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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

PLACE OF REDEMPTION

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 57
To Los, acting as the Imagination, was given the task of building a world in which the divided man might be restored to unity. Los found himself with limited resources to provide the conditions for contentious factions to become reconciled. In this passage we find Los negotiating with the Daughters of Albion to be the caretakers for an infant by providing a Cradle and a Garment suitable for the potential of the infant to develop. Los must accept compromises because the Daughters of Albion are not capable of mastering the level of imagination he desires to impart. Thus:

 
"Albion fell into the Furrow, and
The Plow went over him & the Living was Plowed in among the Dead"


Generation is provided as a mercy that the divided man may be regenerated as the unified man. But the process will be tortuous and require the old man to die and be buried before he sprouts again like a seed assuming a mature form dictated by the DNA hidden within.
Jerusalem, Plate 56, (E 206)
"Then Los heaved his thund'ring Bellows on the Valley of Middlesex
And thus he chaunted his Song: the Daughters of Albion reply.

What may Man be? who can tell! But what may Woman be?
To have power over Man from Cradle to corruptible Grave.
He who is an Infant, and whose Cradle is a Manger                
Knoweth the Infant sorrow: whence it came, and where it goeth:
And who weave it a Cradle of the grass that withereth away.
This World is all a Cradle for the erred wandering Phantom:
Rock'd by Year, Month, Day & Hour; and every two Moments
Between, dwells a Daughter of Beulah, to feed the Human Vegetable
Entune: Daughters of Albion. your hymning Chorus mildly!
Cord of affection thrilling extatic on the iron Reel:
To the golden Loom of Love! to the moth-labourd Woof
A Garment and Cradle weaving for the infantine Terror:
For fear; at entering the gate into our World of cruel           
Lamentation: it flee back & hide in Non-Entitys dark wild
Where dwells the Spectre of Albion: destroyer of Definite Form.
The Sun shall be a Scythed Chariot of Britain: the Moon; a Ship
In the British Ocean! Created by Los's Hammer; measured out
Into Days & Nights & Years & Months. to travel with my feet      
Over these desolate rocks of Albion: O daughters of despair!
Rock the Cradle, and in mild melodies tell me where found
What you have enwoven with so much tears & care? so much
Tender artifice: to laugh: to weep: to learn: to know;
Remember! recollect what dark befel in wintry days               

O it was lost for ever! and we found it not: it came
And wept at our wintry Door: Look! look! behold! Gwendolen
Is become a Clod of Clay! Merlin is a Worm of the Valley!

Then Los uttered with Hammer & Anvil: Chaunt! revoice!
I mind not your laugh: and your frown I not fear! and            
You must my dictate obey from your gold-beam'd Looms; trill
Gentle to Albions Watchman, on Albions mountains; reeccho
And rock the Cradle while! Ah me! Of that Eternal Man
And of the cradled Infancy in his bowels of compassion:
Who fell beneath his instruments of husbandry & became           
Subservient to the clods of the furrow! the cattle and even     
The emmet and earth-Worm are his superiors & his lords.  

Then the response came warbling from trilling Looms in Albion

We Women tremble at the light therefore: hiding fearful
The Divine Vision with Curtain & Veil & fleshly Tabernacle       

Los utter'd: swift as the rattling thunder upon the mountains[:]
Look back into the Church Paul! Look! Three Women around
The Cross! O Albion why didst thou a Female Will Create?
Plate 57    
And the voices of Bath & Canterbury & York & Edinburgh. Cry
Over the Plow of Nations in the strong hand of Albion thundering along
Among the Fires of the Druid & the deep black rethundering Waters
Of the Atlantic which poured in impetuous loud loud. louder & louder.
And the Great Voice of the Atlantic howled over the Druid Altars:
Weeping over his Children in Stone-henge in Maiden & Colchester.
Round the Rocky Peak of Derbyshire London Stone & Rosamonds Bower

What is a Wife & what is a Harlot? What is a Church? & What
Is a Theatre? are they Two & not One? can they Exist Separate?
Are not Religion & Politics the Same Thing? Brotherhood is Religion    
O Demonstrations of Reason Dividing Families in Cruelty & Pride!

But Albion fled from the Divine Vision, with the Plow of Nations enflaming
The Living Creatures maddend and Albion fell into the Furrow, and
The Plow went over him & the Living was Plowed in among the Dead"

Jerusalem, Plate 59, (E208)
"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"

From William Blake's Jerusalem by Minna Doskow: "The material world thus created becomes the physical basis necessary for imagination or fully human existance." (Page 119) 

John 12
[24] Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
[25] He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 

.

Friday, August 29, 2014

ROOM AT FOUNTAIN COURT

Irene Langridge's 1911 biography of Blake, William Blake: A Study of His Life and Art Work, includes an image of Blake's final home - the rooms in Fountain Court to which William and Catherine moved in 1821. Frederick Shields out of admiration for Blake painted the room where he lived his last years. Shields was born six years after Blake's death so he worked from accounts he had read or heard. His friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti was moved to write a sonnet upon seeing Shield's sketch.

From the Langridge book:
"BLAKE’S LIVING-ROOM AND DEATH-ROOM IN FOUNTAIN COURT
Reproduced from the sketch by Mr. Frederic J. Shields, kindly lent by the artist

"Mr. Frederick Shields (who, like Blake and many other great artists, will doubtless be honoured as he deserves to be when nothing further can touch him, and this world may not lay at his living feet its due meed of recognition and gratitude,) made a sketch of the sombre little living room in Fountain Court. His friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti was so profoundly touched on seeing it that he eased his heart in a sonnet:

This is the place. Even here the dauntless soul,
The unflinching hand, wrought on; till in that nook,
As on that very bed, his life partook
New birth and passed. Yon river’s dusky shoal,
Whereto the close-built coiling lanes unroll,
Faced his work window, whence his eyes would stare,
Thought wandering, unto nought that met them there,
But to the unfettered irreversible goal.

