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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

EUROPE PLATE 7

British Museum
Europe
Plate 7, Copy D
The inscription at the top of this plate is the word, "War."

At the bottom is a quote from William Shakespeare's Henry VI as identified in the Blake Archive:
 
"O war! thou Son of Hell,
Whom angry heavens do make their minister!"


On Plate 7 of Europe it is Enitharmon who is gaining expression in the natural world. The prevailing system will be hers, not Urizen's or Los's. This paradigm of order began, according to Blake at the beginning of the Christian centuries. The two underlying characteristics of it are:

"Womans love is Sin! 

That an Eternal life awaits the worms of sixty winters
In an allegorical abode where existence hath never come:"

First, womans love, that which joins the essential man to his emanation (his outer expression) is labeled sinful.

Second that there is no access to Eternity in earthly life. Heaven is postponed until after death and becomes an allegory of life on earth.

The image on Plate 7 presents striking contrasts. The muscular male wears a crown, carries a sword and is clothed in armor or protected by scales. The two winged females wear gowns and their faces present pleased expressions. The main statement made by their visages reflects the characteristics of Enitharmon's blissful world. That womans love is sin is expressed by the woman covering her breasts; that Eternal life awaits in an allegorical abode is express by the second woman's hands positioned for prayer. Blake's thesis is that the attitudes of the women induce men to engage in war.


Europe, Plate 5, (E 62)
"Now comes the night of Enitharmons joy!                          
Who shall I call? Who shall I send?
That Woman, lovely Woman! may have dominion?
Arise O Rintrah thee I call! & Palamabron thee!
Go! tell the human race that Womans love is Sin!                 
That an Eternal life awaits the worms of sixty winters
In an allegorical abode where existence hath never come:
Forbid all joy, & from her childhood shall the little female
Spread nets in every secret path.

My weary eyelids draw towards the evening, my bliss is yet but new."    

Jerusalem, Plate 68, (E 222)
"Why trembles the Warriors limbs when he beholds thy beauty
Spotted with Victims blood: by the fires of thy secret tabernacle
And thy ark & holy place: at thy frowns: at thy dire revenge    
Smitten as Uzzah of old: his armour is softend; his spear
And sword faint in his hand, from Albion across Great Tartary
O beautiful Daughter of Albion: cruelty is thy delight
O Virgin of terrible eyes, who dwellest by Valleys of springs
Beneath the Mountains of Lebanon, in the City of Rehob in Hamath
Taught to touch the harp: to dance in the Circle of Warriors
Before the Kings of Canaan: to cut the flesh from the Victim
To roast the flesh in fire: to examine the Infants limbs
In cruelties of holiness: to refuse the joys of love: to bring
The Spies from Egypt, to raise jealousy in the bosoms of the Twelve         
Kings of Canaan: then to let the Spies depart to Meribah Kadesh
To the place of the Amalekite; I am drunk with unsatiated love
I must rush again to War: for the Virgin has frownd & refusd
Sometimes I curse & sometimes bless thy fascinating beauty
Once Man was occupied in intellectual pleasures & energies   
But now my soul is harrowd with grief & fear & love & desire
And now I hate & now I love & Intellect is no more:
There is no time for any thing but the torments of love & desire
The Feminine & Masculine Shadows soft, mild & ever varying
In beauty: are Shadows now no more, but Rocks in Horeb"

These words on Plate 7:
  "Who shall I call? Who shall I send?"
direct our attention to Isaiah 6 when the Lord asks Isaiah whom he shall send and Isaiah replies, "send me." Blake is intimating that there is a lack of understanding and distortion concerning the message of Jesus. The error will continue until the land is laid waste and the direction is changed.

Isaiah 6
[6] Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
[7] And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
[8] Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
[9] And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
[10] Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
[11] Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 
.

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