Blake seeks to provide the Golden String which can lead us through the labyrinth of our experience or his own poetry.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Luke 22
[39] And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
[40] And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
[41] And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
[42] Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
[43] And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
[44] And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
[45] And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
[46] And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
[47] And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.

Agony in the Garden
Art Resource
In Blake's image called 'Agony in the Garden' the two central figures, Jesus and the comforter, are in the light. The disciples who accompanied Jesus are barely visible in the surrounding shadows. The title of the picture aptly describes the state of mind of Jesus as he struggles to understand and accept the role he is to play in the redemption of humanity. But the figure reaching down to support Jesus is portrayed as equally central to the dynamic event. We may name this figure, who is in the human form although reaching out of a cloud and the source of radiating  energy and light, the Holy Spirit.

Many times Blake reiterated the theme that man is not alone in his situation no matter how bleak the circumstances look. God has made provisions for the return of man to the eternal condition of unity, forgiveness and brotherhood.

Four Zoas, Page 56, (E 338)
"And first he found the Limit of Opacity & namd it Satan
In Albions bosom for in every human bosom these limits stand
And next he found the Limit of Contraction & namd it Adam
While yet those beings were not born nor knew of good or Evil

Then wondrously the Starry Wheels felt the divine hand. Limit
Was put to Eternal Death
Los felt the Limit & saw
The Finger of God touch the Seventh furnace in terror
And Los beheld the hand of God over his furnaces
Beneath the Deeps in dismal Darkness beneath immensity
And he who takes vengeance alone is the criminal of Providence;"

Jerusalem, Plate 62, (E 213)
"Jesus replied. I am the Resurrection & the Life.
I Die & pass the limits of possibility, as it appears
To individual perception. Luvah must be Created                  
And Vala; for I cannot leave them in the gnawing Grave.
But will prepare a way for my banished-ones to return
Come now with me into the villages. walk thro all the cities.
Tho thou art taken to prison & judgment, starved in the streets
I will command the cloud to give thee food & the hard rock       
To flow with milk & wine, tho thou seest me not a season
Even a long season & a hard journey & a howling wilderness!
Tho Valas cloud hide thee & Luvahs fires follow thee!
Only believe & trust in me, Lo. I am always with thee!" 
Jerusalem, Plate 82, (E 241)
"Los saw & was comforted at his Furnaces uttering thus his voice. 
I know I am Urthona keeper of the Gates of Heaven,
And that I can at will expatiate in the Gardens of bliss;
But pangs of love draw me down to my loins which are
Become a fountain of veiny pipes: O Albion! my brother!
Plate 83
Corruptibility appears upon thy limbs, and never more 
Can I arise and leave thy side, but labour here incessant
Till thy awaking! yet alas I shall forget Eternity!
Against the Patriarchal pomp and cruelty, labouring incessant
I shall become an Infant horror. Enion! Tharmas! friends      
Absorb me not in such dire grief: O Albion, my brother!
Jerusalem hungers in the desart! affection to her children!
The scorn'd and contemnd youthful girl, where shall she fly?
Sussex shuts up her Villages. Hants, Devon & Wilts
Surrounded with masses of stone in orderd forms, determine then 
A form for Vala and a form for Luvah, here on the Thames
Where the Victim nightly howls beneath the Druids knife:
A Form of Vegetation, nail them down on the stems of Mystery:
O when shall the Saxon return with the English his redeemed brother!
O when shall the Lamb of God descend among the Reprobate!"

Much of Blake's vision is the ability to recognize and understand the 'ways of God' as he provides the means that man may perceive his own Divine Humanity. For Blake the spirit is always reaching down and lifting up and becoming one with his beloved mankind.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


On a proof print for the frontispiece of Jerusalem, there is text which does not appear on other known copies. The reason Blake deleted the text before making further prints is not known. Erdman includes the deleted text in the Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake:

Jerusalem, Plate 1, (E 144)
[Above the archway:] 
"There is a Void, outside of Existence, which if enterd into 
Englobes itself & becomes a Womb, such was Albions Couch 
A pleasant Shadow of Repose calld Albions lovely Land 
His Sublime & Pathos become Two Rocks fixd in the Earth 
His Reason his Spectrous Power, covers them above 
Jerusalem his Emanation is a Stone laying beneath 
O [Albion behold Pitying] behold the Vision of Albion 

[On right side of archway:] 
"Half Friendship is the bitterest Enmity said Los As he enterd the Door of Death for Albions sake Inspired 
The long sufferings of God are not for ever there is a Judgment 

[On left side, in reversed writing:] 
"Every Thing has its Vermin O Spectre of the Sleeping Dead!" 
Right click on image and select open in new window; click on image.
You will be able to read text. 

From Fearful Symmetry by Northrop Frye:
"But as Milton and Jerusalem constitute a single epic, it is unlikely that any long interval separates the end of Milton from the beginning of Jerusalem. The same symbolism runs through both poems, the same methods ... Milton describes the attainment by the poet of the vision that Jerusalem expounds for all humanity." (Page 356)

Part of the text on Jerusalem's frontispiece is included in Milton as a question asked by Ololon:

Milton, Plate 41 [48], (E 143)
"Then trembled the Virgin Ololon & replyd in clouds of despair

Is this our Femin[in]e Portion the Six-fold Miltonic Female      
Terribly this Portion trembles before thee O awful Man
Altho' our Human Power can sustain the severe contentions
Of Friendship, our Sexual cannot: but flies into the Ulro.
Hence arose all our terrors in Eternity! & now remembrance
Returns upon us! are we Contraries O Milton, Thou & I            
O Immortal! how were we led to War the Wars of Death
Is this the Void Outside of Existence, which if enterd into

Plate 42 [49]                                      
Becomes a Womb? & is this the Death Couch of Albion
Thou goest to Eternal Death & all must go with thee

So saying, the Virgin divided Six-fold & with a shriek
Dolorous that ran thro all Creation a Double Six-fold Wonder!
Away from Ololon she divided & fled into the depths              
Of Miltons Shadow as a Dove upon the stormy Sea."

