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

Thursday, September 24, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 99

Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 99, (E 371)


          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"

Yale Center for British Art
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
 We visited page 99 before but without any consideration of the image from Night Thoughts which occupies the page along with the compelling words of text. The bearded man holding the scythe is a traditional symbol of the completion of a period of time. In addition to seeing the old man as Father Time, we can see him as one of the angels assigned to watch over the fallen man. His wings, the concern in his face and the tuft of hair on his forehead identify him as spiritual guide for those on the Journey. Two other symbols of the completion of a stage of development are the hourglass at the top of the image and the outstretched hand measuring a span at the bottom. 

The decisive events which move the narrative beyond the inconclusive action of Night VII involve the restoration of the ability to see the Divine Vision in Night VIII. It is the brokenness of Los and Enitharmon which enables them to recover a spiritual perspective. But their real work is only beginning: now they must work out a way for others who are dead spiritually to find their way back to life.

Psalms 51
[6] Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
[7] Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
[8] Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
[9] Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
[10] Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
[11] Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
[12] Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
[13] Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
[14] Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
[15] O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
[16] For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
[17] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.


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