This cupboard, Holy of Holies, held the cloud
Of his soul writ and limned; this other one,
His true wife’s charge, full oft to their abode
Yielded for daily bread, the martyr’s stone,
Ere yet their food might be that Bread alone,
The words now home-speech of the mouth of God.

The house in Fountain Court has been pulled down lately. The footprints of the great and gentle soul in his passage through this world to the “unfettered irreversible goal” have almost all disappeared in the dust and scurry of the last century. We can still think of him, and of those long rapt mornings he spent in our glorious Abbey. Full as it is—pent up and overflowing—with the associations of centuries, it will henceforth hold this one more—Blake worked there, Blake dreamed there, Blake caught inspiration from the enchanted forests of its aisles."


Library of Congress
Original Stories from Real Life

Blake himself seldom painted interiors but preparing to illustrate Mary Wollstonecraft's Original Stories from Real Life he created this water-color sketch of a simple interior not unlike the one painted by Shields.

Two colored versions of Shields' Fountain Court room are available: one at the Delaware Art Museum and one at the Manchester Art Gallery.


From his sickbed at Fountain Court Blake wrote this note of apology to Mrs Charles Aders who had purchased a copy of Songs of Innocence & of Experience. The Aders copy, printed and colored in 1826, is lettered AA and belongs to the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge.
 
Letters, (E 781)
"[To] Mrs [Charles] Ade[r]s, Euston Square

3 Fountain Court Strand 29 Decr 1826 

Mr Blakes respectful Compliments to Mrs Ade[r]s is sorry to say
that his Ill-ness is so far from gone that the least thing brings
on the symptoms of the original complaint. he does not dare to
leave his room by any means. he had another desperate attack of
the Aguish trembling last night & is certain that at present any
venture to go out must be of bad perhaps of fatal consequence  Is
very sorry indeed that he is deprived of the happiness of
visiting again & also of seeing again those Pictures of the old
Masters but must submit to the necessity & be Patient till warm
weather Comes
[unsigned]"
. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

COPIES OF JERUSALEM

The British Museum, the Center for British Art at Yale, and the Library of Congress make access to their copies of Jerusalem available as digital images. I became curious about the copy in the collection of Lord Cunliffe, Copy B, which along with Copy E at Yale contains color images. 
 
Copy B is not a complete copy but contains only the first chapter, To The Public. When the Blake Trust published a later edition in 1973 of the Trianon Press' 1950 facsimile edition of Blake's Jerusalem, images from Copy B were added along with facsimiles of proofs of four prints from Jerusalem. The limited run of these books makes them rare today. From WORLDCAT you may learn where they may be seen - primarily in university libraries. Advertisements by dealers for the sale of copies of these books occasionally display images which are not available to the public elsewhere. 

 
Although the Blake Archive does not supply images from Copy B, it offers information on the provenance because Copy B was for a time bound with copies of America and Europe. The first owner would have been Thomas Griffiths Wainewright with whom Blake was acquainted. The present owner is Lord Cunliffe in whose family the book has been since the middle of the 19th century. 
 
Compare images from the Frontispiece of several copies of Jerusalem.

Plate 47 of Jerusalem as it appears in available images:


Copy A in the British Museum

Copy B in the collection of Lord Cunliffe (said to be 25 plates, some colored)


 





Copy C in unidentified private collection
Copy D in Houghton Library  of Harvard University


Copy E in Yale Center for British Art


 








 



Copy F  in Morgan Library and Museum
Copy G untraced

Copies H, I and J are posthumous copies (Copy I is in the Library of Congress)

 










Letters
, (E 728)

[To] Mr Butts, Grt Marlborough Street
Felpham April 25: 1803

My Dear Sir
...
  But none can know the Spiritual Acts of my three years
Slumber on the banks of the Ocean unless he has seen them in the
Spirit or unless he should read My long Poem descriptive of those
Acts for I have in these three years composed an immense number
of verses on One Grand Theme Similar to Homers Iliad or Miltons
Paradise Lost the Person & Machinery intirely new to the
Inhabitants of Earth (some of the Persons Excepted) I have
written this Poem from immediate Dictation twelve or sometimes twenty or
thirty lines at a time without Premeditation & even against my
Will. the Time it has taken in writing was thus renderd Non
Existent. & an immense Poem Exists which seems to be the Labour
of a long Life all producd without Labour or Study.  I mention
this to shew you what I think the Grand Reason of my being
brought down here"

Letters, (E 729)
[To Thomas Butts]

"Felpham July 6. 1803
...
Thus I hope that all our three years trouble Ends in
Good Luck at last & shall be forgot by my affections & only
rememberd by my Understanding to be a Memento in time to come &
to speak to future generations by a Sublime Allegory which is now
perfectly completed into a Grand Poem. I may praise it since I
dare not pretend to be any other than the Secretary the Authors
are in Eternity I consider it as the Grandest Poem that This
World Contains.  Allegory addressd to the Intellectual powers
while it is altogether hidden from the Corporeal Understanding is
My Definition of the Most Sublime Poetry. it is also somewhat in
the same manner defind by Plato.  This Poem shall by Divine
Assistance be progressively Printed & Ornamented with Prints &
given to the Public--But of this work I take care to say little
to Mr H. since he is as much averse to my poetry as he is to a
Chapter in the Bible   He knows that I have writ it for I have
shewn it to him & he had read Part by his own desire & has lookd
with sufficient contempt to enhance my opinion of it.  But I do
not wish to irritate by seeming too obstinate in Poetic pursuits
But if all the World should set their   faces against This.  I
have Orders to set my face like a flint.  Ezekiel iii C   9 v.
against their faces & my forehead against their foreheads"

