astray!       
O Albion, if thou takest vengeance; if thou revengest thy wrongs
Thou art for ever lost! What can I do to hinder the Sons
Of Albion from taking vengeance? or how shall I them perswade.

So spoke Los, travelling thro darkness & horrid solitude:
And he beheld Jerusalem in Westminster & Marybone,    
Among the ruins of the Temple: and Vala who is her Shadow,
Jerusalems Shadow bent northward over the Island white.
At length he sat on London Stone, & heard Jerusalems voice.
Plate 45
Albion I cannot be thy Wife. thine own Minute Particulars,
Belong to God alone. and all thy little ones are holy            
They are of Faith & not of Demonstration: wherefore is Vala
Clothd in black mourning upon my rivers currents, Vala awake!
I hear thy shuttles sing in the sky, and round my limbs
I feel the iron threads of love & jealousy & despair.

Vala reply'd. Albion is mine! Luvah gave me to Albion            
And now recieves reproach & hate. Was it not said of old
Set your Son before a man & he shall take you & your sons
For slaves: but set your Daughter before a man & She
Shall make him & his sons & daughters your slaves for ever!
And is this Faith? Behold the strife of Albion, & Luvah          
Is great in the east, their spears of blood rage in the eastern
     heaven
Urizen is the champion of Albion, they will slay my Luvah:
And thou O harlot daughter! daughter of despair art all
This cause of these shakings of my towers on Euphrates.
Here is the House of Albion, & here is thy secluded place        
And here we have found thy sins: & hence we turn thee forth,
For all to avoid thee: to be astonishd at thee for thy sins:
Because thou art the impurity & the harlot: & thy children!
Children of whoredoms: born for Sacrifice: for the meat & drink
Offering: to sustain the glorious combat & the battle & war      
That Man may be purified by the death of thy delusions.

So saying she her dark threads cast over the trembling River:
And over the valleys; from the hills of Hertfordshire to the
     hills
Of Surrey across Middlesex & across Albions House
Of Eternity! pale stood Albion at his eastern gate, 
(Erdman 194-5)


Notes:

"Los took his globe of fire": Blake used The 'globe of fire' 7 times; the earliest was in The First Book of Urizen at
"Urizen explor'd his dens
Mountain, moor, & wilderness,
With a globe of fire lighting his journey

A fearful journey, annoy'd

By cruel enormities: forms
Of life on his forsaken mountains

And his world teemd vast enormities

Frightning; faithless;"
Erdman page 81) "And saw every Minute Particular of Albion degraded & murderd
But saw not by whom;
"
Aha! A Detective Story.  Who's the guilty party?
"they take up The articulations of a mans soul,"
The murderers violate our soul!!!

But Los
Searchd in vain: closd from the minutia he walkd,"

Los was the detective, but he was getting nowhere.

"What shall I do! what could I do, if I could find these
Criminals
I could not dare to take vengeance;"

Now Los knew who the culprits were, but he couldn't act
against them. (Jesus told us to forgive!!)

Blake had a lot to teach in this Plate, but nothing more important than the gospel; the gospel is about forgiveness.


There follows a dialogue of Jerusalem and Vala to Albion.


(This is how you might envision the Plate if you had my psyche.  Use you own to make whatever significance and meaning there may be here for you.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BLAKE & MILTON

Original in Manchester Galleries
Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Portrait of John Milton painted by William Blake for William Hayley's library in his home near Felpham

That Blake was an admirer of Milton is undisputed. Blake was born 63 years after Milton's death, 70 years after the first publication of Paradise Lost. Blake was a solitary learner and Milton was his teacher from childhood on. At a spiritual level Blake felt a bond of love with Milton; of knowing and being known by him.

Letters, 11, To Flaxman, (E 708)
"Now my lot in the Heavens is this; Milton lovd me in childhood & shewd me his face
Ezra came with Isaiah the Prophet, but Shakespeare in riper years gave me his hand
Paracelsus & Behmen appeard to me."

