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

Monday, December 30, 2013


Repost from December 06, 2009. 

In spite of the difficulty of some of Blake's poetry, he was not trying to hide from us the truth that had been revealed to him, but to make it known. Like us, Blake lived in the world of generation, with all its distractions, distortions, oppressions and disappointments. But the Eternal world of the Imagination he knew to be the real world. He wanted us to know as he knew, that the real world in which nothing is worthless or can be lost, was open for us to enter. He felt with all his being that if each individual could know that Eternal Reality, it would assist in renewing the earthly world we inhabit. Not that we could create a better world, but we may create the conditions for God's transforming power to be manifest.
Vision of the Last Judgment, Page 90, (E562)
"Here they are no longer talking of what is Good &
Evil or of what is Right or Wrong & puzzling themselves in Satans
[Maze] Labyrinth But are Conversing with Eternal
Realities as they Exist in the Human Imagination   We are in a
World of Generation & death & this world we must cast off if we
would be Painters [P 91] Such as Rafa[e]l Mich Angelo & the
Ancient Sculptors. if we do not cast off this world we shall be
only Venetian Painters who will be cast off & Lost from Art"
The following passage is from an article by Michael Vannoy Adams which is the first chapter in Joseph Reppen (ed.), Why I Became a Psychotherapist (Northvale, NJ, and London: Jason Aronson, 1998), pp. 1-14.
"For Jung, the purpose of psychoanalysis is, as Blake says, 'Conversing with Eternal Realities as they Exist in the Human Imagination' (1810, p. 613) - or, in Jungian terminology, dialoguing with archetypal realities that exist in fantasy. According to Jung, the images in a dream - or in active imagination - are exactly what they seem to be or seem to mean. He proposes a precision theory of the imagination. 'Precision means whatever is actually presented,' Hillman says. 'Simply: the actual qualities of the image' (1977, p. 69). The unconscious, Jung argues, is incredibly precise in the selection of qualitatively apt images to epitomize psychical reality. It is difficult to interpret psychical reality not because some censor distorts, or encrypts, reality in a code that we then have to decipher, but simply because the unconscious, like some poet, communicates in images with which we are only more or less familiar. We do not have to translate these images; we have to define them. We have to explicate all that a specific image implies. The imagination is, in this sense, what the philosopher of science Michael Polanyi (1966) (who also befriended me in Texas and later in England) calls a 'tacit dimension,' or what the physicist David Bohm (1981) calls an 'implicate order.' Jungian analysis employs a phenomenological (or 'essentialist') method. It inquires into the essential being or meaning of images, the fundamental phenomena of psychical reality. From a Jungian perspective, the unconscious does not so much conceal as it reveals. What an image is or means is not hidden from us, as if there were some deceptive intent; it is simply unknown to us, because we have not mastered the poetic, or imagistic, language that the unconscious employs."

British Museum
Lithograph, 1807

Milton, Plate 27 [29], (E 125)
"But in Eternity the Four Arts: Poetry, Painting, Music,          
And Architecture which is Science: are the Four Faces of Man.
Not so in Time & Space: there Three are shut out, and only
Science remains thro Mercy: & by means of Science, the Three
Become apparent in time & space, in the Three Professions

Poetry in Religion: Music, Law: Painting, in Physic & Surgery:

That Man may live upon Earth till the time of his awaking,
And from these Three, Science derives every Occupation of Men."

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Reposted from Sunday, December 13, 2009.

Illustrations  to Milton's Comus 
Thomas Set
Illustration 3
Blake was capable of making beautiful pictures of birth and renewal as he did in "On the Morn of Christ's Nativity." His poetry too could create lovely images of the gentle side of renewal and new beginnings. In The Four Zoas, as the process of rebuilding a world whose fallen state had made the critical reversal of direction, we find a passage which may surprise and delight us. Tharmas and Enion who had become aged and exhausted as they had wandered futilely in a world of pain and frustration, are the subjects of this passage. Plucking Grapes

The Four Zoas, Page 129 (E397)
"Then Vala lifted up her hands to heaven to call on Enion
She calld but none could answer her & the Eccho of her voice returnd

Where is the voice of God that calld me from the silent dew
Where is the Lord of Vala dost thou hide in clefts of the rock
Why shouldst thou hide thyself from Vala from the soul that wanders desolate

She ceas'd & light beamd round her like the glory of the morning

And She arose out of the river & girded on her golden girdle
And now her feet step on the grassy bosom of the ground
Among her flocks & she turnd her eyes toward her pleasant house
And saw in the door way beneath the trees two little children playing
She drew near to her house & her flocks followd her footsteps
The Children clung around her knees she embracd them & wept over them

Thou little Boy art Tharmas & thou bright Girl Enion
How are ye thus renewd & brought into the Gardens of Vala

She embracd them in tears. till the sun descended the western hills
And then she enterd her bright house leading her mighty children

And when night came the flocks laid round the house beneath the trees
She laid the Children on the beds which she saw prepard in the house
Then last herself laid down & closd her Eyelids in soft slumbers

And in the morning when the Sun arose in the crystal sky
Vala awoke & calld the children from their gentle slumbers

