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.
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.
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  (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
Post on page 83, post on page 87.