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

Monday, March 31, 2014


In The Life of William Blake By Alexander Gilchrist, we read on Page 127:

"The frontispiece [of Europe] represents the 'Ancient of Days,' as shadowed forth in Proverbs viii. 27: 'when he set a compass upon the face of the earth'; and again, as described in Paradise Lost, Book vii. line 236: a grand figure, 'in an orb of light surrounded by dark clouds, is stooping down, with an enormous pair of compasses, to describe the world's destined orb'; Blake adopting with child-like fidelity, but in a truly
Yale Center for British Art 
Europe Frontispiece
Proof Impression
sublime spirit, the image of the Hebrew and English poets. This composition was an especial favourite with its designer. When colouring it by hand, he "always bestowed more time," says Smith, "and enjoyed greater pleasure in the task, than from anything else he produced." The process of colouring his designs was never to him, however, a mechanical or irksome one. Very different feelings were his from those of a mere copyist. Throughout life, whenever for his few patrons filling in the colour to his engraved books, he lived anew the first fresh, happy experiences of conception, as in the high hour of inspiration.

Smith tells us that Blake 'was inspired with the splendid grandeur of this figure, 'The Ancient of Days' by the vision which he declared hovered over his head at the top of his staircase' in No. 13, Hercules Buildings, and that 'he has been frequently heard to say that it made a more powerful impression upon his mind than all he had ever been visited by.'"

The figure of the Creator is pictured by Blake as reaching down from the sky where he is is accompanied by the sun and the clouds. The Almighty has humbled himself by kneeling to work in the world below.

At the beginning of Milton, Blake invites the 'Eternal Great Humanity Divine' to descend from his brain to his hand to facilitate his creative endeavors.

Milton, Plate 2, (E 96)
"Come into my hand    
By your mild power; descending down the Nerves of my right arm
From out the Portals of my Brain, where by your ministry
The Eternal Great Humanity Divine. planted his Paradise,
And in it caus'd the Spectres of the Dead to take sweet forms
In likeness of himself."

In the Bible the Ancient of Days is mentioned in only the Book of Daniel. There can be little doubt that chapter seven referring to the Ancient of Days was of great significance to Blake since many of Blake's motifs appear there. Daniel's image of the 'one like the Son of man' being given 'an everlasting dominion' can be implied in Blake's image of Ancient of Days setting out the dimensions of the world of creation.

The final line of the chapter from Daniel may have filled Blake's mind as he created and re-created this image of the Ancient of Days:
"As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart."

Daniel 7
[1] In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
[2] Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
[3] And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
[4] The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
[5] And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
[6] After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
[7] After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
[8] I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
[9] I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
[10] A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
[11] I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
[12] As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
[13] I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
[14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
[15] I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
[16] I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
[17] These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
[18] But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
[19] Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
[20] And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
[21] I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
[22] Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
[23] Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
[24] And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
[25] And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
[26] But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
[27] And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
[28] Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.


Saturday, March 29, 2014


Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Dante's  Divine Comedy
The Inscription over Hell-Gate

Our thoughts, our interests, and our activities either go out in many directions or they become focused on a single point that acts as a magnet drawing everything to it. The point of convergence doesn't prevent one from reaching out to multiple influences but brings those influences together to amplify them around an organizing principle. When we look at Blake's life history we can recognize that his ultimate focus was for the purpose of communicating his perception of the infinite by creating a new art form which he called illuminated books . His original intention could not have been directed to that outcome because neither the means nor the content existed before he invented them.

I've been reading Bob Dylan's Chronicles, Vol 1 searching for similarities between Blake and Dylan. I found that the two men endured many of the same types of experiences and reacted to them in similar ways. The lessons that they learned from experience surfaced in their art. I think that the reason that we are reminded of Blake in Dylan's work is that these two gifted artists shared the same intensity of focus and developed the ability to bring from the depths of their psyches symbolic material.

Dylan presents his development as an artist as pursuing multiple avenues within his chosen field of Folk Music until he discovered his own calling and voice. The intensity with which he followed each style, and the thoroughness with which he mastered the techniques of each of his chosen 'masters' was exhaustive. But imitation was not his goal. With Blake, Dylan could have said:
"I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Mans
I will not Reason & Compare: my business is to Create" (Jerusalem


You might say that Blake and Dylan each reached many dead ends in their lives and began anew. In Blake's writings this scenario was described as being thrown into 'the furnace of affliction', or pursuing error until it could be annihilated. Both men annihilated their error by taking from their experience the 'gold' which had been refined and allowing the 'dross' to be consumed in the fire.

The life scrips of Blake and Dylan were different in many ways but they both were fiercely independent. Neither would allow himself to be defined by the majority culture. Each pursued his art as an avenue to open the minds of men to content which lay buried, but could be accessed for the development of humanity. Each was led to the message he would deliver by his single minded willingness to follow the execution of his art in the direction it was leading him. If neither man was able to maintain the pinnacle of creativity he had reached, there is no fault in that.

Quotes from Chronicles, Volume One by Bob Dylan:
Page 115
"All I'd ever done was sing songs that were dead straight and expressed powerful new realities...I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation I was supposed to be the voice of...Being true to yourself, that was the thing. I was more a cowpuncher than a Pied Piper."

Page 236
"Folk music was a reality of a more brilliant dimension. It exceeded all human understanding, and it called out to you, you could disappear and be sucked into it. I felt right at home in this mystical realm made up not with individuals so much as archetypes, vividly drawn archetypes of humanity, metaphysical in shape, each rugged and filled with natural knowing and inner wisdom. Each demanding a degree of respect. I could believe in the full spectrum of it and sing about it. It was so real, so more true to life than life itself. It was life magnified. Folk music was all I needed to exist." 

