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

Friday, September 11, 2015


No one has accused Blake of consistency in writing the Four Zoas. He made constant alterations in his attempt to convey the vision of truth which he perceived. Page 85 offers particular problems because there is an instruction on a later page to move the later part of the text to a different position. Erdman in transcribing the text for the Four Zoas moved the second portion of the text to page 95. We, however, will consider page 85 as originally written including text from two pages in Erdman. The intervening pages provide detail of the process of transformation which Los underwent. Nothing can be changed in isolation; change is always an exchange whose enactment spreads repercussions in every direction.

British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 85
 Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 85, (E 360) 
"Astonishd filld with tears the spirit of Enitharmon beheld
And heard the Spectre bitterly she wept Embracing fervent   
Her once lovd Lord now but a Shade herself also a shade
Conferring times on times among the branches of that Tree

Thus they conferrd among the intoxicating fumes of Mystery    
Till Enitharmons shadow pregnant in the deeps beneath
Brought forth a wonder horrible. While Enitharmon shriekd
And trembled thro the Worlds above Los wept his fierce soul was terrifid
At the shrieks of Enitharmon at her tossings nor could his eyes percieve
The cause of her dire anguish for she lay the image of Death     
Movd by strong shudders till her shadow was deliverd then she ran
Raving about the upper Elements in maddning fury

She burst the Gates of Enitharmons heart with direful Crash
Nor could they ever be closd again the golden hinges were broken
And the gates broke in sunder & their ornaments defacd      

Beneath the tree of Mystery for the immortal shadow shuddering
Brought forth this wonder horrible a Cloud she grew & grew
Till many of the dead burst forth from the bottoms of their tombs
In male forms without female counterparts or Emanations   
Cruel and ravening with Enmity & Hatred & War  
In dreams of Ulro dark delusive drawn by the lovely shadow

The Spectre terrified gave her Charge over the howling Orc"

Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 95 [87] (SECOND PORTION), (E 367) 
"Then took the tree of Mystery root in the World of Los
Its topmost boughs shooting a fibre beneath Enitharmons couch 
The double rooted Labyrinth soon wavd around their heads  

But then the Spectre enterd Los's bosom Every sigh & groan
Of Enitharmon bore Urthonas Spectre on its wings
Obdurate Los felt Pity Enitharmon told the tale
Of Urthona. Los embracd the Spectre first as a brother
Then as another Self; astonishd humanizing & in tears    
In Self abasement Giving up his Domineering lust

Thou never canst embrace sweet Enitharmon terrible Demon. Till
Thou art united with thy Spectre Consummating by pains & labours
That mortal body & by Self annihilation back returning      
To Life Eternal be assurd I am thy real Self   
Tho thus divided from thee & the Slave of Every passion
Of thy fierce Soul Unbar the Gates of Memory look upon me
Not as another but as thy real Self I am thy Spectre
Thou didst subdue me in old times by thy Immortal Strength
When I was a ravning hungring & thirsting cruel lust & murder   
Tho horrible & Ghastly to thine Eyes tho buried beneath
The ruins of the Universe. hear what inspird I speak & be silent

If we unite in one[,] another better world will be        
Opend within your heart & loins & wondrous brain
Threefold as it was in Eternity & this the fourth Universe 
Will be Renewd by the three & consummated in Mental fires
But if thou dost refuse Another body will be prepared"

Wiki Commons 
Illustrations to Night Thoughts 
Blake's image on the page from Night Thoughts does not attempt to represent the complex action which was related in the text, but it gives an impression of some of the emotions involved. We see a man dismayed by the struggle of another man attempting to make an agonizing decision. We see a woman bent in pity or anguish over internal or external happenings. The standing figures although two, appear bound together. They are not on solid ground but are on a different plane of existence. The reclining figure in deep thought is trying to envision an unclear possibility. With his left hand he tries to hold back what may befall him. Several momentous events are related on this page. First two shades (unsubstantial beings) - the spirit of Enitharmon, and the Spectre, unite to give birth to a wonder horrible. Second the gates of Enitharmon's heart are broken, never to be mended. Third Los became susceptible to feeling emotion for the Spectre, which led him to attempt to unite with the Spectre.  

Post on page 83, post on page 87.

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