Ololon represents a potential for redemption provided by Eternity. Several of her forms are presented by Blake. When Milton goes to annihilation Ololon is transformed. As stated by Damon: "The Starry Eight become Jesus; Ololon's clouds are his wedding garment; and Jesus becomes one with mankind (42:19). The mystical union has been achieved, and Blake falls fainting on his garden path."

The text on the frontipiece of Jerusalem served as a link to Milton and as a preview to the tensions and themes which would be developed in Jerusalem. Apparently Blake decided to let the image speak for itself and deleted the text. But the single copy was not destroyed and it comes to us through many hands to be a puzzle for us to solve.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Kathleen Raine's biography titled William Blake was published in 1970, two years after her masterwork, Blake and Tradition, which exhaustively connects Blake's thought with sources within the perennial philosophy. On Page 109 of the biography, Raine begins her exploration of the significance of line to Blake:  

"Line was, for Blake, above all an expression of energy. Every solid form can be seen as the imprint and product of a flow of energy, and it is certain that Blake saw line as energy, as the signature of life."

She continues with this quote from Blake's Exhibition and Catalogue of 1809 (E 550):

"  The great and golden rule of art, as well as of life, is
this: That the more distinct, sharp, [P 64] and wirey the
bounding line, the more perfect the work of art; and the less
keen and sharp, the greater is the evidence of weak imitation,
plagiarism, and bungling.  Great inventors, in all ages, knew
this: Protogenes and Apelles knew each other by this line.
Rafael and Michael Angelo, and Albert Durer, are known by this
and this alone.  The want of this determinate and bounding form
evidences the want of idea in the artist's mind, and the  
pretence of the plagiary in all its branches.  How do we 
distinguish the oak from the beech, the horse from the ox, but 
by the bounding outline? How do we distinguish one face or 
countenance from another, but by the bounding line and its 
infinite inflexions and movements? What is it that builds a house 
and plants a garden, but the definite and determinate? What is it 
that distinguishes honesty from knavery, but the hard and wirey 
line of rectitude and certainty [P 65] in the actions and 
intentions.  Leave out this l[i]ne and you leave out life itself; 
all is chaos again, and the line of the almighty must be drawn 
out upon it before man or beast can exist.

British Museum 
Young's Night Thoughts
Raine states on page 111:
"...For Blake , volume and weight belonged to the mechanistic concept of a natural world subject to the quantitative 'laws of nature' as these operate in time and space; the universe of 'Bacon, Newton and Locke', of the 'Satanic mills' of natural causality - to all that he himself opposed with all the energy of his prophetic mission. Against the mechanistic view of nature, product of the rational mind of Urizen, Blake proclaimed life. Life is non-spatial and non-temporal; gravity does not weigh it down, nor bulk contain it. There are, for Blake's human figures, essentially two conditions - the unconfined freedom of unimpeded energy; and the constricted, fettered, weighted and cramped state of the prisoners of Urizen's universe of mechanized nature. Michelangelo's prisoners, struggling from their rocky confinement, would have signified, for Blake, life freeing itself from the oppression of matter, like the figure of Earth in his own Gates of Paradise."    

In the Four Zoas we find this passage in which giving life and drawing a line are equated. The Spectres of the Dead are embodied as the living through the process of drawing the line. Los drew the line; Enitharmon breathed forth upon the wind. Blake was giving life or body to his images through applying his pen to paper or his graver to copper.

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 98, (E 370) 
"So Enitharmon spoke & Los his hands divine inspired began 
To modulate his fires studious the loud roaring flames
He vanquishd with the strength of Art bending their iron points
And drawing them forth delighted upon the winds of Golgonooza 
From out the ranks of Urizens war & from the fiery lake
Of Orc bending down as the binder of the Sheaves follows   
The reaper in both arms embracing the furious raging flames
Los drew them forth out of the deeps planting his right foot firm
Upon the Iron crag of Urizen thence springing up aloft
Into the heavens of Enitharmon in a mighty circle

And first he drew a line upon the walls of shining heaven    
And Enitharmon tincturd it with beams of blushing love

It remaind permanent a lovely form inspird divinely human
Dividing into just proportions Los unwearied labourd
The immortal lines upon the heavens till with sighs of love
Sweet Enitharmon mild Entrancd breathd forth upon the wind   
The spectrous dead Weeping the Spectres viewd the immortal works
Of Los Assimilating to those forms Embodied & Lovely
In youth & beauty in the arms of Enitharmon mild reposing"

Blake amplifies this concept on the Laocoon Engraving (E 273):

"The Eternal Body of Man is The IMAGINATION.
          God himself  |
that is                |[Yeshua] JESUS We are his Members
        The Divine Body|

It manifests itself in his Works of Art (In Eternity All is

Sunday, July 22, 2012


British Museum
Illustrations to
Edward Young's Night Thoughts

Matthew 18
[1] At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
[2] And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
[3] And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
[4] Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
[5] And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

Matthew 25
[38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
[39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
[40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38], E 180)
"We live as One Man; for contracting our infinite senses
We behold multitude; or expanding: we behold as one,
As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man
We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him,        
Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life,
Giving, recieving, and forgiving each others trespasses.
He is the Good shepherd, he is the Lord and master:
He is the Shepherd of Albion, he is all in all,
In Eden: in the garden of God: and in heavenly Jerusalem.        
If we have offended, forgive us, take not vengeance against us."
Jerusalem, Plate 3, (E 145)
"I also hope the Reader will
be with me, wholly One in Jesus our Lord, who is the God [of
Fire] and Lord [of Love] to whom the Ancients
look'd and saw his day afar off, with trembling & amazement.
     The Spirit of Jesus is continual forgiveness of Sin: he who
waits to be righteous before he enters into the Saviours kingdom,
the Divine Body; will never enter there.  I am perhaps the most
sinful of men! I pretend not to holiness! yet I pretend to love,
to see, to converse with daily, as man with man, & the more to
have an interest in the Friend of Sinners.  Therefore
[Dear] Reader, [forgive] what you do not
approve, & [love] me for this energetic exertion of my

Friday, July 20, 2012


Dante, Canto XXVII, Translated by A. S. Kline:
"So my Lady spoke, and said: ‘If you wish to be satisfied on this, take what I tell you, and wrap your mind around it.
      The earth-centred circles are wide or narrow, according to how much virtue spreads through their region. Greater excellence has power to work greater benefit: and greater benefit is conferred, by the largest sphere, if all parts of it are equally perfect. So the sphere, that sweeps with it all the rest of the universe, corresponds to the circle that loves and knows most. Therefore, if you take your measure from the virtue, not the appearance, of the substances which appear to you in these circles, you will see a marvellous correspondence between greater and more, smaller and less, between every Heaven and its angelic Intelligence.’"

