Blake seeks to provide the Golden String which can lead us through the labyrinth of our experience or his own poetry.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Angel of Revelation
Blake managed to remain upbeat in his expectation for the outcome of the grand experiment which we know as life and intelligence. We too, with consciousness and vision, may become aware of the possibility of Eternity becoming manifest in all creation. Milton Percival ( William Blake's Circle of Destiny, Page 248.) outlines Blake's struggle in delineating and living the faith he had in God's wisdom and mercy.
"It is none too certain, however, that the world will take the path of deliverance. An outward and feminine religion of Mystery challenges the masculine gospel of Christ. But when Mystery is at last stripped of its trappings, and the grinning skeleton of Deism stands revealed, it is time for the Last Judgment. With Deism the wheel of Natural Religion, which began its circuit centuries ago, has swung full circle, and must now submit to Christ or swing round once again. Which will it do? Will the world today, having come to the edge of the abyss over the path of mutual fear, renounce that policy and enter into the ways of peace? Are we purged and pure - true gold - or must we be cast, as dross, once more into the furnaces of affliction? The question haunted Blake, as it haunted Shelley. The prophet in him, especially around the year 1790, filled him with hope of the great renunciation. The Spectre in him pointed out the power of error to renew itself. Where Babylon ends Babylon might begin again. Generation might not be swallowed up in regeneration. This fear is never absent from Los's mind or Blake's. Los's Herculean efforts are necessary, that the "wheel of religion" may disappear in the current of creation." He dare not relinquish his activities, lest the creation itself (the egg-shaped world of Los, and Blake's symbol for what had already been accomplished in a regenerative way) be destroyed. But, though Blake's fear was great, his will to believe was greater. He persuaded himself that man would take the path of Job taken in the Illustrations. He would cast his pride and selfhood (which betrayed him into the cruelty of Natural Religion) into the lake of fire, and be transformed into the likeness of Christ."
Milton, Plate 24 , (E 118)
"But Los dispersd the clouds even as the strong winds of Jehovah,
And Los thus spoke. O noble Sons, be patient yet a little
I have embracd the falling Death, he is become One with me
O Sons we live not by wrath. by mercy alone we live!
I recollect an old Prophecy in Eden recorded in gold; and oft
Sung to the harp: That Milton of the land of Albion.
Should up ascend forward from Felphams Vale & break the Chain
Of jealousy from all its roots; be patient therefore O my Sons
These lovely Females form sweet night and silence and secret
Obscurities to bide from Satans Watch-Fiends. Human loves
And graces; lest they write them in their Books, & in the Scroll
Of mortal life, to condemn the accused: who at Satans Bar
Tremble in Spectrous Bodies continually day and night
While on the Earth they live in sorrowful Vegetations
O when shall we tread our Wine-presses in heaven; and Reap
Our wheat with shoutings of joy, and leave the Earth in peace
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,
Six Thousand years are passd away the end approaches fast;
This mighty one is come from Eden, he is of the Elect,
Who died from Earth & he is returnd before the Judgment.
This thing Was never known that one of the holy dead should willing return
Then patient wait a little while till the Last Vintage is over:"
Percival obviously shared Blake's fears and his faith, as well as his strenuous effort on the part of regeneration.