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

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 93
Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 93, (E 365)

"Life up thy blue eyes Vala & put on thy sapphire shoes
O Melancholy Magdalen behold the morning breaks
Gird on thy flaming Zone. descend into the Sepulcher
Scatter the blood from thy golden brow the tears from thy silver locks
Shake off the waters from thy wings & the dust from thy white garments

Remember all thy feigned terrors on the secret Couch
When the sun rose in glowing morn with arms of mighty hosts
Marching to battle who was wont to rise with Urizens harps  
Girt as a Sower with his seed to scatter life abroad

Arise O Vala bring the bow of Urizen bring the swift arrows of light 
How ragd the golden horses of Urizen bound to the chariot of Love
Compelld to leave the plow to the Ox to snuff up the winds of desolation
To trample the corn fields in boastful neighings. this is no gentle harp
This is no warbling brook nor Shadow of a Myrtle tree

But blood & wounds & dismal cries & clarions of war     
And hearts laid open to the light by the broad grizly sword
And bowels hidden in hammerd steel rippd forth upon the Ground 
Call forth thy Smiles of soft deceit call forth thy cloudy tears
We hear thy sighs in trumpets shrill when Morn shall blood renew   

So sung the demons of the deep the Clarions of war blew loud     
Orc rent her & his human form consumd in his own fires
Mingled with her dolorous members strewn thro the Abyss
She joyd in all the Conflict Gratified & drinking tears of woe
No more remaind of Orc but the Serpent round the tree of Mystery
The form of Orc was gone he reard his serpent bulk among 
The stars of Urizen in Power rending the form of life 
Into a formless indefinite & strewing her on the Abyss
Like clouds upon the winter sky broken with winds & thunders
This was to her Supreme delight The Warriors mournd disappointed
They go out to war with Strong Shouts & loud Clarions O Pity     
They return with lamentations mourning & weeping

Invisible or visible drawn out in length or stretchd in breadth
The Shadowy Female varied in the War in her delight
Howling in discontent black & heavy uttering brute sounds
Wading thro fens among the slimy weeds making Lamentations      
To decieve Tharmas in his rage to soothe his furious soul 

To stay him in his flight that Urizen might live tho in pain
He said Art thou bright Enion is the Shadow of hope returnd

And She said Tharmas I am Vala bless thy innocent face
Doth Enion avoid the sight of thy blue watry eyes    
Be not perswaded that the air knows this or the failing dew

Tharmas replid O Vala once I livd in a garden of delight"

Wiki Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night thoughts
The descent into the sepulcher is the descent into the world of matter with its accompanying experiences of decay and death. Vala's descent provides Urizen with weapons of war. By joining together, the Shadowy Female and Orc have reduced the form of Orc to that of a serpent who entwines himself around the Tree of Mystery, which includes the false religion of accusation, judgment and punishment. The Shadowy Female, assuming the appearance of Vala, attempts to enlist Tharmas' help in order to protect her ally Urizen.

  The image calls to mind the situation of Urizen as he may have contemplated the consequences of entering the world of mortality. The figures in the lower world show diminishment as thy drink the dark wine of mortality. Their covered sensory organs indicate that the acute perception which they enjoyed in Eternity was one of the first losses experienced in materiality.

Four Zoas, Night IX, PAGE 121, (E 390)
"Urizen wept in the dark deep anxious his Scaly form
To reassume the human & he wept in the dark deep

Saying O that I had never drank the wine nor eat the bread
Of dark mortality nor cast my view into futurity nor turnd  
My back darkning the present clouding with a cloud" 

Several entries in the Blake Dictionary by S Foster Damon assist in understanding Blake's imagery:

SERPENT (Page 365)

"The Serpent has been a symbol of evil ever since it seduced Eve into eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Blake gives the serpent a number of overlapping meanings, all related.
The longest analysis of this process is Blake's study of the degeneration of Revolution. Orc is compelled by Urizen to assume the serpent form and climb the Tree of Mystery. He has lost all semblance of his original humanity and has descended into 'that State called Satan'. He encircles Man with his twenty-seven folds of his false heavens or churches 'in forms of Priesthood'. Thus Orc, originally enemy of religion, becomes his own opposite."

DEATH (Page 99)
"Death of the physical body is the shedding of the shell which the soul, or spiritual body, has grown for protection in this world. It is the return of the soul to Eternity. ... The inner being knows nothing of death, death exists only in the conscious mind and the world of matter. It is learned only by Experience. ... Only man fears death...But man's fears are augmented by the religion of Satan. ... Spiritual Death is sacrificing oneself for another." Milton, PLATE 38 [43], (E 139)
"Such are the Laws of Eternity that each shall mutually
Annihilate himself for others good, as I for thee"

"The Tree of Mystery is the contrary of the Tree of Life. It is the Tree of Death, the forbidden tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, whose fatal fruit brings spiritual death, causing man to set mimself up as a god (Elohim - judges.) It is the system of Morality, the false church of Mystery, the Whore of Babylon. On this Tree Jesus was crucified.
until the web of religion falls of its own weight and entangles Urizen."

WAR (Page 441)

"War on earth is 'energy enslaved'. It is the 'fever of the human soul'. After Luvah is sealed in the furnace of affliction, he reappears in the lower form of Orc; and the demons cry: 'Luvah King of Love, thou art the king of rage & death'. When Orc breaks loose and embraces the Shadowy Female (the debased Vala), war enters the material world." 

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