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

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

WAR WITHIN [119]

British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 119

Four Zoas, Night IX, PAGE 119, (E 388) 
"In the fierce flames the limbs of Mystery lay consuming with howling     
And deep despair. Rattling go up the flames around the Synagogue
Of Satan   Loud the Serpent Orc ragd thro his twenty Seven
Folds. The tree of Mystery went up in folding flames
Blood issud out in mighty volumes pouring in whirlpools fierce 
From out the flood gates of the Sky The Gates are burst down pour
The torrents black upon the Earth the blood pours down incessant
Kings in their palaces lie drownd Shepherds their flocks their tents
Roll down the mountains in black torrents Cities Villages
High spires & Castles drownd in the black deluge Shoal on Shoal 
Float the dead carcases of Men & Beasts driven to & fro on waves
Of foaming blood beneath the black incessant Sky till all
Mysterys tyrants are cut off & not one left on Earth

And when all Tyranny was cut off from the face of Earth
Around the Dragon form of Urizen & round his stony form 
The flames rolling intense thro the wide Universe
Began to Enter the Holy City   Entring the dismal clouds 
In furrowd lightnings break their way the wild flames li[c]king up
The Bloody Deluge living flames winged with intellect
And Reason round the Earth they march in order flame by flame 
From the clotted gore & from the hollow den
Start forth the trembling Millions into flames of mental fire
Bathing their Limbs in the bright visions of Eternity

Beyond this Universal Confusion beyond the remotest Pole  

Where their vortexes begin to operate there stands 
A Horrible rock far in the South   it was forsaken when
Urizen gave the horses of Light into the hands of Luvah
On this rock lay the faded head of the Eternal Man
Enwrapped round with weeds of death pale cold in sorrow & woe
He lifts the blue lamps of his Eyes & cries with heavenly voice 
Bowing his head over the consuming Universe he cried

O weakness & O weariness   O war within my members
My sons exiled from my breast pass to & fro before me
My birds are silent on my hills flocks die beneath my branches
My tents are fallen my trumpets & the sweet sounds of my harp 
Is silent on my clouded hills that belch forth storms & fires
My milk of cows & honey of bees & fruit of golden harvest
Are gatherd in the scorching heat & in the driving rain
My robe is turned to confusion & my bright gold to stones
Where once I sat   I weary walk in misery & pain 
For from within my witherd breast grown narrow with my woes  
The Corn is turnd to thistles & the apples into poison
The birds of song to murderous crows My joys to bitter groans"

The theme of Night IX is a restatement of the biblical Book of Revelation, the final book of the New Testament. Both works aim to present both an ending and a new beginning. Blake draws on the imagery of Revelation to reinforce his concept of the dissolving of the bonds which have held Albion in his stupor during the Nights of the poem. On Page 119 Albion develops awareness of the double oppression of false religion and tyrannical government.

Albion realizes that the chains from which he is seeking freedom are not exclusively the restraints of religion and politics but the inner 'war within my members.' He acknowledges that he has lost the clarity of perception which once brought joy and comfort to his life. In this portion of Night IX Blake is clearing the deck in preparation for establishing the new order.

Revelation 3
[8] I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
[9] Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
[10] Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 


Revelation 17
[3] So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
[4] And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
[5] And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
[6] And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
[7] And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
[8] The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

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