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

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Hebrews 1
[1] God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
[2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
[3] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
[10] And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
[11] They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
[12] And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
[13] But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
[14] Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? 

British Museum
Songs of Innocence & of Experience
Plate 23
Copy A
Songs of Innocence & of Experience, Song 8, (E 8)  
"The Lamb

  Little Lamb who made thee
  Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,       
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales  rejoice!
  Little Lamb who made thee
  Dost thou know who made thee    

  Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
  Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,        
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
  Little Lamb God bless thee.
  Little Lamb God bless thee."       

As much as any of the Songs of Innocence, The Lamb
      portrays the gentle, protecting, nurturing side of God. The lamb
      is cuddly and dependent and yet it is equated with the Lord who
      was present at the creation of all things.


The lamb is asked the two questions: 'Little Lamb who made thee' and 'Dost thou know who made thee.' The child provides the answer without explicitly naming Jesus. The child, the lamb and the Lord share the same name and nature. The incarnation is the image of the union of God and man taking place through the birth of God in man.
As a state of consciousness Innocence represents the undifferentiated psyche before there was a division between self and other. Blake postulated that in Eternity there is fluidity which allows the simultaneous presence of all things. For those for whom the wars of Eternity are too stressful Beulah was provided as R&R until they could return to the frontlines. 

Milton, PLATE 31 [34], (E 130)
"Into this pleasant Shadow all the weak & weary
Like Women & Children were taken away as on wings
Of dovelike softness, & shadowy habitations prepared for them
But every Man returnd & went still going forward thro'
The Bosom of the Father in Eternity on Eternity                  
Neither did any lack or fall into Error without
A Shadow to repose in all the Days of happy Eternity"   
Visions of Daughters of Albion, Plate 5, (E 49)
"Does not the worm erect a pillar in the mouldering church yard?
Plate 6
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!

Infancy, fearless, lustful, happy! nestling for delight
In laps of pleasure; Innocence! honest, open, seeking         
The vigorous joys of morning light; open to virgin bliss.
Who taught thee modesty, subtil modesty! child of night & sleep
When thou awakest, wilt thou dissemble all thy secret joys
Or wert thou not awake when all this mystery was disclos'd!"  
British Museum
Songs of Innocence & of Experience

Plate 37
Copy A

Songs of Innocence & of Experience, Song 42, (E 24) 
"The Tyger.                            

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,           
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?    

In what distant deeps or skies.      
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?        
On what wings dare he aspire?     
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain, 
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,   
Dare its deadly terrors clasp! 
Then the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?         
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?   

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:          
What immortal hand or eye,             
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?"  

The Tyger is commonly considered to be the companion poem to The Lamb, particularly since one of the final questions in the poem asks 'Did he who made the Lamb make thee?' 
The subject of the poem is not the Tyger itself but the act of creating the Tyger and in the Tyger mankind. As the Lamb, man is made an Innocent held close to the bosom of God; as a Tyger, he is made in the furnace of experience undergoing the manipulations which will prepare him for his return to Eternity. Such is the paradox of the nature of man as he is related to the Divine.

Milton, Plate 13 [14], (E 107)
"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. Loud raging
Thundered the Assembly dark & clouded, and they ratify'd         
The kind decision of Enitharmon & gave a Time to the Space,
Even Six Thousand years; and sent Lucifer for its Guard.
But Lucifer refus'd to die & in pride he forsook his charge
And they elected Molech, and when Molech was impatient
The Divine hand found the Two Limits: first of Opacity, then of Contraction
Opacity was named Satan, Contraction was named Adam.
Triple Elohim came: Elohim wearied fainted: they elected Shaddai.
Shaddai angry, Pahad descended: Pahad terrified, they sent Jehovah
And Jehovah was leprous; loud he call'd, stretching his hand to Eternity
For then the Body of Death was perfected in hypocritic holiness, 

Around the Lamb, a Female Tabernacle woven in Cathedrons Looms
He died as a Reprobate. he was Punish'd as a Transgressor!
Glory! Glory! Glory! to the Holy Lamb of God
I touch the heavens as an instrument to glorify the Lord!

The Elect shall meet the Redeem'd. on Albions rocks they shall meet      
Astonish'd at the Transgressor, in him beholding the Saviour."

Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 8, (E 36)
"The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the
    stormy sea,    and the destructive sword. are portions of
    eternity too great for the eye of man."
Isaiah 48
[10] Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
[11] For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
[12] Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
[13] Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
[14] All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things?

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