Page 292
"The folk music scene had been a paradise I had to leave, like Adam had to leave the garden...The road out there would be treacherous, and I didn't know where it would lead but I followed it anyway. It was a strange world ahead that would unfold, a thunderhead of a world with jagged lightning edges. Many got it wrong and never did get it right. It was wide open. I went straight into it. One thing for sure, not only was it not run by God, but it wasn't run by the devil either." 

Page 218
"I would have liked to give him the kind of songs that he wanted, like "Masters of War," "Hard Rain," "Gates of Eden," but those kinds of songs were written under different circumstances, and circumstances never repeat themselves. Not Exactly. I couldn't get to those kinds of songs for him or anyone else. To do it you have to have power and dominion over the spirits. I had done it once, and once was enough. Someone would come along eventually who would have it again - someone who see into things, the truth of things - not metaphorically, either, but really see, like seeing into metal and making it melt, see it for what it was and reveal it for what it was with the hard words and vicious insight."


 You can find in Chronicles what you are looking for. What I was seeking was some way that Dylan might be connected to William Blake. I never found that Dylan read Blake or was overtly influenced by Blake's work. What I did find was that the cauldrons in which Blake and Dylan immersed themselves led them to experience life and thought is similar ways. The intensity of focus transformed their minds in such a way that the unconscious archetypal realities came to the surface. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014


This is a continuation of the post FORMS SUBLIME.

Yale Center for British Art
 Plate 28, Proof

We can shift our minds here for a bit and think of the new creations from Los and Enitharmon as the images and books William and Catherine Blake were creating in the workshop in their home. The sacrifice of a conventional lifestyle and worldly success was what they chose in exchange of the survival of their little books and strange pictures which emanated from their hands. Were they changed by seeing the visions and messages which originated in their brains take form in pictures and poetry? Indeed they were. They knew they were being changed: in the way they reasoned, and in the way their bodies became instruments for the execution by the life-giving imagination. And by working and seeing their work take material form, they were keeping their hope alive that other people could experience a transformation in the manner they could perceive nature. 
The word 'individual' has an obsolete meaning which enhances our perception; it means inseparable. The Zoa is the whole individual and in essence is inseparable. The aspects into which the Zoa splits are illusions; temporary concepts which serve a purpose for explanation, not as lasting parts. We have been witnessing Blake's bringing together of the archetypal manifestations which have for a period acted as independent parts. Urthona's Spectre is comforted, Tharmas rejoices at the hope of the return of his emanation Enion. Urizen's Shadow is drawn away from his Spectrous form allowing aspects of him to become identified with parallel aspects in Los. 
These events have broken through Los's defenses. He can no longer perceive Urizen as an enemy but sees him as one of the loved infants whom he and Enitharmon were releasing into experience. The stage has been set for further reconciliations.
Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 98 [90], (E 371) 
"But Los loved them & refusd to Sacrifice their infant limbs   
And Enitharmons smiles & tears prevaild over self protection
They rather chose to meet Eternal death than to destroy
The offspring of their Care & Pity Urthonas spectre was comforted
But Tharmas most rejoicd in hope of Enions return
For he beheld new Female forms born forth upon the air    
Who wove soft silken veils of covering in sweet rapturd trance
Mortal & not as Enitharmon without a covering veil

First his immortal spirit drew Urizen[s] Shadow away  
From out the ranks of war separating him in sunder
Leaving his Spectrous form which could not be drawn away     
Then he divided Thiriel the Eldest of Urizens sons
Urizen became Rintrah Thiriel became Palamabron
Thus dividing the powers of Every Warrior
Startled was Los he found his Enemy Urizen now
In his hands. he wonderd that he felt love & not hate     
His whole soul loved him he beheld him an infant
Lovely breathd from Enitharmon he trembled within himself

PAGE 90 [98]

         End of The Seventh Night" 
British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 98

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


This is a continuation of the post SPECTRES OF THE DEAD
This copy of Europe Plate 5 bears several inscription which are thought to have added by Blake's friend Cunningham. At the top are the words 'A Comet'. At the side and bottom are quotes about comets by Rowe, Milton, Homer and Shakespeare.

British Museum
Europe a Prophesy
Plate 5
Enitharmon saw in Los the potential for expressing the same characteristics which typified Orc. She would agree to provide substance to Los's forms only if his fury were moderated. Enitharmon sees the beings which would be brought forth by their work, as ransoms for their own souls. It is doubtful that Blake however would have affirmed the Christian doctrine of Christ as a ransom for sinners. His God did not require payment for forgiveness.

Los draws from the deeps the Spectres who were the result of Urizen's wars and Orc's fiery revolution. Joining in the creation of lasting bodies for the wandering, disembodied Spectres is a joyful experience for Los and Enitharmon. The unselfish, imaginative activity brings additional benefits which were unexpected. Rintrah (wrath) and Palamabron (pity) return to their rightful places within Los's psyche. Los's oldest son Orc reassumes the role of elder brother experiencing joy that the Spectres have been given bodies.