Awake O Enion awake & let thine innocent Eyes
Enlighten all the Crystal house of Vala awake awake
Awake Tharmas awake awake thou child of dewy tears
Open the orbs of thy blue eyes & smile upon my gardens

The Children woke & smild on Vala. she kneeld by the golden couch
She presd them to her bosom & her pearly tears dropd down

Why dost thou turn thyself away from his sweet watry eyes
Tharmas henceforth in Valas bosom thou shalt find sweet peace
O bless the lovely eyes of Tharmas & the Eyes of Enion"

This was not the end of the process or regeneration, but it was the sort of vision we are occasionally given in the midst of sorrow and woe, that provides hope that all will be well. Being able to see the possibility of starting afresh, of casting off the accumulated debris of traveling through a world of sorrow, eases our way along the path to Eternity.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Illustrations to Paradise Lost 
Butts Set
Satan Arousing the Rebel Angels
Paradise Lost, Book 7
by John Milton
 "Know then, that after Lucifer from heaven
(So call him, brighter once amidst the host
Of angels, than that star the stars among)
Fell with his flaming legions through the deep
Into his place, and the great son returned
Victorious with his saints, the omnipotent
Eternal father from his throne beheld
Their multitude,"  

Blake often speaks of Lucifer without naming him. We can say that Lucifer is both the the cause of the fall for Blake and the victim of it. Albion like Lucifer was 'elected' by the Divine Vision to share God's Glory and to fulfill a mission.  Albion like Lucifer reacts against the role God has designed him for.

Jerusalem,  Plate 43 [29] ,(E 191)
"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."
Jerusalem, Plate  54, (E 203)
"But Albion fell down a Rocky fragment from Eternity hurld
By his own Spectre, who is the Reasoning Power in every Man
Into his own Chaos which is the Memory between Man & Man"
Jerusalem, Plate 54, (E 204)
 "Then Albion drew England into his bosom in groans & tears
But she stretchd out her starry Night in Spaces against him. like
A long Serpent, in the Abyss of the Spectre which augmented
The Night with Dragon wings coverd with stars & in the Wings" 
Jerusalem, Plate 55, (E 204)
 "But others said: Let us to him who only Is, & who
Walketh among us, give decision. bring forth all your fires!

So saying, an eternal deed was done: in fiery flames
The Universal Conc[l]ave raged, such thunderous sounds as never
Were sounded from a mortal cloud, nor on Mount Sinai old
Nor in Havilah where the Cherub rolld his redounding flame.

Loud! loud! the Mountains lifted up their voices, loud the Forests
Rivers thunderd against their banks, loud Winds furious fought
Cities & Nations contended in fires & clouds & tempests.         
The Seas raisd up their voices & lifted their hands on high
The Stars in their courses fought. the Sun! Moon! Heaven! Earth.
Contending for Albion & for Jerusalem his Emanation
And for Shiloh, the Emanation of France & for lovely Vala.

Then far the greatest number were about to make a Separation     
And they Elected Seven, calld the Seven Eyes of God;
Lucifer, Molech, Elohim, Shaddai, Pahad, Jehovah, Jesus.
They namd the Eighth. he came not, he hid in Albions Forests
But first they said: (& their Words stood in Chariots in array
Curbing their Tygers with golden bits & bridles of silver & ivory)      
They Plow'd in tears, the trumpets sounded before the golden Plow
And the voices of the Living Creatures were heard in the clouds of heaven
Crying: Compell the Reasoner to Demonstrate with unhewn Demonstrations
Let the Indefinite be explored. and let every Man be judged
By his own Works, Let all Indefinites be thrown into Demonstrations
To be pounded to dust & melted in the Furnaces of Affliction:"

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Following the lead of Milton in Paradise lost, Blake uses Lucifer as symbolic of a being who was perfect in the Eternal realm until his pride led to his fall. Milton and Blake are basing their poetry on imagery in the Old Testament of men who were blessed with the greatest worldly success and power but reached their downfall through elevating themselves to the status of gods. The term Lucifer is used in Isaiah 14 of the King James translation of the Bible to refer to the king, who although the brightest light of his milieu, had fallen from heaven to be brought down into the pit of hell.

Isaiah 14
 [10] All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?
[11] Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
[12] How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
[13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
[14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
[15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

A similar successful king described by Ezekiel experienced a similar inflation and fall. In this instance the prophet names the king the 'anointed cherub that covereth', and describes him as walking on the 'Holy Mountain of God.' This leads to the idea that Lucifer is the name of the Eternal entity who was perfect and who became Satan as he fell into iniquity. 

Ezekiel 28
[1] The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
[2] Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:
[13] Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
[14] Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
[15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

The meaning of the word Lucifer in Hebrew is light bearer. The name Lucifer became associated with the Morning Star or Venus, as the brightest light of the morning sky. One reference in the New Testament points to the fall from heaven of the stars on the day of tribulation. A second recalls the words of Jesus speaking of the fall of Satan as lightening from Heaven. 

Matthew 24
[29] Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Luke 10
[17] And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
[18] And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.  