I think that Blake would have agreed with the above statement by Dante's Lady. However the Correspondence that Blake saw in Dante's nine spheres led him to believe that Dante's God was the God of this World: the God who supported war, empire, vengeance and oppression.   

Another representation on a Urizenic God is on Plate 2, where a confused, disorganised cloven-footed God presides over sending Dante on his mission of exploring hell. Above the image on that plate Blake wrote: 'The Angry God of This World & his Throne in Purgatory'.

Blake's Plate 100 represents the idea that as the spheres grew closer to Dante's God they became progressively more rephensible. As Blake indicated on Plate 7, the center was occupied by a vacuum not a living God who interacted with his creation.

Martin Klonsky comments in Blake's Dante:
"In his illustration of the nine concentric circles of the celestial orders - Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels and Angels - whirling about the 'pure spark' of God, Blake reverted to the diagram he drew in Plate 7. Upon it he wrote 'Every thing in Dantes Comedia shews That for Tyrannical Purposes he has made This World the Foundation of All & the Goddess Nature & not the Holy Ghost .' Accordingly, at the bottom of the design he has depicted the world (or is it Purgatory?) as an island in the Sea of Time and Space. Above this 'Foundation', The celestial spheres appear as an 'image of infinite / shut up in finite revolutions' with 'Heaven a mighty circle turning, God a tyrant crown'd' (Europe 10: 21-23)." (Page 161)
Plate 100
The Deity, from whom Proceed the Nine Sphere

The Nine Spheres from Blake's Dante:
Reading bottom to top -

First - two Angels and moon
Second -
two male Archangels and Mercury
Third - two beauteous Principalities with Venus
Fourth - two matronly Powers with the sun
Fifth - two helmeted Virtues with Mars
Sixth - two statesmen as Dominions with Jupiter
Seventh - two weary Thrones and Saturn
Eighth - six young females in sphere of Cherubim or fixed stars

Ninth - labelled vacuum on Plate 7, in place of the Seraphim is Blake's representation of Urizen as a tired, feeble old man gesturing helplessly.

Continuing Klonsky's comment:
"The clouds drawn around the astronomical symbols henceforth become progressively thicker, indicating that the more elevated the spheres in Blake' inverse hierarchy, the more occluded they are spiritually."  

Jerusalem, Plate 52, (E 201)
" Man must & will have Some Religion; if he has not the Religion
of Jesus, he will have the Religion of Satan, & will erect the
Synagogue of Satan. calling the Prince of this World, God; and
destroying all who do not worship Satan under the Name of God. 
Will any one say: Where are those who worship Satan under the
Name of God! Where are they? Listen! Every Religion that Preaches
Vengeance for Sins the Religion of the Enemy & Avenger; and not
the Forgiver of Sin, and their God is Satan, Named by the Divine
Name   Your Religion O Deists: Deism, is the Worship of the God
of this World by the means of what you call Natural Religion and
Natural Philosophy, and of Natural Morality or
Self-Righteousness, the Selfish Virtues of the Natural Heart. 
This was the Religion of the Pharisees who murderd Jesus.  Deism
is the same & ends in the same."      
Gates of Paradise, Keys to the Gates (E268)
"5    Blind in Fire with shield & spear 
     Two Horn'd Reasoning Cloven Fiction 
     In Doubt which is Self contradiction
     A dark Hermaphrodite We stood             
     Rational Truth Root of Evil & Good
     Round me flew the Flaming Sword
     Round her snowy Whirlwinds roard
     Freezing her Veil the Mundane Shell"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Note: For clearer view of image, right click on image, select open link in new window, click on image for enlargement.

These are the Dante's circles of hell in descending order as indicated in the Wikipedia website.
First Circle - Limbo
Second Circle - Lust
Third Circle - Gluttony
Forth Circle - Greed
Fifth Circle - Anger
Sixth Circle - Heresy
Seventh Circle - Violence
Eighth Circle - Fraud
Ninth Circle - Treachery

In the British Museum is a pencil sketch which is said to be Blake's diagram of Dante's Hell-Circles.

Martin Klonsky, in Blake's Dante, remarks on page 142:

"This drawing has been given no canto number, but it is evidently meant to illustrate Canto XI. At the beginning of this canto Dante and Virgil are compelled to pause on the brink of the seventh circle because of the overpowering stench arising from the abyss (lines 10-15). Virgil uses the occasion to explain the kinds and degrees of torment inflicted upon the sinners in the three remaining circles. His rationale follows Cicero's in distinguishing between sins committed as a result of human frailty and sins that are willed, but it is based chiefly on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Physics." 

