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

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Blake's introduction to Songs of Innocence is simple and lighthearted. The lamb is introduced as a topic on which the piper will write happy songs to delight children. The only shadow that enters the poem is that the child wept with joy when the song was repeated, indicating that he had some acquaintance with tears.

Under the best circumstances infants have their needs responded to quickly and effectively; they are kept in a bubble of comfort and care as they were in the womb. Such an environment cannot be long provided. The infant's mind will be opened to the awareness of time and space and his journey to full consciousness will have begun.

British Museum
Songs of Innocence & of Experience
Plate 3
Copy A
Songs of Innocence, Song 4, Plate (E 7) "Introduction Piping down the valleys wild Piping songs of pleasant glee On a cloud I saw a child. And he laughing said to me. Pipe a song about a Lamb; So I piped with merry chear, Piper pipe that song again-- So I piped, he wept to hear. Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe Sing thy songs of happy chear, So I sung the same again While he wept with joy to hear Piper sit thee down and write In a book that all may read-- So he vanish'd from my sight. And I pluck'd a hollow reed. And I made a rural pen, And I stain'd the water clear, And I wrote my happy songs Every child may joy to hear"

The introduction to Songs of Experience immediately presents the consciousness of time; there is a past that left its influence on the listener. There is a future which he may influence by the choices he makes. There is a limited span of time to take action. There are no requirements for the listener to the introduction to Innocence to fulfill; something is expected of the listener to the introduction to Songs of Experience.
British Museum
Songs of Innocence & of Experience
Plate 31
Copy A
Songs of Experience, Song 30, (E 18) "Introduction. Hear the voice of the Bard! Who Present, Past, & Future sees Whose ears have heard, The Holy Word, That walk'd among the ancient trees. Calling the lapsed Soul And weeping in the evening dew: That might controll, The starry pole; And fallen fallen light renew! O Earth O Earth return! Arise from out the dewy grass; Night is worn, And the morn Rises from the slumberous mass, Turn away no more: Why wilt thou turn away The starry floor The watry shore Is giv'n thee till the break of day."

Experience is the path to the Great Harvest under the charge of the Miller of Eternity. Experience is the sifting which must take place before one awakens again into Eternity.

Luke 22
[25] And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
[26] But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
[27] For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
[28] Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
[29] And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
[30] That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
[31] And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
[32] But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Milton, Plate 3, (E 97)
"At last Enitharmon brought forth Satan Refusing Form, in vain
The Miller of Eternity made subservient to the Great Harvest
That he may go to his own Place Prince of the Starry Wheels
Plate 4  
Beneath the Plow of Rintrah & the harrow of the Almighty
In the hands of Palamabron. Where the Starry Mills of Satan
Are built beneath the Earth & Waters of the Mundane Shell
Here the Three Classes of Men take their Sexual texture Woven
The Sexual is Threefold: the Human is Fourfold"              

Milton, Plate 16 [18], (E 110)
"The Mundane Shell, is a vast Concave Earth: an immense
Hardend shadow of all things upon our Vegetated Earth
Enlarg'd into dimension & deform'd into indefinite space,
In Twenty-seven Heavens and all their Hells; with Chaos
And Ancient Night; & Purgatory. It is a cavernous Earth  
Of labyrinthine intricacy, twenty-seven folds of opakeness
And finishes where the lark mounts; here Milton journeyed
In that Region calld Midian among the Rocks of Horeb
For travellers from Eternity. pass outward to Satans seat,
But travellers to Eternity. pass inward to Golgonooza.

Jerusalem, Plate 59, (E 208)
"For the Veil of Vala which Albion cast into the Atlantic Deep
To catch the Souls of the Dead: began to Vegetate & Petrify
Around the Earth of Albion. among the Roots of his Tree
This Los formed into the Gates & mighty Wall, between the Oak    
Of Weeping & the Palm of Suffering beneath Albions Tomb,
Thus in process of time it became the beautiful Mundane Shell,
The Habitation of the Spectres of the Dead & the Place
Of Redemption & of awaking again into Eternity"  

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