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

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."

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