I enjoy locating Blake images which are rarely seen. Last week I came across an image in the British Museum collection which I had not seen before. It is from A Large Book of Designs which Blake was commissioned to make for Ozias Humphry (a painter of miniatures) in 1794.
The images from the book include:
Plate 1: "Albion rose from where he laboured at the Mill with Slaves
Giving himself for the Nations he danc'd the dance of Eternal Death"
Plate 2: The Accusers of Theft Adultery Murder, used as frontispiece of copy B of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Plate 3: Plate 21 of Book of Urizen - Los, Enitharmon, Orc
Plate 4: Plate 4 of Visions of the Daughters of Albion
Plate 5: Frontispiece to Visions of the Daughters of Albion
Plate 6: Joseph of Arimathea Preaching to the Inhabitants of Britain
Plate 7: Plate 8 of Book of Urizen
Plate 8: A Dream of Thiralatha from a canceled plate for America
Most of the images in A Large Book of Designs are familiar from other sources but this one was new to me: A Dream of Thiralatha. To see images from the Small and Large books of designs in the British Museum click on link.
These are two mentions of Thiralatha in Blake's early works.
America (E 59) [Fragment] [d]
"As when a dream of Thiralatha flies the midnight hour:
In vain the dreamer grasps the joyful images, they fly
Seen in obscured traces in the Vale of Leutha, So
The British Colonies beneath the woful Princes fade.
And so the Princes fade from earth, scarce seen by souls of men
But tho' obscur'd, this is the form of the Angelic land."
Europe, Plate 14, (E 66)
"Sotha & Thiralatha, secret dwellers of dreamful caves,
Arise and please the horrent fiend with your melodious songs.
Still all your thunders golden hoofd, & bind your horses black.
Orc! smile upon my children!
Smile son of my afflictions.
Arise O Orc and give our mountains joy of thy red light."
In Fearful Symmetry, Northrop Frye describes the progressive decline of the children of Los and Enitharmon when the Divine Vision is lost:
"All of these sons (of Los) may under the wrong conditions be perverted and in fact are usually so portrayed. Rintrah may become fanatical bigotry, Palamabron lazy dilettantism, Bromion dogmatic prejudice, Sotha a berserk lust for fighting, Antamon sensuality, and so on. But there is a particular reason why they become perverted. Los is the spiritual form of time, and his 'emanation' is the spiritual form of space, Enitharmon. But until Los completes his task, Enitharmon will remain elusive and remote, and will be the tyranny which the idea of unbounded space exerts on the mind. (Page 261)
"In human life Enitharmon is one of the presiding spirits of war, Blake calls war enslaved energy, and the energy he means is the organic energy of Orc. Organic energy, which exists in the world of generation, is primarily sexual energy, hence war is a perversion of the sexual impulse." (Page 262)
In A Blake Dictionary, S Foster Damon, provides a diagram of The Repression of Sex under Enitharmon on page 124.
Moving in a counterclockwise direction Ethinthus (body), leads to Leutha (guilt), followed by Oothoon (frustration) and ends with Thiralatha (erotic dreams). Thus the divisions of Enitharmon who was meant to embody Love and Imagination has become instead the source of sexual frustration and war (Sotha).
Song of Los, Plate 3, (E 67)
"Times rolled on o'er all the sons of Har, time after time
Orc on Mount Atlas howld, chain'd down with the Chain of Jealousy Then Oothoon hoverd over Judah & Jerusalem And Jesus heard her voice (a man of sorrows) he recievd A Gospel from wretched Theotormon. The human race began to wither, for the healthy built Secluded places, fearing the joys of Love And the disease'd only propagated: So Antamon call'd up Leutha from her valleys of delight: And to Mahomet a loose Bible gave. But in the North, to Odin, Sotha gave a Code of War, Because of Diralada thinking to reclaim his joy."
Although Damon calls Thiralatha "the last overt expression of thwarted sex," something of the Imagination remained in her as seen in the dream image of a lovely woman with a child falling into her arms .