Letters, (E 783)
"[To] George Cumberland Esqre, Culver Street, Bristol

N 3 Fountain Court Strand 12 April 1827
Dear Cumberland
...
"You are desirous I know to dispose of some of my Works & to
make them Pleasing, I am obliged to you & to all who do so
But having none remaining of all that I had Printed I cannot
Print more Except at a great loss for at the time I printed those
things I had a whole House to range in now I am shut up in a
Corner therefore am forced to ask a Price for them that I
scarce expect to get from a Stranger.  I am now Printing a Set of
the Songs of Innocence & Experience for a Friend at Ten Guineas
which I cannot do under Six Months consistent with my other Work,
so that I have little hope of doing any more of such things. the
Last Work I produced is a Poem Entitled Jerusalem the Emanation
of the Giant Albion, but find that to Print it will Cost my Time
the amount of Twenty Guineas One I have Finishd It contains 100
Plates but it is not likely that I shall get a Customer for it
     As you wish me to send you a list with the Prices of these
things they are as follows
                                    L    s  d
     America                  6.   6. 0
     Europe                    6.   6. 0
     Visions &c               5.   5. 0
     Thel                         3.   3. 0
     Songs of Inn. & Exp. 10.  10. 0
     Urizen                      6.   6. 0
     The Little Card I will do as soon as Possible but when you
Consider that I have been reduced to a Skeleton from which I am
slowly recovering you will I hope have Patience with me.
     Flaxman is Gone & we must All soon follow every one to his
Own Eternal House Leaving the Delusive Goddess Nature & her Laws
to get into Freedom from all Law of the Members into The Mind in
which every one is King & Priest in his own House God Send it so
on Earth as it is in Heaven
I am Dear Sir Yours Affectionately
WILLIAM BLAKE"
. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

FOUR FACES OF MAN

Wikipedia Commons
Original in Library of Congress
Book of Urizen
Copy G, Plate 16


Songs of Innocence, Song 32, (E 19)   
"Love seeketh not Itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care;
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hells despair."     

Blake sought to translate 'The Four Faces of Man' in Eternity into expressions in the world in which we live. His goal was to build a 'Heaven in Hells despair.' He sought to remove the impediments which prevent the eternal dimensions of Music, Poetry, Painting and Architecture from becoming apparent in himself, in his London and in his earthly home.

Each of the Faces of Man derived from one of the Zoas into which the total man could be analyzed for the sake of connecting the mind to the panoply of existence.  
 
Four Faces of Man:
Music - Luvah - emotion
Poetry - Urthona - imagination
Painting - Tharmas - senses
Architecture - Urizen - reason

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.
And Science is divided into Bowlahoola & Allamanda."
Music is the manifestation of Luvah.
Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 134, (E 403)
"Attempting to be more than Man We become less said Luvah
As he arose from the bright feast drunk with the wine of ages
His crown of thorns fell from his head he hung his living Lyre
Behind the seat of the Eternal Man & took his way
Sounding the Song of Los descending to the Vineyards bright      
Poetry is the manifestation  of Urthona.
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 554)
  "The Last Judgment is not Fable or Allegory
but   Vision[.] Fable or Allegory are a totally distinct & inferior
kind of Poetry.  Vision or Imagination is a Representation of
what Eternally Exists.  Really & Unchangeably.  Fable or Allegory
is Formd by the Daughters of Memory.  Imagination is Surrounded
by the daughters of Inspiration who in the aggregate are calld
Jerusalem" 
 
Annotations to Wordsworth, (E 665)
"One Power alone makes a Poet.-Imagination The Divine Vision" 

Painting is the manifestation of Tharmas.    
Descriptive Catalogue, (E 541)
"Poetry consists in these conceptions; and shall
Painting be confined to the sordid drudgery of facsimile 
representations of merely mortal and perishing substances, and
not be as poetry and music are, elevated into its own proper
sphere of invention and visionary conception? No, it shall not 
be so!  Painting, as well as poetry and music, exists and exults 
in immortal thoughts."    
Architecture is the manifestation of Urizen.
On Virgil, (E 270)
"Mathematic Form is Eternal in the Reasoning Memory.  Living
Form is Eternal Existence.
  Grecian is Mathematic Form
  Gothic is Living Form"
. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

URIZEN THE ARCHITECT

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
 Plate 69, Copy E
In the post Struggle Within I quoted from Northrop Frye this statement:

"he realized that something profoundly new and disquieting was coming into the world, something with unlimited possibilities for good and for evil, which it would tax all his powers to interpret".

Blake accepted the challenge to interpret the conundrum around him.

If Blake was motivated to address the issues of his own time and the profound changes in the world around him, he did not view these upheavals in isolation. An understanding of the intellectual, social and political crises of his day could not be reached without considering past history and evolving culture. To Blake the development of the Enlightenment and the religion of Deism has its roots in ancient Druid practices of sacrifice.

 
Perhaps this passage can be seen in the light of a transition of Vala from her Eternal visage of beauty, love and bliss to be a goddess who rules by selfishness, cruelty and sacrifice of others. Urizen is the architect of the bleak and vengeful world which fails to elevate the Divine Humanity to its rightful place in the psyche of man.

 
It is reason (Urizen) who with the natural world (Vala) establishes an order which values only outer experience at the price of inner development. To Blake a world without imagination is a world of 'eternal despair'.

 
Jerusalem
, Plate 65, (E 216)
"Now: now the battle rages round thy tender limbs O Vala
Now smile among thy bitter tears: now put on all thy beauty     
Is not the wound of the sword sweet! & the broken bone delightful?
Wilt thou now smile among the scythes when the wounded groan in the field[?]
We were carried away in thousands from London; & in tens
Of thousands from Westminster & Marybone in ships closd up:

Chaind hand & foot, compelld to fight under the iron whips     
Of our captains; fearing our officers more than the enemy.
Lift up thy blue eyes Vala & put on thy sapphire shoes:
O melancholy Magdalen behold the morning over Malden break;
Gird on thy flaming zone, descend into the sepulcher of Canterbury.
Scatter the blood from thy golden brow, the tears from thy silver locks:
Shake off the waters from thy wings! & the dust from thy white garments
Remember all thy feigned terrors on the secret couch of Lambeths Vale
When the sun rose in glowing morn, with arms of mighty hosts
Marching to battle who was wont to rise with Urizens harps
Girt as a sower with his seed to scatter life abroad over Albion:
Arise O Vala! bring the bow of Urizen: bring the swift arrows of light.
How rag'd the golden horses of Urizen, compelld to the chariot of love!
Compelld to leave the plow to the ox, to snuff up the winds of desolation
To trample the corn fields in boastful neighings: this is no gentle harp
This is no warbling brook, nor shadow of a mirtle tree:          
But blood and wounds and dismal cries, and shadows of the oak:
And hearts laid open to the light, by the broad grizly sword:
And bowels hid in hammerd steel rip'd quivering on the ground.
Call forth thy smiles of soft deceit: call forth thy cloudy tears:
We hear thy sighs in trumpets shrill when morn shall blood renew.