Satan in His Original Glory
In the series of Biblical watercolor paintings Blake made for Thomas Butts, he included one which goes by the name "Satan in His Original Glory: Thou Wast Perfect Till Iniquity Was Found in Thee". In this picture Blake portrays Lucifer in his perfection at the moment when his Selfhood says "I will be like the most High."

In A Blake Dictionary, Damon provides a description of details to look for in the picture. The image in the Blake Archive allows us to see each minute detail by clicking on the picture:

"A water color entitled "Satan in His Original Glory shows the crowned Lucifer extending the globe and the scepter. The scepter of temporal power lies heavy on a scroll which two figures are endeavoring to unroll. A recording angel sits above three angels trumpeting downwards; beneath them, a figure descends with a book of laws for the starry world below. Beside the cross-surmounted globe of spiritual authority, a female intervenes between a figure reading a book and two fleeing babes. Beneath the globe a figure points to a hint of flames behind Lucifer's robe. There are several figures of woe, including a youth attempting to embrace a maiden, who points upward in warning against Lucifer."    

Friday, December 20, 2013


In Blake's worm we find an image of the lowest and weakest form of life. The worm lives in the earth or inhabits the grave.
British Museum
A Small Book of Designs
Copy A, 1789
Image from Plate 4 of Thel
In Thel we learn that the worm appears in another form: that of the infant. But this is not the child of Innocence who is cared for, guided and protected; but a child who is alone, crying for help, unattended and unloved. Because the worm and the infant are vulnerable they appropriately represent man at his nadir; when he is most in need of, and most receptive to help. Thel herself is such a child, on the verge of making a beginning: of experiencing a birth to an evolving consciousness. Thel turns back when she looks into the grave and sees not what we call death but what we call life.

The worm or babe, however, enters the world of 'joy and woe' which Thel refuses and begins the transforming journey.
Thel, Plate 4, (E 4) 
"Then Thel astonish'd view'd the Worm upon its dewy bed.
Art thou a Worm? image of weakness. art thou but a Worm?
I see thee like an infant wrapped in the Lillys leaf:
Ah weep not little voice, thou can'st not speak. but thou can'st weep;
Is this a Worm? I see thee lay helpless & naked: weeping,      
And none to answer, none to cherish thee with mothers smiles.
Plate 5
Queen of the vales, the matron Clay answerd; I heard thy sighs.
And all thy moans flew o'er my roof. but I have call'd them down:
Wilt thou O Queen enter my house. 'tis given thee to enter,
And to return; fear nothing. enter with thy virgin feet.
Plate 6 
Till to her own grave plot she came, & there she sat down.
And heard this voice of sorrow breathed from the hollow pit.     

Why cannot the Ear be closed to its own destruction?
Or the glistning Eye to the poison of a smile!
Why are Eyelids stord with arrows ready drawn,
Where a thousand fighting men in ambush lie?
Or an Eye of gifts & graces, show'ring fruits & coined gold!  
Why a Tongue impress'd with honey from every wind?
Why an Ear, a whirlpool fierce to draw creations in?
Why a Nostril wide inhaling terror trembling & affright.
Why a tender curb upon the youthful burning boy!
Why a little curtain of flesh on the bed of our desire?          

The Virgin started from her seat, & with a shriek.
Fled back unhinderd till she came into the vales of Har                                  
                  The End"

Visions of Daughters of Albion, Plate 5, (E 49)
"Does not the eagle scorn the earth & despise the treasures beneath?
But the mole knoweth what is there, & the worm shall tell it thee.       
Does not the worm erect a pillar in the mouldering church yard?
And a palace of eternity in the jaws of the hungry grave
Over his porch these words are written. Take thy bliss O Man!
And sweet shall be thy taste & sweet thy infant joys renew!"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 136, (E 403) 
"O terrible wine presses of Luvah O caverns of the Grave
How lovely the delights of those risen again from death
O trembling joy excess of joy is like Excess of grief

So sang the Human Odors round the wine presses of Luvah

But in the Wine presses is wailing terror & despair              
Forsaken of their Elements they vanish & are no more
No more but a desire of Being a distracted ravening desire
Desiring like the hungry worm & like the gaping grave 
They plunge into the Elements the Elements cast them forth
Or else consume their shadowy semblance Yet they obstinate       
Tho pained to distraction Cry O let us Exist for
This dreadful Non Existence is worse than pains of Eternal Birth
Eternal Death who can Endure. let us consume in fires
In waters stifling or in air corroding or in earth shut up
The Pangs of Eternal birth are better than the Pangs of Eternal Death"      
Annotations to Lavater (E 599)
"God is in the lowest effects as well as in the highest
causes for he is become a worm that he may nourish the weak
For let it be rememberd that creation is. God descending
according to the weakness of man for our Lord is the word of God
& every thing on earth is the word of God & in its essence is God"

Jerusalem, Plate 55, (E 205)
"Let the Human Organs be kept in their perfect Integrity
At will Contracting into Worms, or Expanding into Gods"

For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise, (E 267) 
"16 I have said to the Worm: Thou art my mother & my sister
16 Thou'rt my Mother from the Womb 
 Wife, Sister, Daughter to the Tomb 
Weaving to Dreams the Sexual strife 
And weeping over the Web of Life"

