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

Friday, August 7, 2015

MAN BEGAN TO WAKE [99]

British Library
Four Zoas, Night VIII
Page 99

Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 99, (E 371)
                "VALA
          Night the Eighth
Then All in Great Eternity Met in the Council of God
as one Man Even Jesus upon Gilead & Hermon          
Upon the Limit of Contraction to create the fallen Man
The Fallen Man stretchd like a Corse upon the oozy Rock 
Washd with the tides Pale overgrown with weeds   

That movd with horrible dreams hovring high over his head
Two winged immortal shapes one standing at his feet
Toward the East one standing at his head toward the west
Their wings joind in the Zenith over head        
Such is a Vision of All Beulah hovring over the Sleeper     

The limit of Contraction now was fixd & Man began
To wake upon the Couch of Death   he sneezed seven times
A tear of blood dropped from either eye again he reposd
In the saviours arms, in the arms of tender mercy & loving kindness

Then Los said I behold the Divine Vision thro the broken Gates
Of thy poor broken heart astonishd melted into Compassion & Love
And Enitharmon said I see the Lamb of God upon Mount Zion 
Wondring with love & Awe they felt the divine hand upon them 

For nothing could restrain the dead in Beulah from descending
Unto Ulros night tempted by the Shadowy females sweet    
Delusive cruelty they descend away from the Daughters of Beulah
And Enter Urizens temple Enitharmon pitying & her heart
Gates broken down. they descend thro the Gate of Pity
The broken heart Gate of Enitharmon She sighs them forth upon the wind
Of Golgonooza Los stood recieving them          
For Los could enter into Enitharmons bosom & explore
Its intricate Labyrinths now the Obdurate heart was broken"
 
The first page of Night VIII provides more than a glimmer of hope that Albion's long despairing dream will come to an end. On the level of Eternity, the Council of God meets as Jesus through whom redemption will be fulfilled. On the level of Spiritual Perception, Los and Enitharmon have the impediments which have prevented their growth removed: Los beholds the Divine Vision, and Enitharmon's damaged heart becomes capable of loving. The work of restoration can continue although it is not yet accomplished, nor can it be without additional suffering.   

In Blake's Four Zoas: Design of a Dream by Mary Lynn Johnson and John E Grant we receive this introduction to Night VIII:

"Night VII. In this Night sharply delineated extremes of hope and despair truth and error, life and death, appear almost simultaneously in their most unmistakable manifestations. This is the night when Jesus and Jerusalem, the heralds of self-fulfillment through self-sacrifice, enter the human heart to illuminate it, and when Satan and mystery reveal themselves as ultimate error. This is the Night when the forges and looms of Los and Enitharmon create and when the mills and wars of Urizen and Rahab destroy. This is the Night when Jesus in Luvah is crucified; yet even when he is dead and buried, new life is imminent. Ahania and Enion, as antiphonal voices of the grave and the plowed field, define death and life in their natural and spiritual forms. The events of Night VIII are redemptive, but as the events unfold, Los and his associates despair, as the disciples despaired before the first Easter. Night VIII is the time when Jesus is at last recognized on the human plane, but it is also the time - analogous both to the Saturday before Easter and to the two thousand years of Christendom - when he seems indisputably dead, most painfully absent from those who have been working through time for human salvation." (Page 166)  


Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Page 24 

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