So sang the Spectre Sons of Albion round Luvahs Stone of Trial:
Mocking and deriding at the writhings of their Victim on Salisbury:
Drinking his Emanation in intoxicating bliss rejoicing in Giant dance;
For a Spectre has no Emanation but what he imbibes from decieving
A Victim! Then he becomes her Priest & she his Tabernacle.    
And his Oak Grove, till the Victim rend the, woven Veil.
In the end of his sleep when Jesus calls him from his grave

Howling the Victims on the Druid Altars yield their souls
To the stern Warriors: lovely sport the Daughters round their Victims;
Drinking their lives in sweet intoxication. hence arose from Bath
Soft deluding odours, in spiral volutions intricately winding
Over Albions mountains, a feminine indefinite cruel delusion.
Astonishd: terrified & in pain & torment. Sudden they behold
Their own Parent the Emanation of their murderd Enemy
Become their Emanation and their Temple and Tabernacle         
They knew not. this Vala was their beloved Mother Vala Albions Wife.

Terrified at the sight of the Victim: at his distorted sinews!
The tremblings of Vala vibrate thro' the limbs of Albions Sons:
While they rejoice over Luvah in mockery & bitter scorn:
Sudden they become like what they behold in howlings & deadly pain.
Spasms smite their features, sinews & limbs: pale they look on one another.

They turn, contorted: their iron necks bend unwilling towards
Luvah: their lips tremble: their muscular fibres are crampd & smitten
They become like what they behold! Yet immense in strength & power,

PLATE 66
In awful pomp & gold, in all the precious unhewn stones of Eden


They build a stupendous Building on the Plain of Salisbury; with chains
Of rocks round London Stone: of Reasonings: of unhewn Demonstrations
In labyrinthine arches. (Mighty Urizen the Architect.) thro which
The Heavens might revolve & Eternity be bound in their chain.
Labour unparallelld! a wondrous rocky World of cruel destiny
Rocks piled on rocks reaching the stars: stretching from pole to pole.


The Building is Natural Religion & its Altars Natural Morality
A building of eternal death: whose proportions are eternal despair"
.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

BLAKE'S ARCHITECT

Many of Blake's connotations for Architect are negative. But in the original condition of Eternity Architecture is one of the four essential expressions of Humanity.

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.
And Science is divided into Bowlahoola & Allamanda."

Wikipedia
Book of Urizen
Copy B, Plate 1
When Urizen fell from his position in Eternity he took with him a third of the angels or stars of heaven and built of them a world of his own. 

 
America, Plate b [cancelled plate], (E 58) 
"In a sweet vale shelter'd with cedars, that eternal stretch 
Their unmov'd branches, stood the hall; built when the moon shot forth, 
In that dread night when Urizen call'd the stars round his feet; Then burst the center from its orb, and found a place beneath
And Earth conglob'd, in narrow room, roll'd round its sulphur Sun." 
  
 
 Four Zoas, Night V, Page 64, (E 344)
"I well remember for I heard the mild & holy voice
Saying O light spring up & shine & I sprang up from the deep 
He gave to me a silver scepter & crownd me with a golden crown
& said Go forth & guide my Son who wanders on the ocean  

I went not forth. I hid myself in black clouds of my wrath       
I calld the stars around my feet in the night of councils dark
The stars threw down their spears & fled naked away
We fell. I siezd thee dark Urthona In my left hand falling

I siezd thee beauteous Luvah thou art faded like a flower
And like a lilly is thy wife Vala witherd by winds"  
The world which Urizen built was the Mundane Shell. Seen as a physical entity it is the visible sky or 'crust of Matter' (Damon) which encloses us. Earthly things are projected onto the vast enclosing shell according to Urizen's design.

Milton, Plate 17 [19], (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"

Four Zoas, Night II, Page 24, (E 314) 
"Mighty was the draught of Voidness to draw Existence in

Terrific Urizen strode above, in fear & pale dismay
He saw the indefinite space beneath & his soul shrunk with horror
His feet upon the verge of Non Existence; his voice went forth
Luvah & Vala trembling & shrinking, beheld the great Work master
And heard his Word! Divide ye bands influence by influence
Build we a Bower for heavens darling in the grizly deep
Build we the Mundane Shell around the Rock of Albion

The Bands of Heaven flew thro the air singing & shouting to Urizen
Some fix'd the anvil, some the loom erected, some the plow       
And harrow formd & framd the harness of silver & ivory
The golden compasses, the quadrant & the rule & balance
They erected the furnaces, they formd the anvils of gold beaten in mills
Where winter beats incessant, fixing them firm on their base
The bellows began to blow & the Lions of Urizen stood round the anvil
Page 25 
And the leopards coverd with skins of beasts tended the roaring fires
Sublime distinct their lineaments divine of human beauty
The tygers of wrath called the horses of instruction from their mangers
They unloos'd them & put on the harness of gold & silver & ivory
In human forms distinct they stood round Urizen prince of Light
Petrifying all the Human Imagination into rock & sand"   
. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

STRUGGLE WITHIN

British Museum
Book of Urizen
Copy D, Plate 22
The 'contending forces' of which Blake wrote were no more distant to him than was the Divine Spirit from whom his visions came. The intensity with which Blake wrote derived from the intensity of his internal experience. His invitation to us is to draw into consciousness the wars which are being waged within the furnaces of our brains because the fires which erupt among contending factions throughout the world are fueled by inner conflicts. 
 