Blake shared with Milton common experiences in the outer as well as the inner world. Both men lived through turbulent times in which their country underwent hardships and threats of the breakdown of order. They shared a commitment to non-conformist religion which recognised each man's personal involvement with God. Both placed their loyalty on the side of republicanism and against monarchy. Milton and Blake pursued the life of the intellect as the structure which defined their activities. Seeing themselves as prophets to their nation they selected poetry as the vehicle to present their ideas and educate men in the value and costs of liberty.

On the back of the title page of Blake's annoted copy of Reynolds' Discourse III, Blake wrote a quote from Milton's The Reason of Church Government:


Annotations to Reynolds, (E 646)
"A Work of Genius is a Work 'Not to be obtaind by the
Invocation of Memory & her Syren Daughters. but by Devout prayer
to that Eternal Spirit. who can enrich with all utterance &
knowledge & sends out his Seraphim with the hallowed fire of his
Altar to touch & purify the lips of whom he pleases.' Milton"

In a letter to a less than supportive potential patron, Blake states explicitly that he shares Milton's receiving of illumination from outside of his own creative control.

Letters, To Truxler, (E 701)
"But I
hope that none of my Designs will be destitute of Infinite
Particulars which will present themselves to the Contemplator.
And tho I call them Mine I know that they are not Mine being of
the same opinion with Milton when he says That the Muse visits
his Slumbers & awakes & governs his Song when Morn purples The
East. & being also in the predicament of that prophet who says I
cannot go beyond the command of the Lord to speak good or bad"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Plate 44

So spoke the fugitives; they joind the Divine Family,
trembling

PLATE 44 [30]
And the Two that escaped; were the Emanation of Los & his
Spectre: for whereever the Emanation goes, the Spectre
Attends her as her Guard, & Los's Emanation is named
Enitharmon, & his Spectre is named Urthona: they knew
Not where to flee: they had been on a visit to Albions Children
And they strove to weave a Shadow of the Emanation
To hide themselves: weeping & lamenting for the Vegetation
Of Albions Children; fleeing thro Albions vales in streams of
gore

Being not irritated by insult bearing insulting benevolences
They percieved that corporeal friends are spiritual enemies
They saw the Sexual Religion in its embryon Uncircumcision
And the Divine hand was upon them bearing them thro darkness
Back safe to their Humanity as doves to their windows:
Therefore the Sons of Eden praise Urthonas Spectre in Songs
Because he kept the Divine Vision in time of trouble.

They wept & trembled: & Los put forth his hand & took them in
Into his Bosom: from which Albion shrunk in dismal pain;
Rending the fibres of Brotherhood & in Feminine Allegories
Inclosing Los: but the Divine Vision appeard with Los
Following Albion into his Central Void among his Oaks.

And Los prayed and said. O Divine Saviour arise
Upon the Mountains of Albion as in ancient time. Behold!
The Cities of Albion seek thy face, London groans in pain
From Hill to Hill & the Thames laments along the Valleys
The little Villages of Middlesex & Surrey hunger & thirst
The Twenty-eight Cities of Albion stretch their hands to thee:
Because of the Opressors of Albion in every City & Village:
They mock at the Labourers limbs! they mock at his starvd
Children.
They buy his Daughters that they may have power to sell his Sons:
They compell the Poor to live upon a crust of bread by soft mild
arts:
They reduce the Man to want: then give with pomp & ceremony.
The praise of Jehovah is chaunted from lips of hunger & thirst!
Humanity knows not of Sex: wherefore are Sexes in Beulah?
In Beulah the Female lets down her beautiful Tabernacle;
Which the Male enters magnificent between her Cherubim:
And becomes One with her mingling condensing in Self-love
The Rocky Law of Condemnation & double Generation, & Death.

Albion hath enterd the Loins the place of the Last Judgment:
And Luvah hath drawn the Curtains around Albion in Vala's bosom
The Dead awake to Generation! Arise O Lord, & rend the Veil!

So Los in lamentations followd Albion, Albion coverd,

PLATE 45 [31]
His western heaven with rocky clouds of death & despair.
(Erdman 193-4)

Notes:
we spoke about the 'two that escaped in a recent post. in this case
they are the Emanation of Los and his Spectre, called Urothona
(Urothona has a far different meaning in the general case, where he

could better be called Los before he fell. They were distressed at
the "Vegetation Of Albions Children;" They wanted to avoid the same
fate, namely to descend into Ulro.