Here is the text written by Blake as scholars have made out the indistinct writing (E 690):
British Museum
Plate 22: Diagram for Hell-Circles
Dante, Plate 101
   "This is Upside Down When viewd from Hells Gate
     But right When Viewd from Purgatory after they have passed the Center
     In Equivocal Worlds Up & Down are Equivocal
9 Lucifer Containing 9 Rounds
8 Geryon Malebolge Containing 10 Gulphs
7 Centaurs   Most likely Dante describes the 7 8 & 9 Circles
 in Canto XI v 18   3 Compartments   Dante calls them Cerchietti
6 Minotaur The City of Dis seems to occupy the Space between
the Fifth & Sixth Circles   or perhaps it occupies both Circles
with its Environs
5 City of Dis furies &   Queen of Endless Woe   Lesser
Circle   Point of the Universe   Canto Eleventh line 68 
4 Plutus & Phlegyas
3 Cerberus
2 Minos 
1 Charon  
 It seems as if Dantes supreme Good was something Superior to
the Father or Jesus  if he gives his rain to
the Evil & the Good & his Sun to the just & the Unjust He could
never have Builded Dantes Hell nor the Hell of the Bible neither
in the way our Parsons explain it   It must have been originally
Formed by the Devil Himself & So I understand it to have been
     Whatever Book is for Vengeance for Sin & whatever Book is
Against the Forgiveness of Sins is not of the Father but of Satan
the Accuser & Father of Hell"

Blake is emphatically unwilling to follow the system of Aristotle, Cicero or Dante.
The God of Jesus is not the accuser and punisher of sin but the forgiver.    

Satan creates sin, laws and punishments to serve his own purposes.

Milton, Plate 9, (E 103) 
"For Satan flaming with Rintrahs fury hidden beneath his own mildness
Accus'd Palamabron before the Assembly of ingratitude! of malice:
He created Seven deadly Sins drawing out his infernal scroll,
Of Moral laws and cruel punishments upon the clouds of Jehovah
To pervert the Divine voice in its entrance to the earth
With thunder of war & trumpets sound, with armies of disease
Punisbments & deaths musterd & number'd; Saying I am God alone   
There is no other! let all obey my principles of moral individuality
I have brought them from the uppermost innermost recesses
Of my Eternal Mind, transgressors I will rend off for ever,
As now I rend this accursed Family from my covering."

Enitharmon 'Created a New Space to protect Satan from punishment'. Even Satan is not to be the object of vengeance. 

Milton, Plate 13 [14], (E 106)
"Now Leutha ceas'd: tears flow'd: but the Divine Pity), supported her.

All is my fault! We are the Spectre of Luvah the murderer.
Of Albion: O Vala! O Luvah! O Albion! O lovely Jerusalem

The Sin was begun in Eternity, and will not rest to Eternity     
Till two Eternitys meet together, Ah! lost! lost! lost! for ever!

So Leutha spoke. But when she saw that Enitharmon had
Created a New Space to protect Satan from punishment;
She fled to Enitharmons Tent & hid herself."

Saving those who have sinned and keeping them from sin through love is accomplished through the creation of states. 

Jerusalem, Plate 31 [35], (E 177)
"And the Divine voice came from the Furnaces, as multitudes without
Number! the voices of the innumerable multitudes of Eternity.
And the appearance of a Man was seen in the Furnaces;            
Saving those who have sinned from the punishment of the Law,
(In pity of the punisher whose state is eternal death,)
And keeping them from Sin by the mild counsels of his love.

Albion goes to Eternal Death: In Me all Eternity.
Must pass thro' condemnation, and awake beyond the Grave!
No individual can keep these Laws, for they are death
To every energy of man, and forbid the springs of life;
Albion hath enterd the State Satan! Be permanent O State!
And be thou for ever accursed! that Albion may arise again:
And be thou created into a State! I go forth to Create           
States: to deliver Individuals evermore! Amen.

So spoke the voice from the Furnaces, descending into Non-Entity
[To Govern the Evil by Good: and States abolish

The cycle of vengeance must be broken to arrest the fall into the abyss. 

Jerusalem, Plate 45 [31], (E 194)
"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:"

Forgiveness is the mercy which reverses the direction in which the wheels are turning.

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, July 16, 2012


British Museum
Night Thoughts by
Edward young
Blake has given us a treasure of insight, experience, and imagery. The cost to him of producing it was enormous. The reward was the satisfaction of using his innate gifts in expressing his imagination. That he produced a body of work that nourishes us two hundred years after his death, expresses the joy and gratitude with which he exercised his gifts. I like to think that in his case, "Eternity is in love with the productions of time." Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 7, (E36)

From George W. Digby, Symbol and Image in William Blake, Page 19:

"He had as it were two eyes, an eye for the verbal image as it is spoken and written, and an eye for the pictorial image. The inner truth that he apprehended was something other than either of these, not confined or explicit in either of them, but something which could be expressed or implied by their means. For truth, reality, is always beyond the formulation of both words and of pictorial images. Sometimes the pictorial symbol parallels or amplifies the written one; sometimes gives the contrasting aspect, or opposite and contrary point of view. But always this double mode of expression is focused on man's subtle and complex nature, his illusions, self-deceptions, conceits, and his contradictory and insatiable desires. This twofold artistic capacity, and his vision of the infinite which the coarseness and opaqueness of human nature unnecessarily obscures, makes the creative work of Blake in art and poetry such an incomparable source of wisdom."

As Blake wrote in The Four Zoas on Page 35 (E324):

"What is the price of Experience do men buy it for a song
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath his house his wife his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the witherd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain"

Saturday, July 14, 2012


There Is No Natural Religion
Plate 5

Reading from George W. Digby, Page 124, Symbol and Image in William Blake:
"For not only is the infinite present in everything, but one thing is the mirror of another, and everything is linked and harmonized in a translucent chain of correspondences. This is the translucence of which Blake often speaks. Eckhart said, 'anything known or born is an image', and Jacob Boehem could see the inner life and nature of every natural object recorded on it as a 'signature.' In the poem sent to his friend Thomas Butts from Felpham, which begins 'To my Friend Thomas Butts I write / My first Vision of Light...,' Blake describes the miracle of the divine manifesting in the phenomenal. The poem records an instance of the power of contracting and expanding vision, which is one of Blake's fundamental images... This contracting and expanding of consciousness is the essence of human life; it is what makes possible the co-existence in one body of the divine and the human."

