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

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Library of Congress Jerusalem
Plate 54, Copy I
Blake rarely speaks in his own voice. On Plate 25 of Jerusalem, speaking in the first person, he allows us to directly share his 'awful vision.' Albion is divided fourfold: into his Humanity, his Emanation, his Spectre and his Shadow. This is the nature of Albion's sleep: that his Humanity allows his Emanation, Spectre and Shadow to run rampant devastating the nation in 'terrors and scourges', in tyrannic works, in 'deadly fear.' 
Blake endures the 'awful vision' until it is resolved beyond the chaos. Albion will sleep; he will remain in his status of internal contentions, and outward turmoil until the Divine Hand provides the denouement by sending an infant into the manger at Bethlehem. 

Jerusalem, plate 25, (E 158)
"such is my awful Vision.   

I see the Four-fold Man. The Humanity in deadly sleep
And its fallen Emanation. The Spectre & its cruel Shadow.
I see the Past, Present & Future, existing all at once
Before me; O Divine Spirit sustain me on thy wings!
That I may awake Albion from His long & cold repose.             
For Bacon & Newton sheathd in dismal steel, their terrors hang
Like iron scourges over Albion, Reasonings like vast Serpents
Infold around my limbs, bruising my minute articulations

I turn my eyes to the Schools & Universities of Europe
And there behold the Loom of Locke whose Woof rages dire  
Washd by the Water-wheels of Newton. black the cloth
In heavy wreathes folds over every Nation; cruel Works
Of many Wheels I View, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic
Moving by compulsion each other: not as those in Eden: which
Wheel within Wheel in freedom revolve in harmony & peace. 

I see in deadly fear in London Los raging round his Anvil
Of death: forming an Ax of gold: the Four Sons of Los
Stand round him cutting the Fibres from Albions hills
That Albions Sons may roll apart over the Nations
While Reuben enroots his brethren in the narrow Canaanite    
From the Limit Noah to the Limit Abram in whose Loins
Reuben in his Twelve-fold majesty & beauty shall take refuge
As Abraham flees from Chaldea shaking his goary locks
But first Albion must sleep, divided from the Nations

I see Albion sitting upon his Rock in the first Winter           
And thence I see the Chaos of Satan & the World of Adam
When the Divine Hand went forth on Albion in the mid Winter
And at the place of Death when Albion sat in Eternal Death
Among the Furnaces of Los in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom"

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