"They percieved that corporeal friends are spiritual enemies" (This
sentence also appears in the Bard's Song, Plate 4 of Milton.) The
word corporeal is what we mean when we say materialistic.

"They saw the Sexual Religion in its embryon Uncircumcision": Sexual
Religion is associated with War and other forms of Domination (like
Slavery for example).

Blake goes on to describe the relationship between a creative Los and
a fallen Albion. Albion was 'Rending the fibres of Brotherhood & in
Feminine Allegories Inclosing Los:, but the Divine Vision was with
Los. (Blake actually believed that his own salvation lay in seeing and
hearing the Divine Vision and attempting to share them with us, his
disciples.)

Los prays a long prayer describing to the Savior that "Because of the
Opressors of Albion in every City & Village:

They mock at the Labourers limbs! they mock at his starvd Children.
They buy his Daughters that they may have power to sell his Sons:
They compell the Poor to live upon a crust of bread by soft mild
arts:
They reduce the Man to want: then give with pomp & ceremony."
(Doesn't that sound like 2011?)
Los ends with "The Dead awake to Generation! Arise O Lord, & rend the
Veil! Any Bible scholar can tell you that when Jesus died, he rent
the veil from top to bottom. (The veil appears often in the Bible,
such as the time Moses covered himself with a veil so his people
would not be blinded.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

BLAKE & MERCY

We are told that above the Ark of the Covenant are the Mercy Seat and the Cherubim. The law of Moses is enclosed in the Ark representing the Justice of God. God's Mercy is represented by the Cherubim and Mercy Seat.

Exodus 25
[16] And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
[17] And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
[18] And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
[19] And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.
[20] And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
[21] And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
[22] And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Justice and mercy are meant to be twin attributes of God. Pleas for mercy abound in the Old Testament, but the law dominates the practice of the priests. In the New Testament, Jesus points out that 'judgment, mercy and faith' are the weightier matters of the law.

Matthew 23
[23] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay
tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier
matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have
done, and not to leave the other undone.

Jesus emphasises forgiveness. It is through God's mercy and love not through adhering to the law in good works that salvation is received.

Titus 3
[5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Ephesians 2

[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
[5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
[7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Blake's Albion speaks his last words; there is nothing more he can do. But the tender mercies of Jesus hold and protect him until his awakening.

Jerusalem, Plate 47, (E 196)
"Therefore I write Albions last words. Hope is banish'd from me.
Plate 48
These were his last words, and the merciful Saviour in his arms
Reciev'd him, in the arms of tender mercy and repos'd
The pale limbs of his Eternal Individuality
Upon the Rock of Ages. Then, surrounded with a Cloud:
In silence the Divine Lord builded with immortal labour,
Of gold & jewels a sublime Ornament, a Couch of repose,
With Sixteen pillars: canopied with emblems & written verse.
Spiritual Verse, order'd & measur'd, from whence, time shall reveal."

Justice, the operation of the law, is said to be one of the 'iron pillars of Satans throne.'

Milton, PLATE 29 [31], (E 128)
"Then Los conducts the Spirits to be Vegetated, into
Great Golgonooza, free from the four iron pillars of Satans Throne
(Temperance, Prudence, justice, Fortitude, the four pillars of
tyranny)
That Satans Watch-Fiends touch them not before they Vegetate."

Here we find that Albion has turned from the courts of Jerusalem including the 'Cherubim of Tender-mercy' into the 'Wastes of Moral Law.' But the work of redemption through mercy will be accomplished with forgiveness and patience.