Letter to Thomas Butts, Oct 2 1800 (E 711)

Jerusalem, Plate 98, (E257)

"And they conversed together in Visionary forms dramatic which bright
Redounded from their Tongues in thunderous majesty, in Visions
In new Expanses, creating exemplars of Memory and of Intellect  
Creating Space, Creating Time according to the wonders Divine
Of Human Imagination, throughout all the Three Regions immense
Of Childhood, Manhood & Old Age[;] & the all tremendous unfathomable Non Ens
Of Death was seen in regenerations terrific or complacent varying
According to the subject of discourse & every Word & Every Character
Was Human according to the Expansion or Contraction, the Translucence or
Opakeness of Nervous fibres such was the variation of Time & Space
Which vary according as the Organs of Perception vary & they walked
To & fro in Eternity as One Man reflecting each in each & clearly seen
And seeing: according to fitness & order. And I heard Jehovah speak 
Terrific from his Holy Place & saw the Words of the Mutual
Covenant Divine"
"The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms, this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religiousness." 
Albert Einstein

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Originally published August 24, 2009

Toward the end of his life William Blake began a series of illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy for his patron and friend John Linnell. Blake left 102 of these watercolor illustrations when he died: seventy-two for the Inferno, twenty for the Purgatorio, and ten for the Paradiso. Blake's designs are said to be not mere illustrations but commentary on Dante's text. (Martin Butlin)

One illustration for the Paradiso particularly caught my attention: 

British Museum
Illustration to Dante's "Divine Comedy"'Paradiso', Canto XXV
'St Peter, St James, Dante and Beatrice with St John Also'
Martin Butlin in William Blake, published by the Tate, makes these comments on the picture I noticed:
"Blake illustrates the successive appearances of St. Peter, St. James and St. John. St. Peter, who questions Dante on Faith, is represented by Blake's type for Urizen;  St. James, who questions Dante on Hope, as Luvah; and St. John, who questions Dante on Love, as Los or the Poetic Genius. Together they represent Reason, Feeling and Imagination. The overlapping of the three globes in which they are shown, embracing Dante and Beatrice whose echoing gestures reflect harmony, is a marvelously vivid image of reunion of Man's various elements that is requisite of true salvation."

Quite a summation of the Bible, Blake's myth, religion and psychology!

In this picture it is fascinating to see how Blake integrated Dante's poetry into his own visual vocabulary.

Dante's three conversations with St. Peter, St. James and St. John about faith, hope and love respectively are amalgamated into one scene. Blake himself wouldn't be left out of the creative process, so he gives the three saints correspondence to three of his Zoas. He skews the character of the Zoas to align them with the saints.

Urizen is a pretty good fit with St. Peter since Blake has identified Urizen with the fallen church consistently. The association of Urizen with faith is perhaps by his building a structure to try to make sense of being. Peter's first recognition of Jesus as the Messiah is a prime example of his faith. The identification of Peter with Urizen is implied by his facial appearance which is congruent with multiple images of Urizen as he is associated with the vengeful God of the Old Testament, and by the faint image of the scroll which Peter holds in his left hand.

If Luvah is paired with St. James, it might be on the basis of putting into practice the spiritual truth we receive, which is emphasized in the New Testament 'Letter of James.' I don't know why 'hope' would be associated with either St. James or Luvah.

Los, the Eternal Prophet, pictured as the descending Holy Spirit becomes in the picture, St. John, the author of the Apocalypse or 'Book of Revelation.' Although it is not the characteristic usually assigned to Los, love is entirely appropriate to him in his role as the Poetic Genius opening the world to imagination. St. John exemplifies love as the author of the gospel stressing unity among men, and between God and man.

In his characteristic way of making his figures ambiguous or subject to multiple interpretations, Blake may have been thinking of the lower central image of Dante and Beatrice as Albion, (Humanity as realized in the one Man) or as Tharmas the fourth of the Four Zoas, who can be associated with the senses or the physical body.

Better students than I, of Dante, Blake and the Bible should be able to see much more in this picture than I do.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Blake's reputation as an advocate of free love comes, to a large extent, from his work Visions of the Daughters of Albion from 1793.

Oothoon was not shy, she was in love with Theotormon and had a sexual relationship with him. Perhaps they intended to be wed. Unfortunately Bromion forced her into a sexual encounter with him. Theotormon became enraged not only at Bromion, but at Oothoon as well.

Oothoon's defense is that love should be a free and joyous experience entered into for mutual pleasure. Love does not convey a right to possess or control the beloved. Jealousy and false modesty should not enter into a relationship of love. Taking away another's freedom and self respect are not characteristics of love. Love that restricts freedom and happiness is self-love. If a man who enjoys his pleasure with a woman, seeks to chain her through laws or morality, propriety and social convention, he is a hypocrite.  

Visions of Daughters of Albion
Plate 3, Copy G, 1795
Courtesy of Wikimedia
Original in Houghton Library
Visions of the Daughters of Albion, Plate 3, (E 46)
"The Argument

I loved Theotormon
And I was not ashamed
I trembled in my virgin fears
And I hid in Leutha's vale!

I plucked Leutha's flower,                          
And I rose up from the vale;
But the terrible thunders tore
My virgin mantle in twain." 
Visions of the Daughters of Albion, Plate 6, (E 49)
"And does my Theotormon seek this hypocrite modesty!
This knowing, artful, secret, fearful, cautious, trembling hypocrite.

Then is Oothoon a whore indeed! and all the virgin joys
Of life are harlots: and Theotormon is a sick mans dream
And Oothoon is the crafty slave of selfish holiness.             

But Oothoon is not so, a virgin fill'd with virgin fancies
Open to joy and to delight where ever beauty appears
If in the morning sun I find it: there my eyes are fix'd
Plate 7
In happy copulation; if in evening mild. wearied with work;
Sit on a bank and draw the pleasures of this free born joy.

The moment of desire! the moment of desire! The virgin
That pines for man; shall awaken her womb to enormous joys
In the secret shadows of her chamber; the youth shut up from     
The lustful joy. shall forget to generate. & create an amorous image
In the shadows of his curtains and in the folds of his silent pillow.
Are not these the places of religion? the rewards of continence?
The self enjoyings of self denial? Why dost thou seek religion?
Is it because acts are not lovely, that thou seekest solitude,   
Where the horrible darkness is impressed with reflections of desire.