Although Blake's Poetry and Designs, edited by Mary Lynn Johnson and John E. Grant, contains large portions of Blake's poetry and prose, its greatest value may be in the commentary by Blake's contemporaries and by twentieth century critics. Frye's comments, Blake's Treatment of the Archetype, is particularly cogent as can be seen in this excerpt:

 
"In the opening plates of Jerusalem Blake has left a poignant account of such struggle of contending forces within himself, between his creative forces and his egocentric will. He saw the Industrial Revolution and the great political and cultural changes that came with it, and he realized that something profoundly new and disquieting was coming into the world, something with unlimited possibilities for good and for evil, which it would tax all his powers to interpret. And so his natural desire to make his living as an engraver and a figure in society collided with an overwhelming impulse to tell the whole poetic truth about what he saw. The latter force won and dictated its terms accordingly. He was not allowed to worry about his audience. He revised, but was not allowed to decorate or stylize, only to say what had to be said. He was not allowed the double talk of the sophisticated poet, who can address several levels of readers at once by using familiar conceptions ambiguously. Nothing was allowed him but a terrifying concentration of his powers of utterance. 

 
What finally emerged, out of one of the hottest poetic crucibles of modern times, was a poetry almost entirely of archetypes." (Page 522)  

Jerusalem, Plate 3, (E 145)
 "Reader! [lover] of books! [lover] of
     heaven,
    And of that God from whom [all books are given,]
    Who in mysterious Sinais awful cave
    To Man the wond'rous art of writing gave,
    Again he speaks in thunder and in fire!                
    Thunder of Thought, & flames of fierce desire:
    Even from the depths of Hell his voice I hear,
    Within the unfathomd caverns of my Ear.
    Therefore I print; nor vain my types shall be:
    Heaven, Earth & Hell, henceforth shall live in harmony 

            Of the Measure, in which
              the following Poem is written"

Jerusalem, Plate 82, (E 241)
"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!
Plate 83
Corruptibility appears upon thy limbs, and never more  
Can I arise and leave thy side, but labour here incessant
Till thy awaking! yet alas I shall forget Eternity!
Against the Patriarchal pomp and cruelty, labouring incessant
I shall become an Infant horror. Enion! Tharmas! friends      
Absorb me not in such dire grief: O Albion, my brother!
Jerusalem hungers in the desart! affection to her children!
The scorn'd and contemnd youthful girl, where shall she fly?
Sussex shuts up her Villages. Hants, Devon & Wilts
Surrounded with masses of stone in orderd forms, determine then 
A form for Vala and a form for Luvah, here on the Thames
Where the Victim nightly howls beneath the Druids knife:
A Form of Vegetation, nail them down on the stems of Mystery:
O when shall the Saxon return with the English his redeemed brother!
O when shall the Lamb of God descend among the Reprobate!" 

Four Zoas, Night II, PAGE 28,(E 318)
"These were the words of Luvah patient in afflictions
Reasoning from the loins in the unreal forms of Ulros night

And when Luvah age after age was quite melted with woe
The fires of Vala faded like a shadow cold & pale
An evanescent shadow. last she fell a heap of Ashes              
Beneath the furnaces a woful heap in living death
Then were the furnaces unscald with spades & pickaxes
Roaring let out the fluid, the molten metal ran in channels
Cut by the plow of ages held in Urizens strong hand
In many a valley, for the Bulls of Luvah dragd the Plow          

With trembling horror pale aghast the Children of Man
Stood on the infinite Earth & saw these visions in the air
In waters & in Earth beneath they cried to one another
What are we terrors to one another. Come O brethren wherefore
Was this wide Earth spread all abroad. not for wild beasts to roam           
But many stood silent & busied in their families
And many said We see no Visions in the darksom air
Measure the course of that sulphur orb that lights the darksom day
Set stations on this breeding Earth & let us buy & sell
Others arose & schools Erected forming Instruments               
To measure out the course of heaven. Stern Urizen beheld
In woe his brethren & his Sons in darkning woe lamenting
Upon the winds in clouds involvd Uttering his voice in thunders
Commanding all the work with care & power & severity

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."
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

GOLDEN TREASURY

In 1861 Francis Turner Palgrave compiled an anthology of poetry which proved to have wide appeal. In THE GOLDEN TREASURY Of the best Songs and Lyrical Pieces In the English Language, he included four of Blake's minor poems: one from Poetical Sketches and two from Songs of Innocence and one from Blake's notebook. In a later edition of his book, Palgrave made this statement about To the Muses:
  "This beautiful lyric, printed in 1783, seems to anticipate in its imaginative music that return to our great early age of song, which in Blake's own lifetime was to prove,--how gloriously! that the English Muses had resumed their 'ancient melody':--Keats, Shelley, Byron,--he  overlived them all." 
 
In 1899 Gwenllian F. Palgrave published Francis Turner Palgrave: His Journals and Memories of His Life in which we read:

"The strange but beautiful designs of the then little-known William Blake had early begun to fascinate him. Years afterwards he and the late Lord Houghton together attended Mr. Butts' sale of Blake's works, and each encouraged the other to become the possessor of many of his original drawings and engravings. It has often been said to us: 'Your father was one of the first who "preached" Blake.' Even somewhat higher still did he rank him as poet, perceiving the same qualities in his verse as in his art: the 'simple yet often majestic imagination, spiritual insight, profound feeling for grace and colour. ... His verse is narrow in its range, and at times eccentric to the neighbourhood of madness. But whatever he writes, his eye is always straight upon his subject.' My father would compare his soul with that of Fra Angelico, each living in the all-pervading presence of the spiritual life. 'To men of this class,' he has said, 'the Invisible world is the Visible, the Supernatural was the Real.'' The following letter was written in February 1845:

To Lady Palgrave

Balliol.