J
erusalem, Plate 24, (E 169)

[Albion speaks]
"O what is Life & what is Man. O what is Death? Wherefore
Are you my Children, natives in the Grave to where I go
Or are you born to feed the hungry ravenings of Destruction
To be the sport of Accident! to waste in Wrath & Love, a weary
Life, in brooding cares & anxious labours, that prove but chaff.
O Jerusalem Jerusalem I have forsaken thy Courts
Thy Pillars of ivory & gold: thy Curtains of silk & fine
Linen: thy Pavements of precious stones: thy Walls of pearl
And gold, thy Gates of Thanksgiving thy Windows of Praise:
Thy Clouds of Blessing; thy Cherubims of Tender-mercy
Stretching their Wings sublime over the Little-ones of Albion
O Human Imagination O Divine Body I have Crucified
I have turned my back upon thee into the Wastes of Moral Law:
There Babylon is builded in the Waste, founded in Human desolation."
Jerusalem, Plate 13, (E 157)
(But whatever is visible to the Generated Man,
Is a Creation of mercy & love, from the Satanic Void.)

Milton, PLATE 23 [25], (E 119)
"Remember how Calvin and Luther in fury premature
Sow'd War and stern division between Papists & Protestants
Let it not be so now! O go not forth in Martyrdoms & Wars
We were plac'd here by the Universal Brotherhood & Mercy
With powers fitted to circumscribe this dark Satanic death
And that the Seven Eyes of God may have space for Redemption.
But how this is as yet we know not, and we cannot know;
Till Albion is arisen; then patient wait a little while,"

Jerusalem, Plate 88, (E 247)
"The blow of his Hammer is Justice. the swing of his Hammer: Mercy.
The force of Los's Hammer is eternal Forgiveness; but
His rage or his mildness were vain, she [Enitharmon] scatterd his love on the wind
Eastward into her own Center, creating the Female Womb
In mild Jerusalem around the Lamb of God."












British Museum
Watercolor 1795-97
Illustration to Edward Young's Night Thoughts

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Plate 43


 PLATE 43 [29]
Then the Divine Vision like a silent Sun appeard above

Albions dark rocks: setting behind the Gardens of Kensington
On Tyburns River, in clouds of blood: where was mild Zion Hills
Most ancient promontory, and in the Sun, a Human Form appeard
And thus the Voice Divine went forth upon the rocks of Albion

I elected Albion for my glory; I gave to him the Nations,
Of the whole Earth. he was the Angel of my Presence: and all
The Sons of God were Albions Sons: and Jerusalem was my joy.
The Reactor hath hid himself thro envy. I behold him.
But you cannot behold him till he be reveald in his System
Albions Reactor must have a Place prepard: Albion must Sleep
The Sleep of Death, till the Man of Sin & Repentance be reveald.
Hidden in Albions Forests he lurks: he admits of no Reply
From Albion: but hath founded his Reaction into a Law
Of Action, for Obedience to destroy the Contraries of Man[.]
He hath compelld Albion to become a Punisher & hath possessd
Himself of Albions Forests & Wilds! and Jerusalem is taken!
The City of the Woods in the Forest of Ephratah is taken!
London is a stone of her ruins; Oxford is the dust of her walls!
Sussex & Kent are her scatterd garments: Ireland her holy place!
And the murderd bodies of her little ones are Scotland and Wales
The Cities of the Nations are the smoke of her consummation
The Nations are her dust! ground by the chariot wheels
Of her lordly conquerors, her palaces levelld with the dust
I come that I may find a way for my banished ones to return
Fear not O little Flock I come! Albion shall rise again.

So saying, the mild Sun inclosd the Human Family.

Forthwith from Albions darkning [r]ocks came two Immortal forms
Saying We alone are escaped. O merciful Lord and Saviour,
We flee from the interiors of Albions hills and mountains!
From his Valleys Eastward: from Amalek Canaan & Moab:
Beneath his vast ranges of hills surrounding Jerusalem.

Albion walkd on the steps of fire before his Halls

And Vala walkd with him in dreams of soft deluding slumber. He looked up & saw the Prince of Light with splendor faded
Then Albion ascended mourning into the porches of his Palace
Above him rose a Shadow from his wearied intellect:
Of living gold, pure, perfect, holy: in white linen pure he
hoverd

A sweet entrancing self-delusion a watry vision of Albion
Soft exulting in existence; all the Man absorbing!