Father of jealousy. be thou accursed from the earth!
Why hast thou taught my Theotormon this accursed thing?
Till beauty fades from off my shoulders darken'd and cast out,
A solitary shadow wailing on the margin of non-entity.           

I cry, Love! Love! Love! happy happy Love! free as the mountain wind!
Can that be Love, that drinks another as a sponge drinks water?
That clouds with jealousy his nights, with weepings all the day:
To spin a web of age around him. grey and hoary! dark!
Till his eyes sicken at the fruit that hangs before his sight.   
Such is self-love that envies all! a creeping skeleton
With lamplike eyes watching around the frozen marriage bed."

Monday, July 9, 2012


Originally posted Feb 18 2011 
Blake began producing a set of illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy for Linnell in 1824. Work continued until Blake's death in 1827. Blake left a total of 102 designs in various stages of completion, including only 7 which had been engraved and made ready for printing. Blake had no great sympathy for Dante's religion or theology and made known his disagreements in various ways in the pictures and in notes which accompanied them.

One picture from the series provides a fitting illustration for an idea which I introduced in my last post - that of the wounded healer. At one point Dante is provided some guidance through Hell by someone other than Virgil. The Centaur Chiron in canto xii is given charge of Dante and turns him over to another Centaur, Nessus, to pass through a battlefield like the one on which Dante himself had once fought and to cross the river of boiling blood in which the violent were punished

You can learn more about Chiron at this website.
"Chiron symbolizes our experience of pain, alienation and woundedness, and is therefore connected to suffering in one form or another. In mythology, the centaur Chiron sustained a wound that never healed and he was said to have suffered unceasingly from it. And yet, it was this suffering that drove him to search for relief, and that search brought him the knowledge, wisdom and experience that expanded his knowledge about healing. This enabled him to counsel, teach and heal others, earning himself the label of the Wounded Healer. And it was through an act of compassionate negotiation that he was finally relieved of his suffering, by trading his life for Prometheus' freedom from torturous punishment."

We may expect Blake to picture Chiron wholly sympathetically but we see he has drawn a Chiron with horns on his head. The Centaurs were the punishers of those who have engaged in violence toward their neighbors. Blake presented the image to express his own opposition to violence in which Chiron was heavily involved. The old task of reconciling contraries forever raises its head: Chiron both was wounded and a healer, both was a warrior and reconciler. Contraries were expressed within Blake himself by his illustrating the Inferno which has no existence in his own system of thought. The inferno in Blake was not Hell but the furnace of Los into which ideas where thrown to be consumed as dross or refined as gold.

Blake's agile mind constantly sought ways to interact with the intellects of others; the wars he fought were intellectual wars. Dante was a worthy opponent.

Jerusalem, PLATE 34 [38],(E 180)
"Our wars are wars of life, & wounds of love,
With intellectual spears, & long winged arrows of thought:" 

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Homer Bearing the Sword
Illustrations to Dante, design 7
Hell, Canto 4
Original in National Gallery of Victoria, Melborne
Courtesy of Wikimedia
Erdman's words are in green.
Blake's words are in
Klonskys comments are in
Ellie's notes are in black.

On a few of Blake's Illustrations to Dante he wore text to clarify his intentions. Design number seven includes more text than the others. The illustration of Dante's passage occupies only the upper left corner of the picture and Blake uses the rest of the picture to express his attitude toward Dante's ideas.

Inscriptions, Illustrations to Dante,  (E 689)

On design No 7, "HELL Canto 4", figure with sword
and laurel crown, in center of diagram of celestial Universe:
labeled "Homer" above his crown and "Satan" between his head and
his sword

[Spheres from outer to inner] 

Vacuum   Starry Heaven  Saturn  Jupiter   Mars   Sun   Venus   Mercury   Moon  

Limbo of Weak Shadows

[upper right - above and below and within the circle]

Terrestrial Paradise     It is an Island in Limbo      Purgatory

[written within the second circle surrounding Homer]

Every thing in Dantes Comedia shews That for Tyrannical
Purposes he has made This World the Foundation of All & the
Goddess Nature & not the Holy Ghost   as Poor Churchill said
Nature thou art my Goddess

. . . & the Goddess Nature   & not  the Holy
Ghost. . . .           
     Round Purgatory is Paradise & round Paradise is Vacuum or
Limbo. so that Homer is the Center of All   I mean the Poetry of
the Heathen Stolen & Perverted from the Bible not by Chance but
by design by the Kings of Persia and their Generals   The Greek
Heroes & lastly by The Romans
[written within the third circle]

    Swedenborg does the same in saying that in this World is the
Ultimate of Heaven
     This is the most damnable Falshood of Satan & his Antichrist

Here are comments from Blake's Dante by Milton Klonsky, Page 138.
Klonsky calls the main body of this illustration a "schematic outline, and a condemnation, of the system of Dante's Divine Comedy."

"Occupying the center of the picture are eight circles numbered diagonally from the left. Homer, his name inscribed above his head, is standing within the ninth circle, which is unnumbered, so that all nine correspond to the circles of the Inferno."  

This image conveys Blake's conviction that Dante is infected with the same misapprehension of the organisation of the cosmos as was Homer. The center of the Spheres is not for Blake, purgatory, a terrestrial paradise or an island in limbo. Central to Blake is the Holy Ghost. The poetry (mythology) of the Greeks and Romans (represented by Homer), although it developed out of the earlier poetry (prophecy, mythology) recorded in the Bible, had led to a society dedicated to tyranny and  war. Notice that Homer carries a sword and wears a crown.

