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

Thursday, October 23, 2014


British Museum
Plate 4, Copy D
Plate 4 of Copy D of Europe is considered to be a continuation of the Preludium. It contains inscriptions added by Cumberland perhaps under the supervision of Blake, as do Plates 2 and 3. The transcription of the inscriptions and identification of their authors is provided by the Blake Archive. The added text can be found in The Art of English Poetry by Edward Bysshe. The lines at the top of the plate are from Samuel Garth, The Dispensary and those on the bottom from Sir Richard Blackmore, Prince Arthur (1695).

Upper Quote:
          "Storms, Tempests. &c
He views with horror next the noisy cave
Where with hoarse din imprisond tempests rave
Where clam'rous Hurricanes attempt their flight
Or whirling in tumultuous Eddies fight."

Lower quote:
 "This orbs wide frame with the convulsion shakes,
Oft opens in the Storm, and often cracks,
Horror, Amazement, and Despair appear,
In all the hideous forms that Mortals fear."

On Plate 4 Blake continues the speech begun by the Shadowy Female on Plate 3. The Shadowy Female is an immortal to whom the potentiality for destructive turmoil is visible. She desires that the storms which open the cracks which let out the tumult not be released to the world of matter. But Enitharmon allows the energy which has been contained to be unleashed . The Shadowy Female retreats as her energy is transferred to Enitharmon to be bound to matter.
Europe, Plate 2, (E 61)
"Unwilling I look up to heaven! unwilling count the stars!
Sitting in fathomless abyss of my immortal shrine.
I sieze their burning power
And bring forth howling terrors, all devouring fiery kings.

Devouring & devoured roaming on dark and desolate mountains      
In forests of eternal death, shrieking in hollow trees.
Ah mother Enitharmon!
Stamp not with solid form this vig'rous progeny of fires.

I bring forth from my teeming bosom myriads of flames.
And thou dost stamp them with a signet, then they roam abroad    
And leave me void as death:
Ah! I am drown'd in shady woe, and visionary joy.

And who shall bind the infinite with an eternal band?
To compass it with swaddling bands? and who shall cherish it
With milk and honey?                                             
I see it smile & I roll inward & my voice is past.

She ceast & rolld her shady clouds
Into the secret place."

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