Albion fell upon his face prostrate before the watry Shadow
Saying O Lord whence is this change! thou knowest I am nothing!
And Vala trembled & coverd her face! & her locks were spread on
the pavement

We heard astonishd at the Vision & our heart trembled within us:
We heard the voice of slumberous Albion, and thus he spake,
Idolatrous to his own Shadow words of eternity uttering:

O I am nothing when I enter into judgment with thee!
If thou withdraw thy breath I die & vanish into Hades
If thou dost lay thine hand upon me behold I am silent:
If thou withhold thine hand; I perish like a fallen leaf:
O I am nothing: and to nothing must return again:
If thou withdraw thy breath. Behold I am oblivion.

He ceasd: the shadowy voice was silent: but the cloud hoverd over
their heads
In golden wreathes, the sorrow of Man; & the balmy drops fell
down.
And lo! that son of Man that Shadowy Spirit of mild Albion:
Luvah descended from the cloud; in terror Albion rose:
Indignant rose the awful Man, & turnd his back on Vala.

We heard the voice of Albion starting from his sleep:

Whence is this voice crying Enion! that soundeth in my ears?
O cruel pity! O dark deceit! can love seek for dominion?

And Luvah strove to gain dominion over Albion
They strove together above the Body where Vala was inclosd
And the dark Body of Albion left prostrate upon the crystal
pavement,
Coverd with boils from head to foot: the terrible smitings of
Luvah.

Then frownd the fallen Man, and put forth Luvah from his presence
Saying. Go and Die the Death of Man, for Vala the sweet wanderer.
I will turn the volutions of your ears outward, and bend your
nostrils
Downward, and your fluxile eyes englob'd roll round in fear:
Your withring lips and tongue shrink up into a narrow circle,
Till into narrow forms you creep: go take your fiery way:
And learn what tis to absorb the Man you Spirits of Pity & Love.

They heard the voice and fled swift as the winters setting sun.
And now the human blood foamd high, the Spirits Luvah & Vala,
Went down the Human Heart where Paradise & its joys abounded,
In jealous fears & fury & rage, & flames roll round their fervid
feet:
And the vast form of Nature like a serpent playd before them
And as they fled in folding fires & thunders of the deep:

Vala shrunk in like the dark sea that leaves its slimy banks.
And from her bosom Luvah fell far as the east and west.
And the vast form of Nature like a serpent rolld between,
Whether of Jerusalems or Valas ruins congenerated, we know not:
All is confusion: all is tumult, & we alone are escaped.

So spoke the fugitives; they joind the Divine Family,trembling
**************************************************************

Notes:
   Blake often used the Sun as a symbol for the Divine Vision, God, etc.
"a Human Form appeard":
No man has seen God, but in the Vision leading to this Plate the Human Form appeard in a Voice Divine and spoke :
He elected Albion and all that entailed, but the hiddlen Reactor set up a law of obedience.  He compelled Albion to become a punisher (but always remember that the Reactor is not a 'he', but a state of mind.)

The Nations were "ground by the chariot wheels Of her lordly conquerors,"

" Forthwith from Albions darkning [r]ocks came two Immortal forms
Saying We alone are escaped. O merciful Lord and Saviour,":
Are these the two witnesses of Revelation, whom Blake once named Whitefield and Wesley?  It seems to recur often in Blake's poetry.
It also suggests the passage in Job where someone came with news of a disaster:

This from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org:wiki/William_Blake%27s_Illustrations_of_the_Book_of_Job#Table_of_Illustrations
The two messengers came to Job with news of the catastrophic loss of his family.


"Albion walkd on the steps of fire before his Halls
And Vala walkd with him in dreams of soft deluding slumber.
"

The wife of the Eternal Albion  is Jerusalem; the whore of the fallen Albion was Vala.  Like many husbands in this fallen world for pleasure Albion preferred a whore.

The slumberous Albion spoke:

"I am nothing when I enter into judgment with thee!
If thou withdraw thy breath I die & vanish into Hades
If thou dost lay thine hand upon me behold I am silent:
If thou withhold thine hand; I perish like a fallen leaf:
O I am nothing: and to nothing must return again:
If thou withdraw thy breath. Behold I am oblivion."



Might well be an Old Testament Psalm except that it was offered to the Devil.

