During the time that Blake was most reproachful about the treatment he has received at the hands of Cromek for cheating him out of the earnings he should have received for engraving his designs of Blair's The Grave, he made a unique entry into his notebook.
British Museum Blake's Notebook Page 88
British Museum Blake's Notebook Page 89
Miscellaneous Prose, Memoranda from Notebook, PAGE 88, (E 696) "South Molton Street Sunday August . 18O7 My Wife was told by a Spirit to look for her fortune by opening by chance a book which she had in her hand it was Bysshes Art of Poetry. She opend the following I saw 'em kindle with Desire While with soft sighs they blew the fire Saw the approaches of their joy He growing more fierce & she less coy Saw how they mingled melting rays Exchanging Love a thousand ways Kind was the force on every side Her new desire she could not hide Nor would the shepherd be denied The blessed minute he pursud Till she transported in his arms Yields to the Conqueror all her charms His panting breast to hers now joind They feast on raptures unconfind Vast & luxuriant such as prove The immortality of Love For who but a Divinity Could mingle souls to that degree And melt them into Extasy Now like the Phoenix both expire While from the ashes of their fire Spring up a new & soft desire Like charmers thrice they did invoke The God & thrice new Vigor took BEHN I was so well pleased with her Luck that I thought I would try my Own & opend the following As when the winds their airy quarrel try Justling from every quarter of the Sky This way & that the Mountain oak they bear His boughs they shatter & his branches tear PAGE 89 With leaves & falling mast they spread the Ground The hollow Valleys Eccho [the] to the Sound Unmovd the royal plant their fury mocks Or shaken clings more closely to the rocks For as he shoots his lowring head on high So deep in earth his fixd foundations lie DRYDENS VIRGIL"The book in which they found these verses which affirmed and comforted them was a popular work by Edward Bysshe which was first published in 1702 and revised several times. The Art of English Poetry contains sections on writing poetry, quotes from numerous poets arranged by themes, and a rhyming dictionary.
In this electronic copy of the 1737 edition you can locate the passage Catherine selected: Vol i, Page 139. William's selection is included on Page 9 in Vol ii of the 1762 edition.
This is the poem Blake wrote in the notebook following the poetry he copied from The Art of English Poetry.
British Museum Blake's Notebook Page 4
Songs & Ballads, From Notebook, (E 481) "I rose up at the dawn of day Get thee away get thee away Prayst thou for Riches away away This is the Throne of Mammon grey Said I this sure is very odd I took it to be the Throne of God For every Thing besides I have It is only for Riches that I can crave I have Mental Joy & Mental Health And Mental Friends & Mental wealth Ive a Wife I love & that loves me Ive all But Riches Bodily I am in Gods presence night & day And he never turns his face away The accuser of sins by my side does stand And he holds my money bag in his hand For my worldly things God makes him pay And hed pay for more if to him I would pray And so you may do the worst you can do Be assurd Mr Devil I wont pray to you Then If for Riches I must not Pray God knows I little of Prayers need say So as a Church is known by its Steeple If I pray it must be for other People He says if I do not worship him for a God I shall eat coarser food & go worse shod So as I dont value such things as these You must do Mr Devil just as God please"