First Corinthians 1
[25] For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
[26] For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth;
[27] but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong,
[28] God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are


Wednesday, December 18, 2013


British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts

A contemporary of William Blake made the first translation of the Bhagavad Gita from Sanskrit into English. Charles Wilkins was an accomplished linguist and printer whose interest in India began with his employment in India as a manufacturer with the East India Company. His facility with learning languages and creating typefaces for foreign scripts led to an influential career in introducing the Indian culture to Europe.
The influence which Wilkins had on Blake is intimated by a reference Blake made to a picture (now lost) which he included in his exhibition of 1809. We can assume that Blake read Wilkins translation of the 'Geeta' and absorbed from it insights into Eastern religious thought and practice. He was open to receiving truth from multiple sources and integrating fresh ideas into the encompassing myth through which he transmitted his vision. 
Northrop Frye on page 110 of Fearful Symmetry comments on the relationship of the Bible to other religious writings:
"However, while 'The Old & New Testaments are the Great Code of Art,' to regard them as forming a peculiar or exclusive Word of God is a sectarian error, the same one that the Jews made which proved such a disaster to them. All myths and rituals hint darkly and allegorically at the same visions that we find in the Bible, which is why they have such a strong resemblance to Christian myths and rituals...There are many great visions outside the range of the Bible, such as the Icelandic Eddas  and the Bhagavadgita, almost equally faithful to the central form of the Word of God, and the Bible no less than Classical legends comes from older and more authentic sources."
Laocoon, (E 274)
"The Old & New Testaments are the Great Code of Art"

Descriptive Catalog, (E 548)
           "NUMBER X.      
    The Bramins.--A Drawing.  
The subject is, Mr. Wilkin, translating the Geeta; an ideal
design, suggested by the first publication of that part of the
Hindoo Scriptures, translated by Mr. Wilkin.  I understand that
my Costume is incorrect, but in this I plead the authority of the
ancients, who often deviated from the Habits, to preserve the
Manners, as in the instance of Laocoon, who, though a priest, is
represented naked."

Descriptive Catalogue, (E 551)
                INDEX TO THE CATALOGUE.
   I.  The Spiritual Form of Nelson Leviathan           PAGE 1 
  II.  The Spiritual Form of Pitt guiding Behemoth              2
 III.  The Canterbury Pilgrims, from Chaucer                      7 
  IV.  The Bard, from Gray                                                 35
   V.  The Ancient Britons                                                   39 
  VI.  A Subject from Shakspeare                                      51 
 VII.  The Goats                                                                 52 
VIII.  The Spiritual Preceptor                                ib.
  IX.  Satan calling up his Legions, from Milton                 54
   X.  The Bramins--A Drawing                                       59
  XI.  The Body of Abel found by Adam and Eve, Cain fleeing
       away--A Drawing                                                        60 
 XII.  Soldiers casting Lots for Christ's Garment--A Drawing  ib.  
XIII.  Jacob's Ladder--A Drawing                              ib.
 XIV.  Angels hovering over the Body of Jesus in the 
        Sepulchre--A  Drawing                                  ib.  
  XV.  Ruth--A Drawing                                                        61 
 XVI.  The Penance of Jane Shore--A Drawing                  65"

Descriptive Catalogue, (E 544)
"Poetry as it exists
now on earth, in the various remains of ancient authors, Music as
it exists in old tunes or melodies, Painting and Sculpture as it
exists in the remains of Antiquity and in the works of more
modern genius, is Inspiration, and cannot be surpassed; it is
perfect and eternal.  Milton, Shakspeare, Michael Angelo, Rafael,
the finest specimens of Ancient Sculpture and Painting, and
Architecture, Gothic, Grecian, Hindoo and Egyptian, are the
extent of the human mind.  The human mind cannot go beyond the
gift of God, the Holy Ghost.  To suppose that Art can go beyond
the finest specimens of Art that are now in the world, is not
knowing what Art is; it is being blind to the gifts of the
Bhagvat-geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon
Translated by Charles Wilkins, 1785
From Translator's Preface
"It seems as if the principal design of these dialogues was to unite all the prevailing modes of worship of those days; and, by setting up the doctrine of the unity of the Godhead, in opposition to idolatrous sacrifices, and the worship of images, to undermine the tenets inculcated by the Feds; for although the author dared not make a direct attack, either upon the prevailing prejudices of the people, or the divine authority of those ancient books; yet, by offering eternal happiness to such as worship Brahm, the Almighty, whilst he declares the reward of such as follow other Gods shall be but a temporary enjoyment of an inferior heaven, for a period measured by the extent of their virtues, his design was to bring about the downfall of Polytheism; or, at least, to induce men to believe God present in every image before which they bent, and the object of all their ceremonies and sacrifices."

Quotes from The Bhagavad Gita:

“He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the 
darkness of matter and is unmanifested. He is knowledge, He is the 
object of knowledge, and He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in 
everyone's heart.”
“The man who sees me in everything
and everything within me
will not be lost to me, nor
will I ever be lost to him.