My dearest Mother,—. . . Yesterday evening Mr. Jowett asked me to have tea with him, after he had looked at some Greek of mine ; he was very kind and pleasant, and I hope that I shall see him oftener, now that Mr. Lake is away. He showed me a book which I dare say papa knows— W. Blake's ' Illustrations of the Book of Job.1 They are a number of little etchings, drawn and etched by Blake; and certainly they show immense power and originality. Though often quite out of drawing and grotesque, they are most interesting—far more than Flaxman, for instance. Schiavonetti's etchings in the 'Grave,' though far more correct, give but a faint idea of the force and vigour of these. If you can possibly borrow them, I am sure you will be exceedingly interested by them—I have seen nothing so extraordinary for a long time. Some, as of Job in misery, and of the Morning Stars singing for joy, are beautiful; some, as of a man tormented by dreams and the Vision of the Night, are most awful; and what adds much to the pleasure of seeing them, is that every stroke seems to do its utmost in expression, and to show that one mind both planned and executed them. Brothers, I am sure, would be much pleased with them ; at least, if they agree with their affectionate brother and your v. a. and v. d. son,
F. T. Palgrave."


Francis Palgrave was a collector as well and acquired some items created by William Blake. In the British Museum is Copy D of The Book of Urizen which was sold to the museum by Palgrave in 1859. An item now in the collection of the Tate Gallery was a gift from Palgrave to the National Gallery in 1884. Palgrave purchased The Body of Christ Borne to the Tomb from Thomas Butts, Jr. in 1852 and gave it to the National Gallery thirty-two years later. 
Wikipedia Commons
Body of Christ Borne to the Tomb
Blake poems included in THE GOLDEN TREASURY:  
Poetical Sketches, (E 417)
          "TO THE MUSES.
Whether on Ida's shady brow,
  Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the sun, that now
  From antient melody have ceas'd;

Whether in Heav'n ye wander fair,                    
  Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air,
  Where the melodious winds have birth;

Whether on chrystal rocks ye rove,
  Beneath the bosom of the sea                     
Wand'ring in many a coral grove,
  Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!

How have you left the antient love
  That bards of old enjoy'd in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move!                 
  The sound is forc'd, the notes are few!" 

Songs and Ballads, [from Blake's Notebook], (E 467)
"Never pain to tell thy Love  
Love that never told can be
For the gentle wind does move
Silently invisibly

I told my love I told my love              
I told her all my heart
Trembling cold in ghastly fears
Ah she doth depart

Soon as she was gone from me
A traveller came by                            
Silently invisibly
O was no deny" 
Songs of Innocence, SONG 25 (E 16)
"Infant Joy
I have no name
I am but two days old.--
What shall I call thee?
I happy am
Joy is my name,--  
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy but two days old,
Sweet joy I call thee;
Thou dost smile. 
I sing the while
Sweet joy befall thee."
 Songs of Innocence, SONG 16, (E 11) 
"A CRADLE SONG
Sweet dreams form a shade,
O'er my lovely infants head.
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams,
By happy silent moony beams.

Sweet sleep with soft down,  
Weave thy brows an infant crown.
Sweet sleep Angel mild,
Hover o'er my happy child.

Sweet smiles in the night,
Hover over my delight.
Sweet smiles Mothers smiles
All the livelong night beguiles.

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Chase not slumber from thy eyes.
Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,  
All the dovelike moans beguiles.

Sleep sleep happy child.
All creation slept and smil'd.
Sleep sleep, happy sleep,
While o'er thee thy mother weep.  

Sweet babe in thy face,
Holy image I can trace.
Sweet babe once like thee,
Thy maker lay and wept for me" 
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Friday, August 15, 2014

SPENSER'S CHARACTERS

william-blake.org CHARACTERS FROM SPENSER'S "FAERIE QUEENE"

Poetical Sketches is a book of Blake's immature poems published by his friends when he was 26 years old. Included is An Imitation of Spenser demonstrating that he was a student of Spenser from his youth.
Poetical Sketches, Published 1783, (E 420)
  "AN IMITATION OF SPEN[S]ER.

Golden Apollo, that thro' heaven wide
  Scatter'st the rays of light, and truth's beams!
In lucent words my darkling verses dight,
  And wash my earthy mind in thy clear streams,
  That wisdom may descend in fairy dreams:         
All while the jocund hours in thy train
Scatter their fancies at thy poet's feet;
  And when thou yields to night thy wide domain,        
Let rays of truth enlight his sleeping brain.

For brutish Pan in vain might thee assay          
  With tinkling sounds to dash thy nervous verse,
Sound without sense; yet in his rude affray,
  (For ignorance is Folly's leesing nurse,              
  And love of Folly needs none other curse;)            
Midas the praise hath gain'd of lengthen'd eares,       
  For which himself might deem him neer the worse
  To sit in council with his modern peers,
And judge of tinkling rhimes, and elegances terse.

And thou, Mercurius, that with winged brow
  Dost mount aloft into the yielding sky,      
And thro' Heav'n's halls thy airy flight dost throw,
Entering with holy feet to where on high
Jove weighs the counsel of futurity;
  Then, laden with eternal fate, dost go
Down, like a falling star, from autumn sky,        
And o'er the surface of the silent deep dost fly.

  If thou arrivest at the sandy shore,
Where nought but envious hissing adders dwell,
  Thy golden rod, thrown on the dusty floor,
Can charm to harmony with potent spell;       
Such is sweet Eloquence, that does dispel
  Envy and Hate, that thirst for human gore:
And cause in sweet society to dwell
Vile savage minds that lurk in lonely cell.

  O Mercury, assist my lab'ring sense,           
That round the circle of the world wou'd fly!
  As the wing'd eagle scorns the tow'ry fence
Of Alpine bills round his high aery,
And searches thro' the corners of the sky,
  Sports in the clouds to hear the thunder's sound,   
And see the winged lightnings as they fly,       
  Then, bosom'd in an amber cloud, around
Plumes his wide wings, and seeks Sol's palace high.