As a whole the passage demonstrates that reducing the level of anger and violence enables cooperation which benefits the giver as well as the receiver. Los, Enitharmon, the Spectres of the Dead, Rintrah, Palamabrom and Orc have had divisions healed and have modified their hostile behaviors.  
Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 98 [90], (E 370)
"Enitharmon spread her beaming locks upon the wind & said   
O Lovely terrible Los wonder of Eternity O Los my defence & guide
Thy works are all my joy. & in thy fires my soul delights
If mild they burn in just proportion & in secret night
And silence build their day in shadow of soft clouds & dews
Then I can sigh forth on the winds of Golgonooza piteous forms  
That vanish again into my bosom   but if thou my Los
Wilt in sweet moderated fury. fabricate forms sublime 
Such as the piteous spectres may assimilate themselves into
They shall be ransoms for our Souls that we may live

So Enitharmon spoke & Los his hands divine inspired began
To modulate his fires studious the loud roaring flames
He vanquishd with the strength of Art bending their iron points
And drawing them forth delighted upon the winds of Golgonooza
From out the ranks of Urizens war & from the fiery lake
Of Orc bending down as the binder of the Sheaves follows   
The reaper in both arms embracing the furious raging flames
Los drew them forth out of the deeps planting his right foot firm
Upon the Iron crag of Urizen thence springing up aloft
Into the heavens of Enitharmon in a mighty circle

And first he drew a line upon the walls of shining heaven    
And Enitharmon tincturd it with beams of blushing love

It remaind permanent a lovely form inspird divinely human
Dividing into just proportions Los unwearied labourd
The immortal lines upon the heavens till with sighs of love
Sweet Enitharmon mild Entrancd breathd forth upon the wind   
The spectrous dead Weeping the Spectres viewd the immortal works
Of Los Assimilating to those forms Embodied & Lovely
In youth & beauty in the arms of Enitharmon mild reposing
First Rintrah & then Palamabron drawn from out the ranks of war
In infant innocence reposd on Enitharmons bosom     
Orc was comforted in the deeps his soul revivd in them
As the Eldest brother is the fathers image So Orc became  
As Los a father to his brethren & he joyd in the dark lake
Tho bound with chains of Jealousy & in scales of iron & brass"

Sunday, March 23, 2014


This is a continuation of the post SPECTRE OF URTHONA
The males without a counterpart, without a concentering vision, are beheld by the Spectre of Urthona as he looks down into the lower world. These Spectres of the Dead are said to be "fragments of spirit" by Damon, perhaps resulting from the Urizen's wars.

Yale Center for British Art
Plate 30
The dire state of the spectres results from mental errors of eating of the fruit of the two trees. The dualistic approach of assigning the value judgement of Good or Evil to every object is learned from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. From the Tree of Mystery is learned the idea that God is distant and unknown but provides the moral law and regulates compliance and punishes infractions. Los can provide for mankind the thoughts that can replace the destructive errors from which he needs release. He needs Enitharmon's assistance to give form to his thought, substance to his ideas.

We were each born into the material world and have been conditioned from birth to rely on feedback from our senses to interpret our environment. If we were to look at ourselves as the Specters of the Dead we would see ourselves as entities who were locked in our minds without ways to relate in the outside world of matter. Blake presents generation as the opportunity to correct the errors which prevent man from experiencing completeness. In the world of generation the inner expression is represented by Los; the outer by Enitharmon.

When man is created he enters the world of generation. The bible tells us that man is created in the Image of God. To Blake the Image of God implies both spirit and body, inner and outer, the individual and his manifestations in matter. Every rock, insect, and bird is a part of man because it is a product of his interaction with matter conveyed to him by his  mind.
Eternal Death to Blake is that inability to join together the activity of the imaginative mind with the ability to express it, for instance through art, or poetry or by building Golgonooza where spirits flourish. Enitharmon gains the ability to allow the outer expression in matter to be informed by the inner expression of spirit when she can 'behold the Lamb of God descending'; that is when she knows that the Eternal is present in the world of generation.

This is her transformative experience: she can now accept the role of assisting Los in forming "embodied semblances in which the dead May live".

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 87,(E 369)
"But I have thee my [Counterpart Vegetating] miraculous 
These Spectres have no [Counterparts] therefore they ravin
Without the food of life Let us Create them Coun[terparts]
For without a Created body the Spectre is Eternal Death

Los trembling answerd Now I feel the weight of stern repentance
Tremble not so my Enitharmon at the awful gates    
Of thy poor broken Heart I see thee like a shadow withering
As on the outside of Existence but look! behold! take comfort!
Turn inwardly thine Eyes & there behold the Lamb of God
Clothed in Luvahs robes of blood descending to redeem
O Spectre of Urthona take comfort O Enitharmon   
Couldst thou but cease from terror & trembling & affright
When I appear before thee in forgiveness of ancient injuries 
Why shouldst thou remember & be afraid. I surely have died in pain
Often enough to convince thy jealousy & fear & terror
Come hither be patient let us converse together because  
I also tremble at myself & at all my former life

Enitharmon answerd I behold the Lamb of God descending
To Meet these Spectres of the Dead I therefore fear that he
Will give us to Eternal Death fit punishment for such
Hideous offenders Uttermost extinction in eternal pain    
An ever dying life of stifling & obstruction shut out
Of existence to be a sign & terror to all who behold
Lest any should in futurity do as we have done in heaven
Such is our state nor will the Son of God redeem us but destroy
Page 98 [90] 
So Enitharmon spoke trembling & in torrents of tears

Los sat in Golgonooza in the Gate of Luban where  
He had erected many porches where branchd the Mysterious Tree  
Where the Spectrous dead wail & sighing thus he spoke to Enitharmon

Lovely delight of Men Enitharmon shady refuge from furious war
Thy bosom translucent is a soft repose for the weeping souls
Of those piteous victims of battle there they sleep in happy obscurity
They feed upon our life we are their victims. Stern desire
I feel to fabricate embodied semblances in which the dead
May live before us in our palaces & in our gardens of labour 
Which now opend within the Center we behold spread abroad
To form a world of Sacrifice of brothers & sons & daughters 
To comfort Orc in his dire sufferings[;] look[!] my fires enlume afresh
Before my face ascending with delight as in ancient times"
British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 87

Friday, March 21, 2014


This is a continuation of the post ENITHARMON & LOS
Museum of Fine Arts Boston The Temptation and Fall of Eve
Illustration to Milton's Paradise Lost
We begin this section with allusions to the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. 'Urizen's Mysterious tree' evokes the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil from the Garden, and Blake's Tree of Mystery which encompassed false religion growing out of erroneous ideas.