"And lo! that son of Man that Shadowy Spirit of mild Albion:
Luvah descended from the cloud; in terror Albion rose:
Indignant rose the awful Man, & turnd his back on Vala."

That's the good news; Son of Man was the primary name that Jesus used for himself.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

MAN IS THE ARK

An earlier post focused on the ark of Noah. Blake's mention of an ark refers more often to the Ark of the Covenant which originally held the tablets of law written by Moses at God's instruction. Stationed at the center of the temple, covered by the cherubim and the mercy seat, secluded by curtains, it occupied the 'holy of holies'.

Exodus 25
[10] And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
[14] And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.
[15] The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.
[16] And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
[21] And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
[22] And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Northrop Frye sees the original vision of God which was memorialised by the ark, as having been abandoned and forgotten. The ark became an empty shell as a symbol used for magic and mystery by a fallen people.

Fearful Symmetry , Page 368
"The image of God carried by the Hebrews was an 'ark.' The true ark of God is the human body, as Jesus implied when he identified his body with the temple. But as the Israelite culture declined, the term 'ark' became attached to a tabooed object, jealously guarded by priests, causing plagues and death to those who touched it, heavily curtained, and used as a palladium in war. What the Hebrews really had was an image of the female will or Vala, who later got control of the Jewish temple and the Christian church in the same way. When the Hebrews finally took Jerusalem, made it their capital, and brought the ark into it, Jerusalem thereby became the fallen Jerusalem on the level with Egypt and Babylon."

The symbol was given new life by Jesus who removed the secrecy which hid a religion of rules and rituals.

Hebrews 9
[1] Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
[2] For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
[3] And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
[4] Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
[5] And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
...
[23] It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
[24] For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Acts 7
[48] Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
[49] Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

Second Corinthians 5
[1] For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Fearful Symmetry, Page 381
"...The curtains of the ark and the veil in the temple which concealed the nothingness of the Pharisees' God and which was rent by Jesus, need no further explanation."

Milton, Plate 41 [48], (E 142)
"These are the destroyers of Jerusalem, these are the murderers
Of Jesus, who deny the Faith & mock at Eternal Life:
Who pretend to Poetry that they may destroy Imagination;
By imitation of Natures Images drawn from Remembrance
These are the Sexual Garments, the Abomination of Desolation
Hiding the Human lineaments as with an Ark & Curtains
Which Jesus rent: & now shall wholly purge away with Fire
Till Generation is swallowd up in Regeneration."

Design of the last Judgment, (E 553)
"To Ozias Humphry Esqre

Behind the Seat & Throne of Christ appears
the Tabernacle with its Veil opened the Candlestick
on the right the Table with the Shew bread on the left in
midst is the Cross in place of the Ark Cherubim bowing over it
On the Right hand of the Throne of Christ is Baptism On
the left is the Lords Supper the two introducers into Eternal Life
Women with Infants approach the Figure of an aged Apostle which represents
Baptism & on the left hand
the Lords Supper is administerd by
Angels from the hands of another Apostle these
kneel on each side of the Throne which is surrounded by a Glory
many Infants appear in the Glory
representing the Eternal Creation flowing from the Divine
Humanity in Jesus who opens the Scroll of Judgment upon his knees
before the Living & the Dead
Such is the Design which you my Dear Sir have been the cause
of my producing & which but for you might have slept till the
Last Judgment

WILLIAM BLAKE"

Vision of the Last Judgment, (E 562)
"Over the Head of the Saviour & Redeemer The Holy
Spirit like a Dove is surrounded by a blue Heaven in which are
the two Cherubim that bowd over the Ark for here the temple is
opend in Heaven & the Ark of the Covenant is as a Dove of Peace
The Curtains are drawn apart Christ having rent the Veil The
Candlestick & the Table of Shew bread appear on Each side a
Glorification of Angels with Harps surrou[n]d the Dove"

Annotations to Lavater, (E 596)
"man is the ark of God the mercy seat is above upon the ark
cherubims guard it on either side & in the midst is the holy law.
man is either the ark of God or a phantom of the earth & of the
water"



The Vision of the Last Judgement

Pen and watercolour,
510 x 395 mm

1808

Petworth House, Sussex, National Trust