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

Sunday, March 3, 2013


British Museum
Book of Urizen
Plate 23
Copy D

Here, in the Four Zoas, Blake turns the furnaces and looms in a different direction. In the hands of Urizen the furnaces and looms operate in the Caverns of the Grave (the recesses of the unconscious) as instruments of division. The looms  are set to create nets and traps to alter the instinctive energies of of the mind into patterns of abstract reasoning, and sense based weighing and measuring. But were it not for the eagles of imagination bringing light to the deep, the work would not be able to continue. The mind deceives itself by finding delight in thought patterns which will only later reveal their cruel deception.

The cruelest deception is that the mind and body can be separated into two intellects, a male and a female, each with a will of its own. There follows from this illusion the desire to possess and control the opposite nature. Spreading from Urizen and his emanation Ahania, to Los and Enitharmon, and to Luvah and Vala, the disease of a selfish and jealous Selfhood has been established.

Four Zoas, Night II, (E 318-20)
"Then siezd the Lions of Urizen their work, & heated in the forge 
Roar the bright masses, thund'ring beat the hammers, many a pyramid
Is form'd & thrown down thund'ring into the deeps of Non Entity
Heated red hot they hizzing rend their way down many a league
Till resting. each his [center] finds; suspended there they stand
Casting their sparkies dire abroad into the dismal deep          
For measurd out in orderd spaces the Sons of Urizen   
With compasses divide the deep; they the strong scales erect
PAGE 29 
That Luvah rent from the faint Heart of the Fallen Man
And weigh the massy Cubes, then fix them in their awful stations                    
And all the time in Caverns shut, the golden Looms erected
First spun, then wove the Atmospheres, there the Spider & Worm
Plied the wingd shuttle piping shrill thro' all the list'ning threads  
Beneath the Caverns roll the weights of lead & spindles of iron
The enormous warp & woof rage direful in the affrighted deep

While far into the vast unknown, the strong wing'd Eagles bend
Their venturous flight, in Human forms distinct; thro darkness deep
They bear the woven draperies; on golden hooks they hang abroad  
The universal curtains & spread out from Sun to Sun
The vehicles of light, they separate the furious particles
Into mild currents as the water mingles with the wine.

While thus the Spirits of strongest wing enlighten the dark deep
The threads are spun & the cords twisted & drawn out; then the weak   
Begin their work; & many a net is netted; many a net
Spread & many a Spirit caught, innumerable the nets
Innumerable the gins & traps; & many a soothing flute
Is form'd & many a corded lyre, outspread over the immense
In cruel delight they trap the listeners, & in cruel delight
Bind them, condensing the strong energies into little compass 
When Urizen returnd from his immense labours & travels  
Descending She reposd beside him folding him around
In her bright skirts. Astonishd & Confounded he beheld           
Her shadowy form now Separate he shudderd & was silent
Till her caresses & her tears revivd him to life & joy
Two wills they had two intellects & not as in times of old
This Urizen percievd & silent brooded in darkning Clouds
To him his Labour was but Sorrow & his Kingdom was Repentance    
He drave the Male Spirits all away from Ahania
And she drave all the Females from him away

Los joyd & Enitharmon laughd, saying   Let us go down
And see this labour & sorrow; They went down to see the woes
Of Vala & the woes of Luvah, to draw in their delights    

And Vala like a shadow oft appeard to Urizen
PAGE 31 
The King of Light beheld her mourning among the Brick kilns compelld
To labour night & day among the fires, her lamenting voice
Is heard when silent night returns & the labourers take their rest"  

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