Enitharmon realizes that her fears and sense of failure grow out of her eating of the fruits of these two trees. She is unable to celebrate life but, like Enion, sees that life is a mutual devouring of the other. As did Eve, Enitharmon offers the fruit to her counterpart who she believes to be "strong & mighty To bear this Self conviction". She is seeking proof that there is life Eternal but after eating the fruit Los despaired, seeing not life Eternal, but death Eternal.

Los and Enitharmon are connected through Urthona from whom they were born as he fell from his original unity. By acting as a medium between the quarreling pair, the Spectre of Urthona takes steps to rejoin together what has been torn asunder. His next step is to acknowledge that his own actions precipitated the chain reaction leading to the present situation.

The state of Death that the Spectre of Urthona encountered is described as "Each Male formd without a counterpart without a concentering vision." So Los and Enitharmon will be given the task of providing for these Spectres of the Dead who have no counterpart. If they can accomplish this they may repair the rift between themselves. And if they can learn to live together in love and forgiveness, Urthona may be reunited with his Spectre. Then the broken psyche and the broken world may be healed.

Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 95 [87] (SECOND PORTION), (E 369) 
"But Los stood on the Limit of Translucence weeping & trembling
Filled with doubts in self accusation beheld the fruit  
Of Urizens Mysterious tree For Enitharmon thus spake
When In the Deeps beneath I gatherd of this ruddy fruit 
It was by that I knew that I had Sinnd & then I knew
That without a ransom I could not be savd from Eternal death
That Life lives upon Death & by devouring appetite
All things subsist on one another thenceforth in Despair
I spend my glowing time but thou art strong & mighty  
To bear this Self conviction take then Eat thou also of
The fruit & give me proof of life Eternal or I die
Then Los plucked the fruit & Eat & sat down in Despair
And must have given himself to death Eternal But
Urthonas spectre in part mingling with him comforted him  
Being a medium between him & Enitharmon   But This Union
Was not to be Effected without Cares & Sorrows & Troubles
Of six thousand Years of self denial and of bitter Contrition 

Urthonas Spectre terrified beheld the Spectres of the Dead
Each Male formd without a counterpart without a concentering vision
The Spectre of Urthona wept before Los Saying I am the cause
That this dire state commences I began the dreadful state
Of Separation & on my dark head the curse & punishment
Must fall unless a way be found to Ransom & Redeem"    

Thursday, March 20, 2014


This is a continuation of the post LOS & HIS SPECTRE. 
The next part of the interaction between Los and his Spectre has Los's indignant reply. The Spectre had claimed that Los has no permanence and depends on "being Created Continually by Mercy & Love divine." Los however will not concede to "Reason's power"; he knows the has access to the world of spirit where things have "real substance" and are not elusive "shadows." Los refuses the shadowy world of the reasoning Spectre for the substantial world of imagination.

Los could return to completeness if his Emanation as well as his Spectre would join him. Los would moderate his insistent assertiveness if his gentler, supportive aspect would return. Los and Enitharmon are two aspects of one totality. When they are united the Spectre is absorbed into the unified man as well.

British Museum
Book of Urizen
Plate 19, Copy D

Enitharmon was reticent because there was history between herself and Los. The birth of the first son of Los and Enitharmon, who was named Orc, led to a hostile, jealous reaction from his father. When the boy reached puberty his parents took him to a mountaintop and left him chained. Although the parents relented and went back to release him, his chains had enrooted in rock. Enitharmon's heart was broken and she took revenge against men.

To cool the temper of Enitharmon, the Spector of Urthona stepped in because he could see an opening to the Center. The Specter of Urthona gave Los the task of destroying the body he had created, but like releasing Orc from his chains it was not an easily or quickly accomplished task. I am reminded of the tasks Psyche was assigned to gain release from the control of Venus, and the help she received from unexpected sources.
Los set to work preparing the environment in which a changed order could develop. By beginning to build Golgonooza, a city in which art and imagination could thrive, be began reshaping his own psyche and creating conditions which would reassure Enitharmon of his intentions.

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 86, (E 368) 
"Los furious answerd. Spectre horrible thy words astound my Ear
With irresistible conviction I feel I am not one of those 
Who when convincd can still persist. tho furious.controllable
By Reasons power. Even I already feel a World within
Opening its gates & in it all the real substances
Of which these in the outward World are shadows which pass away
Come then into my Bosom & in thy shadowy arms bring with thee   
My lovely Enitharmon. I will quell my fury & teach
Peace to the Soul of dark revenge & repentance to Cruelty

So spoke Los & Embracing Enitharmon & the Spectre
Clouds would have folded round in Extacy & Love uniting
Page 87 
But Enitharmon trembling fled & hid beneath Urizens tree
But mingling together with his Spectre the Spectre of Urthona 
Wondering beheld the Center opend by Divine Mercy inspired    
He in his turn Gave Tasks to Los Enormous to destroy       
That body he created but in vain for Los performd Wonders of labour 
They Builded Golgonooza Los labouring builded pillars high 
And Domes terrific in the nether heavens for beneath
Was opend new heavens & a new Earth beneath & within
Threefold within the brain within the heart within the loins
A Threefold Atmosphere Sublime continuous from Urthonas world  
But yet having a Limit Twofold named Satan & Adam" 

Monday, March 17, 2014


The struggle among the portions of the human psyche are delineated in the 7TH Night of the Four Zoas. This section deals only with divisions within Urthona.
Urthona is variously described as the imagination, the unconscious, or the intuition; but always Urthona is connected with man's ability to perceive the spiritual. Damon states that: "In the Trinity, Urthona corresponds to the Holy Ghost." Los and Enitharmon are manifestations of Urthona who are active in the lower worlds.