It is easy to imagine that Blake, as he illustrated Dante's Divine Comedy, felt as Los felt in his opposition to Hand in this passage from

, Plate 8, (E 151-2)

"Hand has absorbd all his Brethren in his might
All the infant Loves & Graces were lost, for the mighty Hand
Plate 9
Condens'd his Emanations into hard opake substances;
And his infant thoughts & desires, into cold, dark, cliffs of death.
His hammer of gold he siezd; and his anvil of adamant.
He siez'd the bars of condens'd thoughts, to forge them:
Into the sword of war: into the bow and arrow:                   
Into the thundering cannon and into the murdering gun
I saw the limbs form'd for exercise, contemn'd: & the beauty of
Eternity, look'd upon as deformity & loveliness as a dry tree:
I saw disease forming a Body of Death around the Lamb
Of God, to destroy Jerusalem, & to devour the body of Albion     
By war and stratagem to win the labour of the husbandman:
Awkwardness arm'd in steel: folly in a helmet of gold:
Weakness with horns & talons: ignorance with a rav'ning beak!
Every Emanative joy forbidden as a Crime:
And the Emanations buried alive in the earth with pomp of religion:          
Inspiration deny'd; Genius forbidden by laws of punishment:
I saw terrified; I took the sighs & tears, & bitter groans:
I lifted them into my Furnaces; to form the spiritual sword.
That lays open the hidden heart: I drew forth the pang
Of sorrow red hot: I workd it on my resolute anvil:              
I heated it in the flames of Hand, & Hyle, & Coban
Nine times; Gwendolen & Cambel & Gwineverra
Are melted into the gold, the silver, the liquid ruby,
The crysolite, the topaz, the jacinth, & every precious stone,
Loud roar my Furnaces and loud my hammer is heard:               
I labour day and night, I behold the soft affections
Condense beneath my hammer into forms of cruelty
But still I labour in hope, tho' still my tears flow down.
That he who will not defend Truth, may be compelld to defend
A Lie: that he may be snared and caught and snared and taken     
That Enthusiasm and Life may not cease: arise Spectre arise!" 

Friday, July 6, 2012


You may have learned in an elementary physics class that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; you may have balanced an equation to demonstrate that nothing may be lost or gained. Such is the calculation of Sir Isaac Newton; but it is not the calculation of William Blake. Blake adds into his equations factors which cannot be measured . Effects may be multiplied, divided, added, or subtracted  by spiritual forces which act from the hearts, minds and imaginations of men. For good or ill  there may be unintended consequences as a result of the status of the Soul. If a man is 'organized by Divine Providence for Spiritual communion' his choices will encourage the development of his spirit at the expense of self enhancement. If the Selfhood or false reasoning power dominates the mind, a man will 'not see spiritual agency' and will fail to recognise the connections among all things. 

Milton, Plate 26 [28], (E 124)
"And every Natural Effect has a Spiritual Cause, and Not
A Natural: for a Natural Cause only seems, it is a Delusion
Of Ulro: & a ratio of the perishing Vegetable Memory."

, To Butts, (E 724)
"But if we fear to do the dictates of our Angels & tremble at the 

Tasks set before us. if we refuse to do Spiritual Acts. because of Natural
Fears or Natural Desires! Who can describe the dismal torments of such a
state!--I too well remember the Threats I heard!--If you who are organized
by Divine Providence for Spiritual communion. Refuse & bury your Talent in
the Earth even tho you should want Natural Bread. Sorrow & Desperation
pursues you thro life! & after death shame & confusion of face to eternity--
Every one in Eternity will leave you aghast at the Man who was crownd with
glory & honour by his brethren & betrayd their cause to their enemies. You
will be calld the base Judas who betrayd his Friend!"

Descriptive Catalog, (E 544)
"Reasons and opinions concerning acts, are not history.
Acts themselves alone are history, and these are neither the exclusive
property of Hume, Gibbon nor Voltaire, Echard, Rapin, Plutarch, nor
Herodotus. Tell me the Acts, O historian, and leave me to reason
upon them as I please; away with your reasoning and your rubbish.
 All that is not action is not [P 45] worth reading. Tell me the What;
I do not want you to tell me the Why, and the How; I can find that
out myself, as well as you can, and I will not be fooled by you into
opinions, that you please to impose, to disbelieve what you think im-
probable or impossible. His opinions, who does not see spiritual
, is not worth any man's reading; he who rejects a fact because
it is improbable, must reject all History and retain doubts only."

In Auguries of Innocence Blake is showing that nothing can be viewed in isolation. Even the most distant effects have causes not attributable to natural events.  Every act has consequences.

British Museum
Young's Night Thoughts 
 Pickering Manuscript, (E 490)
"Auguries of Innocence
A Robin Red breast in a Cage 
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thro all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State 
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing 
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul 
The wild deer wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public strife
And yet forgives the Butchers Knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve 
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men 
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers sprite 
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last judgment draweth nigh 
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggers Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers song 
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot
The Poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists jealousy 
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent
It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine 
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
 Complete Auguries of Innocence.  
What is this spiritual agency other than connections among various happenings in this world and in the spiritual world. Acts performed in human lives influence the spiritual condition of the person who performs them and of others who are touched by them. Carelessness about the treatment of the weak and vulnerable is not innocent although the consequences may be unintended.

If we look only for natural causes and connect events only through what we can weigh and measure, we are not aware of the harm or good which results from ordinary or extraordinary acts. The outer and the inner are not distinct areas; what is done outwardly is a consequence of inner acts and affects the inner life as well as the outer life. If a man choose to live according to outward considerations exclusively, his inner being will be starved and will atrophy.  

Gospel of John

Chapter 12 [35] Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. [36] While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Job Illustration Twenty
Linnell set
Some of Blake's pictures which include dogs:

Job pictures:
Illustration One

Illustration Two

Illustration Five

Illustration Twenty-one
Judgement of Paris

On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, Picture 2

Book of Urizen, Plate 26

It seems that Blake had an affectionate relationship with dogs. He mentions them in his poetry and includes them in his visual images. Their presence seems to have indicated a dependable, loyal companion. They were appreciated and loved but their role was limited. They were akin to children in being neglected and abused. But to expect from them more than their species was suited to, was like the other poor choices would lead to bitter and costly experience. 