He who is rooted in oneness
realizes that I am
in every being; wherever
he goes, he remains in me.

When he sees all being as equal
in suffering or in joy
because they are like himself,
that man has grown perfect in yoga.”
“The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. There 
was never a time when you and I and all the kings gathered here have not
existed and nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist.”

Monday, December 16, 2013


Kathleen Raine in Blake and Tradition views Enion as matter without soul or intellect. She explains:
"Enion, one might say, is pure quantity, as distinct from quality which she can only reflect from soul, intellect, life, since matter may be said to possess, as such, a quantitative existence, and quantity without any qualities can only be imagined as a vanishing point, 'on the margin of non-entity,' as Blake says...Nature (Vala) is a system of sensible appearances; matter (Enion) is the invisible something or nothing beneath nature's veil." Page 292


Enion withdraws from Tharmas her masculine counterpart but he follows and becomes 'ensnared in matter's 'filmy woof'. Putting the situation into abstract terms Raine states: "the divine principle in the modern world is dead, so Blake implies, and philosophic materialism is its tomb."
Yale Center for British Art
Plate 96

Blake in the account of Tharmas and Enion is describing the uneasy division between spirit and matter. Matter seeking independence wanders away from her spiritual essence. He cannot go where she has gone but endlessly seeks and follows her. Although she is not willing to return, she constantly mourns the loss of all that gave her life meaning. Matter becomes manifest in multiple forms which have lives of their own. The process cannot be reversed but must complete a cycle until matter and spirit can be reunited by a death and resurrection. 

Four Zoas, Night I, Page 5, (E 302) 
"Tharmas groand among his Clouds
Weeping, then bending from his Clouds he stoopd his innocent head
And stretching out his holy hand in the vast Deep sublime        
Turnd round the circle of Destiny with tears & bitter sighs
And said.     Return O Wanderer when the Day of Clouds is oer

So saying he sunk down into the sea a pale white corse
In torment he sunk down & flowd among her filmy Woof
His Spectre issuing from his feet in flames of fire
In gnawing pain drawn out by her lovd fingers every nerve
She counted. every vein & lacteal threading them among
Her woof of terror. Terrified & drinking tears of woe
Shuddring she wove--nine days & nights Sleepless her food was tears
Wondring she saw her woof begin to animate. & not  
As Garments woven subservient to her hands but having a will
Of its own perverse & wayward Enion lovd & wept

Nine days she labourd at her work. & nine dark sleepless nights
But on the tenth trembling morn the Circle of Destiny Complete
Round rolld the Sea Englobing in a watry Globe self balancd"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 132, (E 400)
"A dolorous groan & from the dolorous groan in tears
Rose Enion like a gentle light & Enion spoke saying

O Dreams of Death the human form dissolving companied
By beasts & worms & creeping things & darkness & despair 
The clouds fall off from my wet brow the dust from my cold limbs
Into the Sea of Tharmas Soon renewd a Golden Moth
I shall cast off my death clothes & Embrace Tharmas again
For Lo the winter melted away upon the distant hills
And all the black mould sings. She speaks to her infant race her milk
Descends down on the sand. the thirsty sand drinks & rejoices
Wondering to behold the Emmet the Grasshopper the jointed worm
The roots shoot thick thro the solid rocks bursting their way
They cry out in joys of existence. the broad stems
Rear on the mountains stem after stem the scaly newt creeps
From the stone & the armed fly springs from the rocky crevice 
The spider. The bat burst from the hardend slime crying
To one another what are we & whence is our joy & delight
Lo the little moss begins to spring & the tender weed
Creeps round our secret nest. Flocks brighten the Mountains
Herds throng up the Valley wild beasts fill the forests 

Joy thrilld thro all the Furious form of Tharmas humanizing
Mild he Embracd her whom he sought he raisd her thro the heavens
Sounding his trumpet to awake the Dead on high he soard
Over the ruind worlds the smoking tomb of the Eternal Prophet"
Luke 12
[19] And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
[20] But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
[21] So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
[22] And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
[30] For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
[31] But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
[32] Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.


Saturday, December 14, 2013


British Museum
Book of Los
Plate 1
There is a resemblance between the image of the woman on the final plate of Gates of Paradise and the figure on the Frontispiece of the Book of Los. The speech of this Aged Mother, identified as Eno, pours forth the account of creation from Los' perspective up to the point when the Human Illusion is completed. 

The First Night of the Four Zoas identifies the book as the 'Song of the Aged Mother' through which there will be accounts of Intellectual Battle. In the Four Zoas  Eno is given the role of giving extension to time and space to provide the field of action in which the drama of the created world might take place.

In Jerusalem it is the Aged Mother who becomes the expression of all of the forces which support and enable Jerusalem (man's spiritual dimension) as she becomes discernible in the mind of the awakened being.

As indicated in Plate 18 of Gates of Paradise the Aged Mother has been present along every stage of the process of development. She functions not as the director or as an actor but as the stage manager who sets the scene and co-ordinates the action.  

