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

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Four Zoas, Night I 
Page 6
Four Zoas, Night I, PAGE 6, (E 303)
"She drew the Spectre forth from Tharmas in her shining loom
Of Vegetation weeping in wayward infancy & sullen youth
Listning to her soft lamentations soon his tongue began
To Lisp out words & soon in masculine strength augmenting he
Reard up a form of gold & stood upon the glittering rock        
A shadowy human form winged & in his depths
The dazzlings gems shone clear, rapturous in fury
Glorying in his own eyes   Exalted in terrific Pride

[Deleted lines in text:]
Searching for glory wishing that the heavens had eyes to See
And counting that the Earth would ope her Eyelids & behold
Such wondrous beauty repining in the midst of all his glory
That nought but Enion could be found to praise adore & love
Three days in self admiring raptures on the rocks he flamd
And three dark nights repind the solitude. but the third morn
Astonishd he found Enion hidden in the darksom Cave


She spoke What am I wherefore was I put forth on these rocks
Among the Clouds to tremble in the wind in solitude
Where is the voice that lately woke the desart Where the Face
That wept among the clouds & where the voice that shall reply
No other living thing is here.  The Sea the Earth. the Heaven
And Enion desolate where art thou Tharmas O return

Three days she waild & three dark nights sitting among he Rocks
While the bright spectre hid himself among the ?backing clouds
Then sleep fell on her eyelids in a Chasm of the Valley
The Sixteenth morn the Spectre stood before her manifest

[Continuation after deletion]
The Spectre thus spoke. Who art thou Diminutive husk & shell
If thou hast sinnd & art polluted know that I am pure
And unpolluted & will bring to rigid strict account
All thy past deeds [So] hear what I tell thee! mark it well! remember!
This world is Thine in which thou dwellest that within thy soul
That dark & dismal infinite where Thought roams up & down   
Is Mine & there thou goest when with one Sting of my tongue
Envenomd thou rolist inwards to the place whence I emergd
She trembling answerd Wherefore was I born & what am I
I thought to weave a Covering for my Sins from wrath of Tharmas"

The deleted lines are supplied in the Textural Notes written by David V Erdman in The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake. Page 816-846 provide notes on the manuscript for The Four Zoas including much deleted material.

S Foster Damon in A Blake Dictionary gives us a clue to understanding the process Tharmas underwent as his Spectre was drawn from him by Enion:

"All four Zoas have Spectres, even Urizen. However, we must not expect to understand them always as 'reason' but rather as their compulsive machinery. Thus the Spectre of Tharmas is the sexual potency of the male, which awakes and is divided at puberty, when the attraction and revulsion between the sexes begins." (Page 382)

Although the attraction of the female stimulates the masculine awakening, the male becomes enamored of his own masculinity. The female becomes a means which is foreign to his own 'dark and dismal infinite where Thought roams up & down.' The female finds that she cannot dissociate herself although she has inadvertently alienated herself from an essential aspect of herself.

The figure in the illustration appears passive but Blake may be picturing what is left of Tharmas after his Emanation and Spectre have departed. The experience of Tharmas reflects this statement of Luvah near the conclusion of the Four Zoas.

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 135, (E 403)
"Attempting to be more than Man We become less said Luvah" 


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