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

Friday, June 26, 2015

NUPTIAL SONG [14]


uga.edu, Four Zoas, Night I, Page 14
Four Zoas, Night I, PAGE 13, (E 308) "And Los & Enitharmon sat in discontent & scorn The Nuptial Song arose from all the thousand thousand spirits Over the joyful Earth & Sea, and ascended into the Heavens For Elemental Gods their thunderous Organs blew; creating Delicious Viands. Demons of Waves their watry Eccho's woke! Bright Souls of vegetative life, budding and blossoming" 

 Four Zoas, Night I, PAGE 14, (E 308)
"Stretch their immortal hands to smite the gold & silver Wires
And with immortal Voice soft warbling fill all Earth & Heaven.
With doubling Voices & loud Horns wound round sounding
Cavernous dwellers fill'd the enormous Revelry, Responsing!
And Spirits of Flaming fire on high, govern'd the mighty Song.   

And This the Song! sung at The Feast of Los & Enitharmon

Ephraim calld out to Zion: Awake O Brother Mountain
Let us refuse the Plow & Spade, the heavy Roller & spiked
Harrow. burn all these Corn fields. throw down all these fences
Fattend on Human blood & drunk with wine of life is better far   

Than all these labours of the harvest & the vintage. See the river
Red with the blood of Men. swells lustful round my rocky knees
My clouds are not the clouds of verdant fields & groves of fruit
But Clouds of Human Souls. my nostrils drink the lives of Men

The Villages Lament. they faint outstretchd upon the plain       
Wailing runs round the Valleys from the Mill & from the Barn 
But most the polishd Palaces dark silent bow with dread
Hiding their books & pictures. underneath the dens of Earth

The Cities send to one another saying My sons are Mad
With wine of cruelty. Let us plat a Scourge O Sister City
Children are nourishd for the Slaughter; once the Child was fed
With Milk; but wherefore now are Children fed with blood"
 
Los and Enitharmon sit together at their wedding feast serenaded by the Elemental Gods. What they hear is the consequences of the fall which has been set in motion by the striking of the blow by Los and the calling forth of Urizen by Enitharmon. The rulers of the elemental world know nothing of Eternity. They rejoice that time and space will bring to them souls whom they can enlist in conflict, one against the other.

Blake wrote of this point of transition when the mind becomes captive to perceiving not unity but division to great dramatic effect on Plate 5 of Europe
Europe, Plate 3, (E 61)
     The deep of winter came;                                    
     What time the secret child,
Descended thro' the orient gates of the eternal day:
War ceas'd, & all the troops like shadows fled to their abodes.

Then Enitharmon saw her sons & daughters rise around.            
Like pearly clouds they meet together in the crystal house:
And Los, possessor of the moon, joy'd in the peaceful night:
Thus speaking while his num'rous sons shook their bright fiery wings

Again the night is come 
That strong Urthona takes his rest,                              
And Urizen unloos'd from chains                                  
Glows like a meteor in the distant north
Stretch forth your hands and strike the elemental strings!
Awake the thunders of the deep."

Milton Percival, in William Blake's Circle of Destiny, demonstrates the irony of the this event as a Nuptial Feast. It is an acknowledgment that Los and Enitharmon are not joined but completely alienated. The harvest and the vintage are not to be enjoyed at this feast. This feast celebrates the pouring out of human life and the spilling of human blood.   

"The creation of the star world is preceded in the Four Zoas (the one complete account of the achievement) by the feast of mortality. This feast is also the nuptial feast of the youthful Los and Enitharmon. The appearance of Urthona, the essential man, in the male and female forms of Los and Enitharmon indicates that the rational mind now sees the universe as dual. Urizen apparently expects his star world to reconcile this duality, to minimize the consequence of a separation into Spectre and  Emanation, in a word to accomplish the 'marriage' of Los and Enitharmon. He draws his inferences, in true rational fashion, from the outward, rather than the inward principle. His true alliance is with Enitharmon, not with Los. Consequently the creation in which he hopes to reconcile the strife of the contraries is predominately feminine - a natural world. Law is its principle, and the stars are its symbol." (Page 150)
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