At times when Los is split from Enitharmon he is referred to as the Spectre of Urthona. In this passage the colloquy is between Los and his own spectre, not the Spectre of Urthona.
We read that Los embraced his Spectre and accepted him as a brother or another self. The Spectre, however, choose not to be one of many selves or in any way subservient to Los as an expression of Urthona.

We think of much of the functioning of the human psyche taking place through the Ego which allocates activities to each division. The Ego identifies with the reasoning mind and assigns a large proportion of activity to reason. Los needs his reasoning mind which is represented by his Spectre, but when he embraces his reasoning mind, it wants to assume control. Additional processes will ensue before the two come together.

British Museum
Plate 6, Copy A
In the picture from Jerusalem Los sits in his forge with his hammer. Suspended above his head is his Spectre. The text from Jerusalem presents the dividing of the Spectre from Los. The account in the Four Zoas relates processes leading up to the reunification of the fractured psyche which will take place later in the poem. Notice that the Spectre has covered his ears with his hands to avoid hearing what Los is trying to tell him.

Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 95 [87] (SECOND PORTION), (E 367)
"Then took the tree of Mystery root in the World of Los
Its topmost boughs shooting a fibre beneath Enitharmons couch   
The double rooted Labyrinth soon wavd around their heads  

But then the Spectre enterd Los's bosom Every sigh & groan
Of Enitharmon bore Urthonas Spectre on its wings
Obdurate Los felt Pity Enitharmon told the tale
Of Urthona. Los embracd the Spectre first as a brother
Then as another Self; astonishd humanizing & in tears    
In Self abasement Giving up his Domineering lust

Thou never canst embrace sweet Enitharmon terrible Demon. Till
Thou art united with thy Spectre Consummating by pains & labours
That mortal body & by Self annihilation back returning
To Life Eternal be assurd I am thy real Self  
Tho thus divided from thee & the Slave of Every passion
Of thy fierce Soul Unbar the Gates of Memory look upon me  
Not as another but as thy real Self I am thy Spectre
Thou didst subdue me in old times by thy Immortal Strength 
When I was a ravning hungring & thirsting cruel lust & murder   
Tho horrible & Ghastly to thine Eyes tho buried beneath
The ruins of the Universe. hear what inspird I speak & be silent

If we unite in one[,] another better world will be  
Opend within your heart & loins & wondrous brain
Threefold as it was in Eternity & this the fourth Universe 
Will be Renewd by the three & consummated in Mental fires
But if thou dost refuse Another body will be prepared

PAGE 86 
For me & thou annihilate evaporate & be no more
For thou art but a form & organ of life & of thyself
Art nothing being Created Continually by Mercy & Love divine"

Saturday, March 15, 2014


From Pierre Berger's 1915 book William Blake, Poet and Mystic:

"As one reads his [Blake's] books, one sees his theories becoming gradually clearer and more complete. Different works explain each other. None of them is complete in itself: all must be known and borne in mind if any one is to be read properly. Even when he wrote the first, Blake had dimly in his mind the ideas which were to fill his latest books. His theories do not seem to have changed as he grew older. They undergo development: they are expressed in different terms; but at bottom they remain the same. Just as a seed contains all the germs from which the plant will receive its shape, the flowers their colours, and the fruit its flavour, so it is with Blake and with the development of his genius.
His work can be studied in either of two quite different ways. We might take his books one by one and examine, in each successively, his philosophical ideas, his prophetic theories, and the manner of their expression. We should thus follow step by step the development of his mind. We should see how his thought becomes more and more complex, while still keeping its original direction, and how, at the same time, his symbolic exposition of it becomes more and more enigmatic, as if, by a strange perversity, in proportion as the prophet found more to say, the artist were seeking more obscure forms of expression, to make his meaning more and more incomprehensible. We should find, at the beginning, ideas that are relatively simple and natural, and human feelings common to all, expressed clearly and with much poetic talent—at times even with flashes of genius. Later on, this genius becomes entangled in the complexities of mystical vision, and its splendid gifts are, so far as true poetry is concerned, entirely lost. At the outset, the breath of mysticism fans the poetic fire: in the end, it becomes a tempest, scattering the flames, which it lifts here and there into huge columns, but gradually extinguishing them and leaving only a vast pile of ashes smouldering in darkness.
I prefer, however, to take another way of reaching the same conclusions. I shall try to sketch the broad outlines of his philosophy and to describe his mystical world, as far as these may be elucidated from the whole body of his work. I shall then consider his method of poetic expression, strictly from the poetic point of view, and trace the factors that conduced to its rapid growth, its wonderful flowering and its slow decay under the invading influences of mysticism and symbolism. And so I shall separate the study of his doctrines from that of their expression, without concerning myself too much with the successive developments of either, but reserving these for a short subsequent examination of his books in their chronological order." (Page 65)
British Museum
Copy A, Plate 23

Berger described how he created his system for studying Blake. He looked at the whole and at the individual parts. He followed the development, but in the end he evaluated Blake's thought in terms of his own criteria for success.
Blake first expressed his interest in systems in Marriage of Heaven & Hell. The creation of systems became metaphor for building and discarding the mental constructs which control our ability to perceive. A system, even a poor one, served man until he recognized its inadequacy. Man was not able to abandon a system until it failed cataclysmically. The effort which Blake saw as going into the creation and exploration of systems was really directed at self-understanding and freeing oneself from false reasoning powers he called the Selfhood.