Jerusalem, Plate 21, (E 166)
"First fled my Sons, & then my Daughters, then my Wild Animations
My Cattle next, last ev'n the Dog of my Gate." 
Visions of Daughters of Albion, Plate 5, (E 48)
"and wilt thou take the ape
For thy councellor? or the dog, for a schoolmaster to thy

Book of Urizen, Plate 24, (E 81)
4. He in darkness clos'd, view'd all his race,
And his soul sicken'd! he curs'd
Both sons & daughters; for he saw
That no flesh nor spirit could keep                        
His iron laws one moment.

5. For he saw that life liv'd upon death
The Ox in the slaughter house moans
The Dog at the wintry door
And he wept, & he called it Pity
And his tears flowed down on the winds" 
Four Zoas, Page 35, (E 324)
"I am made to sow the thistle for wheat; the nettle for a nourishing dainty

I have planted a false oath in the earth, it has brought forth a poison tree
I have chosen the serpent for a councellor & the dog
For a schoolmaster to my children
I have blotted out from light & living the dove & nightingale    
And I have caused the earth worm to beg from door to door
I have taught the thief a secret path into the house of the just
I have taught pale artifice to spread his nets upon the morning
My heavens are brass my earth is iron my moon a clod of clay
My sun a pestilence burning at noon & a vapour of death in night 

What is the price of Experience do men buy it for a song
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath his house his wife his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the witherd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain"

Auguries of Innocence, (E 490)
"A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
The Beggers Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat"

Satiric Verses and Epigrams, (E 500)
"O who would smile on the wintry seas
& Pity the stormy roar                        
Or who will exchange his new born child
For the dog at the wintry door" 

Annotation to Reynolds, (E 656)
"How ridiculous it would be to see the Sheep Endeavouring to
walk like the Dog, or the Ox striving to trot like the Horse just
as Ridiculous it is see One Man Striving to Imitate Another   
Man varies from Man more than Animal from Animal of Different

Monday, July 2, 2012


"Design for Dedication to the Queen"  
Blair's The Grave
Minna Doskow's commentary titled William Blake's Jerusalem provides an enlightening description of the Gate of Los on page 84.  Her statements add to the earlier post Gate of Los.

"...for Los is the connection between time and eternity, the crucial door of change through which states may be exchanged and vision altered. Even fallen Albion possesses such a connection, since 'There is in Albion a Gate of Precious stones and gold/ seen only by Emanations, by vegetations viewless' (34: 55-56) This too is the Gate of Los. All natural creations have gates to eternity within them and vice versa, for all natural creation is potentially eternal. Functioning very much like the vortex in Milton, the gate of Los entered one way, from eternity allows eternal Urthona to become Los, the twenty-eight unfallen cities created by Hammer and Loom in order to save Albion, or Albion to go to death. Entered the other way, however, from time, it finally enables Albion or the reader to awaken and enter Life. It is invisible to 'vegetations,' for they have no awakened imaginative potential, and equally to Satan's Watchfiends' (35:1) no matter how carefully they search, for Satan is fall without limit or possibility of salvation, containing no basis for imagination to work upon. Although Satan's watchfiends are very thorough in their search for Los's gate, 'Numbering every grain/Of sand on Earth every night' (35:1-2), their scientific and analytic methods that Jerusalem warned Albion about earlier (22:20-22) are exclusively material and therefore ineffective."

Jerusalem, Plate 22, (E 167)
"Then spoke Jerusalem O Albion! my Father Albion
Why wilt thou number every little fibre of my Soul               
Spreading them out before the Sun like stalks of flax to dry?
The Infant Joy is beautiful, but its anatomy
Horrible ghast & deadly! nought shalt thou find in it
But dark despair & everlasting brooding melancholy!"
Jerusalem, Plate 35 [39], (E 181)
"By Satans Watch-fiends tho' they search numbering every grain
Of sand on Earth every night, they never find this Gate.
It is the Gate of Los."

Jerusalem, Plate 37 [41], (E 183)
"There is a Grain of Sand in Lambeth that Satan cannot find     
Nor can his Watch Fiends find it: tis translucent & has many Angles
But he who finds it will find Oothoons palace, for within
Opening into Beulah every angle is a lovely heaven
But should the Watch Fiends find it, they would call it Sin
And lay its Heavens & their inhabitants in blood of punishment  
Here Jerusalem & Vala were hid in soft slumberous repose
Hid from the terrible East, shut up in the South & West." 
Milton, Plate 25 [27] (E 123)
"While Los calld his Sons around him to the Harvest & the Vintage.

Thou seest the Constellations in the deep & wondrous Night
They rise in order and continue their immortal courses
Upon the mountains & in vales with harp & heavenly song
With flute & clarion; with cups & measures filld with foaming wine.
Glittring the streams reflect the Vision of beatitude,           
And the calm Ocean joys beneath & smooths his awful waves!
Plate 26 [28]
These are the Sons of Los, & these the Labourers of the Vintage
Thou seest the gorgeous clothed Flies that dance & sport in summer
Upon the sunny brooks & meadows: every one the dance
Knows in its intricate mazes of delight artful to weave:
Each one to sound his instruments of music in the dance,      
To touch each other & recede; to cross & change & return
These are the Children of Los; thou seest the Trees on mountains
The wind blows heavy, loud they thunder thro' the darksom sky
Uttering prophecies & speaking instructive words to the sons
Of men: These are the Sons of Los! These the Visions of Eternity 

But we see only as it were the hem of their garments
When with our vegetable eyes we view these wond'rous Visions

There are Two Gates thro which all Souls descend. One Southward
From Dover Cliff to Lizard Point. the other toward the North
Caithness & rocky Durness, Pentland & John Groats House.         

The Souls descending to the Body, wail on the right hand
Of Los; & those deliverd from the Body, on the left hand
For Los against the east his force continually bends
Along the Valleys of Middlesex from Hounslow to Blackheath
Lest those Three Heavens of Beulah should the Creation destroy   
And lest they should descend before the north & south Gates
Groaning with pity, he among the wailing Souls laments."