Book of Los, Plate 3, (E 90)                        
"1: Eno aged Mother,
Who the chariot of Leutha guides,
 Since the day of thunders in old time
2: Sitting beneath the eternal Oak
Trembled and shook the stedfast Earth                 
And thus her speech broke forth.
Plate 5
8: But no light, for the Deep fled away
On all sides, and left an unform'd
Dark vacuity: here Urizen lay                        
In fierce torments oil his glowing bed

9: Till his Brain in a rock, & his Heart
In a fleshy slough formed four rivers
Obscuring the immense Orb of fire
Flowing down into night: till a Form            
Was completed, a Human Illusion
In darkness and deep clouds involvd."

Four Zoas, Night I, Page 3. (E 300)                     
"The Song of the Aged Mother which shook the heavens with wrath 
Hearing the march of long resounding strong heroic Verse
Marshalld in order for the day of Intellectual Battle"

Four Zoas, Night I, Page 9, (E 304)
"Then Eno a daughter of Beulah took a Moment of Time            
And drew it out to Seven thousand years with much care &
And many tears & in Every year made windows into Eden          

She also took an atom of space & opend its center
Into Infinitude & ornamented it with wondrous art
Astonishd sat her Sisters of Beulah to see her soft affections
To Enion & her children & they ponderd these things wondring     
And they Alternate kept watch over the Youthful terrors
They saw not yet the Hand Divine for it was not yet reveald
But they went on in Silent Hope & Feminine repose
But Los & Enitharmon delighted in the Moony spaces of Eno"    

Jerusalem, Plate 48, (E 196)
"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
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." 
John 14 
[1] "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. 
[2] In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 
[3] And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also
[4] And you know the way where I am going." 
[5] Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" 
[6] Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. 
[7] If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him."  

Thursday, December 12, 2013


British Museum 
For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise
Plate 1

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 16, (E 267) 
"16 I have said to the Worm: Thou art my mother & my sister"  

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 19, (E 269) 
"16 Thou'rt my Mother from the Womb Wife, Sister, Daughter to the Tomb 
Weaving to Dreams the Sexual strife And weeping over the Web of Life"

It could be said that the Journey through the Gates leading to Paradise is presented as an exercise in self-knowledge. But the final plate is not the Paradise at which we may have expected to arrive. We are presented with an underground cavern occupied by a hooded, seated figure. The face stares into the unknown with a look of sadness and concern. The figure hold a stick in her right hand; around her coils a worm which emerges from further underground. Barely discernible near the left hand are faces of bodies buried more deeply underground. 

A process has been taking place in the inward man although it is pictured in images from our natural experience. The process is the Birth of the Spiritual Body. The worm is an image of a body which as a separate entity must be relinquished when the Spiritual Body is formed. The worm preforms the task of assisting in the work of transforming death to life. The worm, however, in Blake's myth assumes the form of the serpent and and the dragon. As such he plays havoc with man's essential undertaking  of uniting heaven and earth, spirit and matter, eternity and time.

But the worm too must be embraced and forgiven. He must be recognized as another self with a contribution to make to the integrated whole. Man experiences life as a series of challenges which open the way to new abilities which allow him to accomplish the next challenge. The process involves weeping because the false self must be forgiven before the true self can take form. The worm must be accepted as Mother and Sister before the natural body woven in the threefold sexual world can be replaced by the fourfold spiritual body of Eternity.
Jerusalem, Plate 83, (E 240)
"Gwendolen saw the Infant in her siste[r]s arms; she howld
Over the forests with bitter tears, and over the winding Worm
Repentant: and she also in the eddying wind of Los's Bellows
Began her dolorous task of love in the Wine-press of Luvah     
To form the Worm into a form of love by tears & pain.
The Sisters saw! trembling ran thro their Looms! soften[in]g mild
Towards London: then they saw the Furna[c]es opend, & in tears
Began to give their souls away in the Furna[c]es of affliction.

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!"

Milton, Plate 38 [43], (E 139)
"In the Eastern porch of Satans Universe Milton stood & said

Satan! my Spectre! I know my power thee to annihilate
And be a greater in thy place, & be thy Tabernacle               
A covering for thee to do thy will, till one greater comes
And smites me as I smote thee & becomes my covering.
Such are the Laws of thy false Heavns! but Laws of Eternity
Are not such: know thou: I come to Self Annihilation
Such are the Laws of Eternity that each shall mutually     
Annihilate himself for others good, as I for thee[.]
Thy purpose & the purpose of thy Priests & of thy Churches
Is to impress on men the fear of death; to teach
Trembling & fear, terror, constriction; abject selfishness
Mine is to teach Men to despise death & to go on            
In fearless majesty annihilating Self, laughing to scorn
Thy Laws & terrors, shaking down thy Synagogues as webs
I come to discover before Heavn & Hell the Self righteousness
In all its Hypocritic turpitude, opening to every eye
These wonders of Satans holiness shewing to the Earth     
The Idol Virtues of the Natural Heart, & Satans Seat
Explore in all its Selfish Natural Virtue & put off
In Self annihilation all that is not of God alone:
To put off Self & all I have ever & ever Amen"
First Corinthians 15
[35] But some one will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?"
[36] You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
[37] And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.
[38] But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
[39] For not all flesh is alike, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
[40] There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
[41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
[42] So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.
[43] It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
[44] It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


British Museum For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise
Plate 15

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 15, (E 267) 
"15 Death's Door" 

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 19, (E 269) 
"15 The Door of Death I open found And the Worm Weaving in the Ground"

A bent and bearded man is stepping over the threshold of an open doorway. He leans on his walking stick. He is fully clothed and the wind is from behind him. He is not being carried through the Door of Death but enters willingly.