Marriage of Heaven & Hell, PLATE 11, E(38)                                               
"The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or
Geniuses calling them by the names and adorning them with the
properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations,
and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could percieve.
   And particularly they studied the genius of each city & 
country.  placing it under its mental deity.
   Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of &
enslav'd  the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the
mental deities from their objects: thus began Priesthood.
   Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.
   And at length they pronounced that the Gods had orderd such things.
   Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.

Jerusalem, Plate 10, (E 152)
"And this is the manner of the Sons of Albion in their strength
They take the Two Contraries which are calld Qualities, with which
Every Substance is clothed, they name them Good & Evil
From them they make an Abstract, which is a Negation             
Not only of the Substance from which it is derived
A murderer of its own Body: but also a murderer
Of every Divine Member: it is the Reasoning Power
An Abstract objecting power, that Negatives every thing
This is the Spectre of Man: the Holy Reasoning Power             
And in its Holiness is closed the Abomination of Desolation

Therefore Los stands in London building Golgonooza
Compelling his Spectre to labours mighty; trembling in fear
The Spectre weeps, but Los unmovd by tears or threats remains

I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Mans           
I will not Reason & Compare: my business is to Create

Yet ceasd he not from labouring at the roarings of his Forge
With iron & brass Building Golgonooza in great contendings
Till his Sons & Daughters came forth from the Furnaces
At the sublime Labours for Los. compelld the invisible Spectre   
Plate 11
To labours mighty, with vast strength, with his mighty chains,
In pulsations of time, & extensions of space, like Urns of Beulah
With great labour upon his anvils, & in his ladles the Ore
He lifted, pouring it into the clay ground prepar'd with art;
Striving with Systems to deliver Individuals from those Systems; 
That whenever any Spectre began to devour the Dead,
He might feel the pain as if a man gnawd his own tender nerves."

Jerusalem, Plate 12, (E 155)
"Yet why despair! I saw the finger of God go forth                
Upon my Furnaces, from within the Wheels of Albions Sons:
Fixing their Systems, permanent: by mathematic power
Giving a body to Falshood that it may be cast off for ever."  

Jerusalem, Plate 35 [39], (E 181)
"It is the Gate of Los. Withoutside is the Mill, intricate,dreadful
And fill'd with cruel tortures; but no mortal man can find the Mill
Of Satan, in his mortal pilgrimage of seventy years              

For Human beauty knows it not: nor can Mercy find it! But 
In the Fourth region of Humanity, Urthona namd[,]
Mortality begins to roll the billows of Eternal Death
Before the Gate of Los. Urthona here is named Los.
And here begins the System of Moral Virtue, named Rahab." 

Jerusalem, Plate 43 [29], (E 191)
"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."

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Blake had some unusual experiences with his friends Milton, Los and Ololon whom he wrote about in his poem Milton. Blake had the ability to build relationships with characters who resided in various realms of time and eternity. We now have a different gift, one of which Blake never dreamed: the ability to communicate and build relationships through electromagnetic waves which carry our messages beyond our provincial neighborhoods. Through blogging I became acquainted with Ian Mulder in England. Ian in his generosity has created an electronic book from my blog Divine Economy which now can be shared with whoever would like to read it.

Divine Economy was devised to showcase Blake pictures which are not often seen, and to shed light on some ways we can see the eternal truth through the images. Associated with each image is a short sentence which states something about how things work in the ideal world where God reigns and all is at peace.

Ian was kind enough to say about the statements, "They resonate with the innate knowledge that lies buried within us all; buried too deep, perhaps, for some to recognize it at all. But then, they are presented as paradoxes, not articles of faith."

Blake lived with the paradoxes inherent in existence; he never rejected or denied them. He affirmed however the truth he knew through vision which showed him another world. Today the paradoxical world of the electronic media and the Divine Economy come together in my gratitude to my friend Ian, whom I will never meet physically. His initiative, technical expertise, and searching spirit have provided me with an extraordinary gift.

Illustrations to Blair's The Grave 
Milton, Plate 35 [39], (E 137)  
"Walking in my Cottage Garden, sudden I beheld 
The Virgin Ololon & address'd her as a Daughter of Beulah[:] 

Virgin of Providence fear not to enter into my Cottage 
What is thy message to thy friend: What am I now to do 
Is it again to plunge into deeper affliction? behold me 
Ready to obey, but pity thou my Shadow of Delight 
Enter my Cottage, comfort her, for she is sick with fatigue  
Plate 37 [41] The Virgin answerd. Knowest thou of Milton who descended 
Driven from Eternity; him I seek! terrified at my Act 
In Great Eternity which thou knowest! I come him to seek"

John 15
[15] No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


British Museum
Plate 31


Kathleen Raine in Golgonooza, City of Imagination writes of the way change can take place in our fallen world:  
"Our society is forever thinking  of changing outer circumstances. Blake's revolution will come about when we change ourselves. From inner awakenings outer changes will follow; for we cannot treat a living and holy earth as a lifeless mechanism, nor human beings in whom the divine humanity is manifested in all its myriad forms as the 'mortal worm' born in a night to perish in a night. We have created a nightmare world in the image of our ideologies; but with the awakening of our humanity we will see a different world, and create a different world." 