  And thou, O warrior maid, invincible,          
Arm'd with the terrors of Almighty Jove!           
  Pallas, Minerva, maiden terrible,
Lov'st thou to walk the peaceful solemn grove,
  In solemn gloom of branches interwove?
Or bear'st thy Egis o'er the burning field,
  Where, like the sea, the waves of battle move?   
Or have thy soft piteous eyes beheld
  The weary wanderer thro' the desert rove?
Or does th' afflicted man thy heav'nly bosom move?"

Late in life Blake painted a large picture titled CHARACTERS FROM SPENSER'S "FAERIE QUEENE". The date of this picture is estimated to be 1825. Since it was sold by Blake's widow Catherine to the 3rd Earl of Egremont two years after Blake's death, it was not commissioned by a specific patron. The picture now belongs to the National Trust and is located at Petworth House in Sussex.

Scholars believe that Blake was commenting on Spenser's work and philosophy as well as illustrating specific events in Spenser's poetry. Damon provides details in A Blake Dictionary. Much more information is available in Blake & Spenser by Robert F. Gleckner.

Catherine was concerned for the care of the picture and gave these instructions: ‘Mr Blake had a great dislike to his pictures falling into the hands of the picture cleaners.’

To see more detail in the picture, select one of the four images and zoom to a specific area of the picture in the National Trust. 
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

COUCH OF DEATH

University of Toronto Library
The publishing history of Blake's illustrations to Robert Blair's The Grave does not end with Cromek's publication on his edition with 12 of Blake's illustrations engraved by Schiavonetti. Cromek promoted the book aggressively and marketed 589 copies to subscribers. Cromek, however, did not long reap the fruits of his labors because he died of tuberculosis in 1812. Cromek had released publication rights to another publisher, Ackerman, who was developing a market in South America. Using Blake's designs, "Meditaciones Poeticas" written by Jose Joaquin de Mora was published by Ackerman in 1826 and printed in Mexico.

Learn more on this Spanish language website.


Gates of Paradise, (E 269)
"But when once I did descry 
The Immortal Man that cannot Die
Thro evening shades I haste away 
To close the Labours of my Day"

Poetical Sketches, (E 441)
                                   THE
                         COUCH OF DEATH.
 "The traveller that hath taken shelter under an oak, eyes
the distant country with joy!  Such smiles were seen upon the
face of the youth! a visionary hand wiped away his tears, and a
ray of light beamed around his head!  All was still.  The moon
hung not out her lamp, and the stars faintly glimmered in the
summer sky; the breath of night slept among the leaves of the
forest; the bosom of the lofty hill drank in the silent dew,
while on his majestic brow the voice of Angels is heard, and
stringed sounds ride upon the wings of night.  The sorrowful pair
lift up their heads, hovering Angels are around them, voices of
comfort are heard over the Couch of Death, and the youth breathes
out his soul with joy into eternity."
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

GOLDEN BUILDERS

Republished from November 23, 2013 

Kathleen Raine's studies of William Blake and his sources in the literature of the perennial philosophy were key to unlocking many of the symbols which abound in Blake's work. But her commitment to the thought of Blake did not end with presenting links in Blake to the traditional literature which was excluded by orthodox interpreters, she became with Blake a builder of Golgonnoza. She realised that his message of psychological/spiritual development should not be buried or hidden but was meant to be put to use in transforming individual psyches and the outer world which reflects inner realities.

On page 4 of Golgonooza City of Imagination Raine calls Blake 'a patriot of the inner worlds' who wages the Mental Fight unceasing: "Uncomprehended though he was, Blake was not, like Yeats, an esotericist. He addressed his prophetic message 'to the Public' and whether he would be understood he did not stop to question - his vision was, to him, clear beyond all doubt. He was a patriot of the inner worlds, of the England of the Imagination whose 'golden builders' he saw at work in the creation of Golgonooza the city within the brain (golgos, skull), 'the spiritual fourfold London Eternal'. He saw his nation 'sunk in deadly sleep', victim of 'deadly dreams' of a materialism whose effects in all aspects of national life were destructive and sorrowful, wars, exploitation of human labour, sexual hypocrisy, a 'cruel' morality of condemnation and punitive laws, the denial and oppression of the soul's winged life."


Yale Center for British Art
Blake's Water-Colours for the
The Poems of Thomas Gray
Milton, Plate 1, (E 95)
    "And did those feet in ancient time,
     Walk upon Englands mountains green:
     And was the holy Lamb of God,
     On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

     And did the Countenance Divine,             
     Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
     And was Jerusalem builded here,
     Among these dark Satanic Mills?

     Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
     Bring me my Arrows of desire:                     
     Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
     Bring me my Chariot of fire!

     I will not cease from Mental Fight,
     Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
     Till we have built Jerusalem,                     
     In Englands green & pleasant Land."
Milton, Plate 12,(E 155)
"And they builded Golgonooza: terrible eternal labour!

What are those golden builders doing? where was the burying-place
Of soft Ethinthus? near Tyburns fatal Tree? is that
Mild Zions hills most ancient promontory; near mournful
Ever weeping Paddington? is that Calvary and Golgotha?
Becoming a building of pity and compassion? Lo!
The stones are pity, and the bricks, well wrought affections:    
Enameld with love & kindness, & the tiles engraven gold
Labour of merciful hands: the beams & rafters are forgiveness:
The mortar & cement of the work, tears of honesty: the nails,
And the screws & iron braces, are well wrought blandishments,
And well contrived words, firm fixing, never forgotten,         
Always comforting the remembrance: the floors, humility,
The cielings, devotion: the hearths, thanksgiving:
Prepare the furniture O Lambeth in thy pitying looms!
The curtains, woven tears & sighs, wrought into lovely forms
For comfort. there the secret furniture of Jerusalems chamber    
Is wrought: Lambeth! the Bride the Lambs Wife loveth thee:
Thou art one with her & knowest not of self in thy supreme joy. 
Go on, builders in hope: tho Jerusalem wanders far away,
Without the gate of Los: among the dark Satanic wheels."
Raine's understanding of Blake's efforts to foster the spiritual attributes underlying the city in which imagination dwells is expanded on page 107: "The sole object of all the labours of Golgonnza, 'ever building ever falling', is to provide an earthly habitation for Jerusalem. It is ever in secrecy and obscurity, in human love, in every sense of that word, that foundations of the city are laid...Blake perfectly and eloquently expresses all he felt about what a human city is, in its inner essence, as a building of human souls each individually, and all collectively labouring to embody a vision whose realization will be only when all is done 'on earth as it is in heaven', according to the archetype of the human Imagination. Blake never presented the building of Jerusalem as the work of a few men or outstanding genius or 'originality', but rather of all the city's inhabitants, the 'golden builders.'"