Death and Birth are contraries: together they form a unified concept. Does Death precede Birth or Birth Death, or are they two facets of one event? Plate 15 is the most vivid symbol of death that we have encountered in Gates of Paradise; is it also meant to symbolize birth?

Blake refuses to use the word death in a natural sense as the loss of life. Death to him is an entry into a different psychological state. The man finds the Worm when he goes into the depths of his own being, but the Worm is weaving; perhaps a new garment is to be provided to the man.

The man has taken the steps which will allow him to go through 'Heavens gate, Built in Jerusalems wall.' The final step is to relinquish the accumulation of ideas which have been his structure of mental formulations. If he is to be born a new being he must allow his old being to die in this grave he enters.

Jerusalem, Plate 1, (E 144)
"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 

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 

Every Thing has its Vermin O Spectre of the Sleeping Dead!"

Milton, Plate 23 [35], (E 132)
"Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated Forms cannot
The Oak is cut down by the Ax, the Lamb falls by the Knife
But their Forms Eternal Exist, For-ever. Amen Halle[l]ujah

Thus they converse with the Dead watching round the Couch of Death.
For God himself enters Death's Door always with those that enter 
And lays down in the Grave with them, in Visions of Eternity
Till they awake & see Jesus & the Linen Clothes lying
That the Females had Woven for them, & the Gates of their Fathers House" 
Luke 24
[1] Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
[2] And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
[3] And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
[4] And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
[5] And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
[6] He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
[7] Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
[8] And they remembered his words,
[9] And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
[10] It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
[11] And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
[12] Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

Mark 8
[34] And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
[35] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
[36] For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
[37] Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

1st Peter 1
[23] Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
[24] For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
[25] But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

John 12
[21] The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
[22] Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
[23] And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
[24] Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
[25] He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


British Museum For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise
Plate 14

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 14, (E 266) 
"14 The Traveller hasteth in the Evening" 

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 19, (E 269) 
"14 Thro evening shades I haste away
 To close the Labours of my Day"

A man with a walking stick strides forward confident of the direction he is going. He is a traveller not a wanderer, however his journey is not yet over. He has not shed his clothing or emerged from a leafy environment.

Having caught a glimpse in the last plate of what had formerly been unseen to him, he is ready to transition to another world. But he still has ties to this world. He is willing to conclude the work which occupies him although it no longer has the meaning for him that it once did. He will not linger along the journey but keep moving as long as his travels take him through time and space. 

In Symbol and Image in William Blake, George Digby comments on the 'Labours' which the traveller must finish:
"He must complete the task of coming to terms with his experience, which began with his hatching from the egg in the sixth picture of the series. Until he has fully explored his own 'eternal lineaments' he cannot obtain release. Only when he has solved the enmeshing illusions of his own nature can he return, as the traveller now wishes to do."    

Milton, Plate 32 [25], (E 132)
"Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore       
What is Eternal & what Changeable? & what Annihilable!

The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself
Affection or Love becomes a State, when divided from Imagination
The Memory is a State always, & the Reason is a State
Created to be Annihilated & a new Ratio Created                  
Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated Forms cannot
The Oak is cut down by the Ax, the Lamb falls by the Knife
But their Forms Eternal Exist, For-ever. Amen Halle[l]ujah

Thus they converse with the Dead watching round the Couch of Death.
For God himself enters Death's Door always with those that enter 
And lays down in the Grave with them, in Visions of Eternity
Till they awake & see Jesus & the Linen Clothes lying
That the Females had Woven for them, & the Gates of their Fathers House"

Friday, December 6, 2013


British Museum
For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise
Plate 13

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 13, (E 266) 
"13 Fear & Hope are--Vision" 

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 13, (E 269) 
"13 But when once I did descry The Immortal Man that cannot Die"

Plate 13 is a death-bed scene. A vision rises from the body which is left behind in death. The man in the foreground spreads the fingers of his hand in the same way hands have been positioned in each picture since help was requested in Plate 10. The woman's gaze is not directed toward the vision which is visible to us in the picture, but toward a more distant apparition. The rising figure points upward with one hand and toward the earth with the other.

The previous plate depicted the five faceted figure entrapped with many fears and little hope. Here, through the vision which comes through death, fear and hope have been transformed. The dying man in his five aspects has seen beyond death to immortality. Eternity has become real to him. 

Life Eternal is not an extension of earthly life. Nor is it a replacement of life on earth with life in heaven. Eternal life is the plane of existence on which man lives by perceiving the infinite in all things. When man becomes conscious that he is created in the Image of God and that all men partake of that same Image, he enters Eternal life.