Jerusalem, Plate 30 [34], (E 177)
If Perceptive Organs vary: Objects of Perception seem to vary:  
If the Perceptive Organs close: their Objects seem to close also:
Consider this O mortal Man! O worm of sixty winters said Los
Consider Sexual Organization & hide thee in the dust.
Plate 31 [35]
Then the Divine hand found the Two Limits, Satan and Adam,
In Albions bosom: for in every Human bosom those Limits stand.
And the Divine voice came from the Furnaces, as multitudes without
Number! the voices of the innumerable multitudes of Eternity.
And the appearance of a Man was seen in the Furnaces;            
Saving those who have sinned from the punishment of the Law,
(In pity of the punisher whose state is eternal death,)
And keeping them from Sin by the mild counsels of his love.

Albion goes to Eternal Death: In Me all Eternity.
Must pass thro' condemnation, and awake beyond the Grave!
No individual can keep these Laws, for they are death
To every energy of man, and forbid the springs of life;
Albion hath enterd the State Satan! Be permanent O State!
And be thou for ever accursed! that Albion may arise again:
And be thou created into a State! I go forth to Create           
States: to deliver Individuals evermore! Amen.

So spoke the voice from the Furnaces, descending into Non-Entity
[To Govern the Evil by Good: and States abolish Systems.]" 
Not everything is as it appears to be. To the fallen man the world seems to be fallen; to the resurrected man the world appears as a field ready for harvest. 
Romans 12
[12] Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
[13] Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
[14] Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
[15] Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
[16] Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.
[17] Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
[18] If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
[19] Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
[20] No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."
[21] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Updated post from October 12, 2012
Yale Center for British Art
Portrait of William Blake
engraved by Charles H. Jeens
This portrait of Blake from the Yale Center for British Art was engraved by Charles H. Jeens from a painting from life by Blake's friend John Linnell. The portrait was used as the frontispiece of The Life of William Blake by Alexander Gilchrist (pub. 1863).

We welcome your visit to our blog and invite you to spend some time with us. Although we try to share our understanding of Blake with our guests, we are most interested in making available to you the tools to study Blake independently. The links that are provided in almost every post connect you with sites, articles and individuals which have information and insight to share. We recommend books which have enriched our understanding of Blake: some of which you may read online, others which may be borrowed through your library's interlibrary loan system, or others may be purchased new or used through online services such as Better World Books.
The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake edited by David V Erdman is available as a html document which can be downloaded to your computer. The passages from Blake which we print are usually from this file and the page numbers (E xxx) refer to it.
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We hope you have found something here which you are looking for. The study and enjoyment of Blake offers many possibilities. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our blog and better meet the needs of our readers. 


Friday, March 7, 2014


Kay Parkhurst Easson and Roger R Easson wrote Milton, A Poem by William Blake in 1978. Unusual among Blake books, it contains all of the plates of Milton in color, a transcription of the text, and commentary on the poem. Used copies of the book are available at modest prices on the internet. 
The Eassons wrote of the mindset which alarmed Blake in the 18th century and is even more pervasive in the 21th century:
"Some of us are surprised to learn that the world beyond the body is uncertain, yet one of the basic tenets of Einstein and scientific methods after him is the impossibility of separating the observer from his observations. That is to say, our perception of events beyond the body is the result of our views about the nature of reality. Blake thought we become what we behold. For this reason, he set out to transform the relationship between the perceiver and perceived by guiding his reader on a journey of spiritual  discovery. It is important that we perceive not from the selfhood, that aggregated of biases, prejudices, and hypocrisies which in its dogmatic desire for control negates our potential and becomes our existence, but that we perceive within an attitude of surrender, thereby opening to worlds of eternity. Modern psychologists have catalogued at length the assumptions of orthodox Western psychology, the assumptions which often form the nature of the modern reader's self and its perceptions. The chief of these may be summarized as follows: a person is his body and nothing more; each person is isolated from all others, locked in his nervous system; consciousness is identical with the activity of the brain; death is the termination of human consciousness; a person perceives the physical world and obtains sensations from the internal operations of his body and nervous system; a person can trust his senses to inform him accurately of the physical world. It is crucial to reading Milton for us to understand that these assumptions of the modern world view were developed as a direct result of the scientific revolution of Blake's time, and that they are the assumptions underlying what may be called worship of the physical world or what Blake called Natural Religion...Those of us educated in this scientific  world view - who earn our livings through the advanced technologies of daily life - constantly dwell in an environment fabricated out of these assumptions." (Page 138-9)
New York Public Library
Plate 13

We no longer use the term Natural Religion to refer the world view in which each individual is a self-contained consciousness, with his sensory perception as the way that the world communicates with his mind. We have so assimilated this world view that it now goes by the name reality. If we can learn from Blake, we will change the assumptions which we make about ourselves, the world and God. We will see ourselves not as a body but as an eternal spirit, we will see the world as one interconnected system comprised of all mankind and nature, we will see God not as distant from us in time and space but as ever present and everywhere.
Milton, Plate 24 [15], (E 108)
Then there was great murmuring in the Heavens of Albion
Concerning Generation & the Vegetative power & concerning        
The Lamb the Saviour: Albion trembled to Italy Greece & Egypt
To Tartary & Hindostan & China & to Great America
Shaking the roots & fast foundations of the Earth in doubtfulness
The loud voic'd Bard terrify'd took refuge in Miltons bosom

Then Milton rose up from the heavens of Albion ardorous!         
The whole Assembly wept prophetic, seeing in Miltons face
And in his lineaments divine the shades of Death & Ulro
He took off the robe of the promise, & ungirded himself from the oath of God