First Corinthians 3
[9] For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
[10] According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
[11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 
Video of Kathleen Raine on the imagination. 
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Friday, August 8, 2014

LAND OF DREAMS

Benjamin Heath Malkin memorialized the short life of his promising young son by publishing A Father's Memories of His Child in 1806. William Blake was engaged to design the frontispiece for the book which was engraved by Cromek. Malkin included in the introduction a biography of Blake in which he incorporated several of Blake's  poems: five from Songs of Innocence & Experience and one from Poetical Sketches. 

Blake never failed to be touched by the loss of a young person especially one who showed promise of growing into a person of imagination. Recall his reaction to the death of his younger brother Robert, and to William Hayley's loss of his son Thomas Alphonso. Malkin was drawn to give encouragement to Blake because of Blake's  understanding of Maklin's profound experience of loss over the death of his precocious seven year old son. 

In this poem it is the Mother who has crossed over to the other side and the child and Father who are left behind. In the land of dreams the family is reunited but the experience is temporary and can't be replicated. Blake's expresses a longing to cross the stream and leave behind the doubt and fear of this world in The Land of Dreams.

Pickering Manuscript, (E 486)
 "The Land of Dreams

Awake awake my little Boy
Thou wast thy Mothers only joy
Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep
Awake thy Father does thee keep

O what Land is the Land of Dreams     
What are its Mountains & what are its Streams
O Father I saw my Mother there
Among the Lillies by waters fair

Among the Lambs clothed in white
She walkd with her Thomas in sweet delight   
I wept for joy like a dove I mourn
O when shall I again return

Dear Child I also by pleasant Streams
Have wanderd all Night in the Land of Dreams
But tho calm & warm the Waters wide  
I could not get to the other side

Father O Father what do we here
In this Land of unbelief & fear
The Land of Dreams is better far
Above the light of the Morning Star"   
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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IMAGINATION IS MY ELEMENT

British Museum
Photogravure of Blake's Life Mask
In Blake's time phrenology was a popular attempt to link the activities of the brain with the shape of the skull. Attempts were made to predict both intellectual abilities and behavioral characteristics by measuring and mapping the heads of numerous individuals. To accommodate his neighbor, the phrenologist de Ville, Blake had a life mask made in 1823. De Ville was interested in Blake's skull as an example of the characteristic imagination. The mask is disappointing as a portrayal of Blake's face because of the discomfort of being enclosed in hardening plaster.
 
In the British Museum is an image of the mask produced in photogravure, an early photographic technique which is still used to produce high quality art prints. The photograph was formerly in the collection of William Blake Richmond, the son of George Richmond who was in the group of young followers of Blake who called themselves 'The Ancients.'  The gentle, introverted man, confident in himself and determined to follow his course, is better captured in this undated print than in the other photographs of the life mask.
 
I am reminded of the Apostle Paul's remark about the goal of his life:
Acts 20
[24] But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 

Annotations to Reynolds, (E 648)
"Knowledge of Ideal Beauty. is Not to be Acquired It is Born
with us Innate Ideas. are in Every Man Born with him. they are
 Himself.  The Man who says that we have No Innate Ideas
must be a Fool & Knave." 

Annotations to Reynolds, (E 656)
"If Art was Progressive We should have had Mich Angelo's &
Rafaels to Succeed & to Improve upon each other But it is not so. 
Genius dies Possessor & comes not again till Another is Born with
It
...
Reynolds Thinks that Man Learns all that he Knows I say on
the Contrary That Man Brings All that he has or Can have Into the
World with him.  Man is Born Like a Garden ready Planted & Sown  
This World is too poor to produce one Seed"

Annotations to Reynolds, (E 660)
"Inspiration & Vision was then & now
is & I hope will
always Remain my Element my Eternal Dwelling place. how can I
then hear it Contemnd without returning Scorn for Scorn" 
Letters, (E 714)
[To William Hayley]
" Time flies very fast and very
merrily.  I sometimes  try to be miserable that I may do more
work, but find it is a  foolish experiment.  Happinesses have
wings and wheels; miseries  are leaden legged and their whole
employment is to clip the wings  and to take off the wheels of
our chariots.  We determine,  therefore, to be happy and do all
that we can, tho' not all that  we would."

Letters, (E 723)
[To] Mr Butts, 
"I am now engaged in Engraving 6 small plates for a New
Edition of Mr Hayleys Triumphs of Temper. from drawings by Maria
Flaxman sister to my friend the Sculptor and it seems that other
things will follow in course if I do but Copy these well. but
Patience! if Great things do not turn out it is because
such things depend on the Spiritual & not on the
Natural World & if it was fit for me I doubt not that I should be
Employd in Greater things & when it is proper my Talents shall be
properly exercised in Public. as I hope they are now in private.
for till then.  I leave no stone unturnd & no path unexplord that
tends to improvement in my beloved Arts.  One thing of real
consequence I have accomplishd by coming into the country. which
is to me consolation enough, namely.  I have recollected all my
scatterd thoughts on Art & resumed my primitive & original ways
of Execution in both painting & Engraving. which in the confusion
of London I had very much lost & obliterated from my mind.  But
whatever becomes of my labours I would rather that they should be
preservd in your Green House (not as you mistakenly call it dung
hill). than in the cold
gallery of fashion.--The Sun may yet shine & then they will be
brought into open air." 
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