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 554)
"The Last Judgment when all those are Cast away who trouble
Religion with Questions concerning Good & Evil or Eating of the
Tree of those Knowledges or Reasonings which hinder the Vision of
God turning all into a Consuming fire When Imaginative Art &
Science & all Intellectual Gifts all the Gifts of the Holy Ghost
are lookd upon as of no use & only Contention
remains to Man then the Last Judgment begins & its Vision is seen
by the [Imaginative Eye] of Every one according to the
situation he holds" 

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 555)
"The Last judgment is one of these Stupendous
Visions. I have represented it as I saw it.
to different People it appears differently as every
thing else does for tho on Earth things seem Permanent they are
less permanent than a Shadow as we all know too well
     The Nature of Visionary Fancy or Imagination is very little
Known & the Eternal nature & permanence of its ever Existent
Images is considerd as less permanent than the things of
Vegetative & Generative Nature yet the Oak dies as well as the
Lettuce but Its Eternal Image & Individuality never dies. but
renews by its seed." 
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 562)
"What are all the Gifts of the
Spirit but Mental Gifts whenever any Individual Rejects Error &
Embraces Truth a Last Judgment passes upon that Individual"  
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 565)
"Error is
Created Truth is Eternal Error or Creation will be Burned Up &
then & not till then Truth or Eternity will appear It is Burnt up
the Moment Men cease to behold it I assert for My self that I do
not behold the Outward Creation & that to me it is hindrance &
not Action it is as the Dirt upon my feet No part of Me. What it
will be Questiond When the Sun rises  do  you  not  see  a  round 
Disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea O no no I see an Innumerable
company of the Heavenly host crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord
God Almighty I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any
more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight I look
thro it & not with it."  
Second Corinthians 4
[18] because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.   


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


British Museum
For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 12, (E 265) 
"12 Does thy God O Priest take such vengeance as this?" 

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 3, (E 268) 
"12 And in depths of my Dungeons Closed the Father & the Sons"
Plate 12 shows the inside of a dungeon in which are imprisoned a man and four young people. The expressions of the five people reflect emotions of fear, anger, depression, resignation and confusion. We are encouraged to see the individuals as a group through the touching of each by others.

An image similar to this one was used by Blake in four different contexts. The story of the Ugolino family told in Dante's Divine Comedy became an image Blake used to link imprisonment, vengeance, suffering, and punishment of the children for the infractions of the father.
In the caption on the plate Blake asks if this imprisonment is the vengeance of God as taught by the religious establishment. Blake's answer would be negative since he did not believe that God resides in a distant abode and metes out punishment to disobedient children. He had a different view of the prison in which he admits that man finds himself. The prison is not imposed by God but constructed internally by man when he misapprehends the truth of his own identity. When man views the physical life in a physical world as the totality - ignoring the infinite, eternal nature within himself - he begins to build his own dungeon.
In the Key Blake asks us to view the situation from another perspective. The Key to Plate 12 is a continuation of the Key to Plate 11. The same impulse to clip the wings of the new life pursuing the vision that dimly appears in the distance, now attempts to confine confine the thoughts and actions of the man in behaviors that are tried, tested and approved by society.
"11   Holy & cold I clipd the Wings 
     Of all Sublunary Things
12   And in depths of my Dungeons
     Closed the Father & the Sons"      
Whatever mechanism which is operating to prevent the continuation of the journey through the Gates leading to Paradise, we have been warned to determine the nature of the prison we inhabit.  
Milton, Plate 18 [20], (E 111)
"And thus the Shadowy Female howls in articulate howlings

I will lament over Milton in the lamentations of the afflicted   
My Garments shall be woven of sighs & heart broken lamentations
The misery of unhappy Families shall be drawn out into its border
Wrought with the needle with dire sufferings poverty pain & woe
Along the rocky Island & thence throughout the whole Earth
There shall be the sick Father & his starving Family! there      
The Prisoner in the stone Dungeon & the Slave at the Mill
I will have Writings written all over it in Human Words
That every Infant that is born upon the Earth shall read
And get by rote as a hard task of a life of sixty years"

Jerusalem, Plate 60, (E 211)
"Babel mocks saying, there is no God nor Son of God
That thou O Human Imagination, O Divine Body art all
A delusion. but I know thee O Lord when thou arisest upon
My weary eyes even in this dungeon & this iron mill.
The Stars of Albion cruel rise; thou bindest to sweet influences:
For thou also sufferest with me altho I behold thee not;
And altho I sin & blaspheme thy holy name, thou pitiest me;
Because thou knowest I am deluded by the turning mills.
And by these visions of pity & love because of Albions death.

Thus spake Jerusalem, & thus the Divine Voice replied.          

Mild Shade of Man, pitiest thou these Visions of terror & woe!
Give forth thy pity & love. fear not! lo I am with thee always.
Only believe in me that I have power to raise from death
Thy Brother who Sleepeth in Albion: fear not trembling Shade"

America, Plate 6, (E 53)
"Let the inchained soul shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years;
Rise and look out, his chains are loose, his dungeon doors are open.     
And let his wife and children return from the opressors scourge;
They look behind at every step & believe it is a dream."