And Milton said, I go to Eternal Death! The Nations still
Follow after the detestable Gods of Priam; in pomp               
Of warlike selfhood, contradicting and blaspheming.
When will the Resurrection come; to deliver the sleeping body
From corruptibility: O when Lord Jesus wilt thou come?
Tarry no longer; for my soul lies at the gates of death.
I will arise and look forth for the morning of the grave.       
I will go down to the sepulcher to see if morning breaks!
I will go down to self annihilation and eternal death,
Lest the Last Judgment come & find me unannihilate
And I be siez'd & giv'n into the hands of my own Selfhood"

Milton, Plate 39 [44], (E 142)
"The Negation must be destroyd to redeem the Contraries
The Negation is the Spectre; the Reasoning Power in Man
This is a false Body: an Incrustation over my Immortal           
Spirit; a Selfhood, which must be put off & annihilated alway
To cleanse the Face of my Spirit by Self-examination.
Plate 41 [48]
To bathe in the Waters of Life; to wash off the Not Human
I come in Self-annihilation & the grandeur of Inspiration
To cast off Rational Demonstration by Faith in the Saviour
To cast off the rotten rags of Memory by Inspiration
To cast off Bacon, Locke & Newton from Albions covering          
To take off his filthy garments, & clothe him with Imagination
To cast aside from Poetry, all that is not Inspiration"

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


As a culmination of the process of having one's consciousness raised to the 'perception of the infinite', Blake produced Christ Appearing to the Apostles after the Resurrection as one of the designs for the Large Color Printed Drawings. When seen as the final picture of the series it parallels the final plates of the poetry in Jerusalem and reminds us of the end that John wrote for his Gospel.

If an individual had traversed a cycle in his psychological development from its inception of being introduced to a new level of truth, to the climax of assimilating that truth into his being, his new status could be represented by this image. The process had included a descent into the underground where he was sifted like wheat as was Nebuchadnezzar or Simon Peter, and who spent a period in the House of Death. The descent involved divisions; a breaking down of the unity of the vision of God as undifferentiated consciousness into man and God, man and woman, good and evil, reason and energy, body and soul.

The upward leg of the cycle was enacted by the reassembly of the divided parts by becoming aware of the value of each unit as half of a pair of contraries which comprise a whole. The return journey could also be described as recognizing the positive and negative dimensions of everything which had been discovered in the unconscious. Or looking at the return journey as related to outward experience it entails withdrawing the projections; seeing the outer world objectively rather than as one's own shadow side.

Yale Center for British Art
Large Color Printed Drawnings
Christ Appearing to the Apostles after the Resurrection

The title given to the picture, as well as details pictured on the body of Christ indicate that the scene is post-resurrection. But we can imply that the apostles as well as Jesus have been resurrected. They have seen the risen body of the Lord and been reborn through the vision. As the New Testament continues we see the apostles assimilating this truth that has been made visible to them, but it had to be tested in their inner and outer experience. Blake's  picture shows the apostles in various postures or remorse, contrition, submission, petition and rejoicing. The changes which took place in them opened their souls to a rebirth of the God within.
Jerusalem, Plate 93, (E 253)
"Then Los again took up his speech as Enitharmon ceast

Fear not my Sons this Waking Death. he is become One with me
Behold him here! We shall not Die! we shall be united in Jesus.
Will you suffer this Satan this Body of Doubt that Seems but Is Not 
To occupy the very threshold of Eternal Life. if Bacon, Newton, Locke,

Deny a Conscience in Man & the Communion of Saints & Angels
Contemning the Divine Vision & Fruition, Worshiping the Deus
Of the Heathen, The God of This World, & the Goddess Nature
Mystery Babylon the Great, The Druid Dragon & hidden Harlot    
Is it not that Signal of the Morning which was told us in the Beginning"

Jerusalem, PLATE 96 (E 255)  
"As the Sun & Moon lead forward the Visions of Heaven & Earth
England who is Brittannia entered Albions bosom rejoicing  

Then Jesus appeared standing by Albion as the Good Shepherd
By the lost Sheep that he hath found & Albion knew that it
Was the Lord the Universal Humanity, & Albion saw his Form     
A Man. & they conversed as Man with Man, in Ages of Eternity
And the Divine Appearance was the likeness & similitude of Los

Albion said. O Lord what can I do! my Selfhood cruel
Marches against thee deceitful from Sinai & from Edom
Into the Wilderness of Judah to meet thee in his pride       
I behold the Visions of my deadly Sleep of Six Thousand Years
Dazling around thy skirts like a Serpent of precious stones & gold
I know it is my Self. O my Divine Creator & Redeemer

Jesus replied Fear not Albion unless I die thou canst not live
But if I die I shall arise again & thou with me            
This is Friendship & Brotherhood without it Man Is Not

So Jesus spoke! the Covering Cherub coming on in darkness
Overshadowd them & Jesus said Thus do Men in Eternity
One for another to put off by forgiveness, every sin"
Luke 22
[27] For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.
[28] "You are those who have continued with me in my trials;
[29] and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom,
[30] that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
[31] "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
[32] but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." 

Matthew 18
[10] "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
[12] What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
[13] And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.
[14] So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

John 17
[1] When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee,
[2] since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him.
[3] And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
[4] I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do;
[5] and now, Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.
[11] And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
[25] O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me.
[26] I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." 


There are three copies of this print: one in the Tate, one in the National Gallery, and one in the Yale Center for British Art. The copy in the Tate Museum, although in the poorest condition, shows the greatest emotional intensity in the compassionate expression of the Christ and in the devoted response of the apostles.