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

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 131

Four Zoas, Night IX, age 130, (E 399)
"So saying they went down into the garden among the fruits
And Enion sang among the flowers that grew among the trees
And Vala said Go Tharmas weep not Go to Enion

PAGE 131
He said O Vala I am sick & all this garden of Pleasure
Swims like a dream before my eyes but the sweet smelling fruit
Revives me to new deaths I fade even like a water lilly
In the suns heat till in the night on the couch of Enion
I drink new life & feel the breath of sleeping Enion 
But in the morning she arises to avoid my Eyes
Then my loins fade & in the house I sit me down & weep 

Chear up thy Countenance bright boy & go to Enion
Tell her that Vala waits her in the shadows of her garden

He went with timid steps & Enion like the ruddy morn 
When infant spring appears in swelling buds & opening flowers
Behind her Veil withdraws so Enion turnd her modest head

But Tharmas spoke Vala seeks thee sweet Enion in the shades
Follow the steps of Tharmas O thou brightness of the gardens
He took her hand reluctant she followd in infant doubts 
Thus in Eternal Childhood straying among Valas flocks
In infant sorrow & joy alternate Enion & Tharmas playd
Round Vala in the Gardens of Vala & by her rivers margin
They are the shadows of Tharmas & of Enion in Valas world

And the sleepers who rested from their harvest work beheld these visions
Thus were the sleepers entertaind upon the Couches of Beulah

When Luvah & Vala were closd up in their world of shadowy forms
Darkness was all beneath the heavens only a little light
Such as glows out from sleeping spirits appeard in the deeps beneath
As when the wind sweeps over a Corn field the noise of souls 
Thro all the immense borne down by Clouds swagging in autumnal heat
Muttering along from heaven to heaven hoarse roll the human forms
Beneath thick clouds dreadful lightnings burst & thunders roll
Down pour the torrent Floods of heaven on all the human harvest
Then Urizen sitting at his repose on beds in the bright South 
Cried Times are Ended he Exulted he arose in joy he exulted
He pourd his light & all his Sons & daughters pourd their light
To exhale the spirits of Luvah & Vala thro the atmosphere
And Luvah & Vala saw the Light their spirits were Exhald
In all their ancient innocence the floods depart the clouds 
Dissipate or sink into the Seas of Tharmas   Luvah sat
Above in the bright heavens in peace. the Spirits of Men beneath
Cried out to be deliverd & the Spirit of Luvah wept
Over the human harvest & over Vala the sweet wanderer
In pain the human harvest wavd in horrible groans of woe 

PAGE 132 
The Universal Groan went up the Eternal Man was Darkend

Then Urizen arose & took his Sickle in his hand
There is a brazen sickle & a scythe of iron hid
Deep in the South guarded by a few solitary stars
This sickle Urizen took the scythe his sons embracd 
And went forth & began to reap & all his joyful sons
Reapd the wide Universe & bound in Sheaves a wondrous harvest"

British Museum Watercolor Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Blake used the same engraving from Night Thoughts for pages 121 and 131 of the Four Zoas. Both pages of text feature Urzien: on page 121 he resolved to relinquish the dominion to which he had aspired, on 131 he initiated the gathering of the human harvest. By choosing the same picture for both events Blake was indicating that reassembling the divided pieces of the psyche and harvesting the fruit and grain which would continue to nourish the soul of man in eternity were of the same cloth.

The conflicts and tensions which had dominated the fallen condition of man were being brought to a close. They were relegated to areas of the mind appropriate to their function. They would no longer be projected outward where they were manifest in war, and cruelty, neglect and domination. Tharmas and Enion would display the panoply of their interactions in Luvah's and Vala's world called Beulah where contraries are equally true:

Milton, Plate 30 [33], (E 129)
"There is a place where Contrarieties are equally True
This place is called Beulah, It is a pleasant lovely Shadow
Where no dispute can come. Because of those who Sleep.
Into this place the Sons & Daughters of Ololon descended
With solemn mourning into Beulahs moony shades & hills
Weeping for Milton: mute wonder held the Daughters of Beulah
Enrapturd with affection sweet and mild benevolence

Beulah is evermore Created around Eternity; appearing
To the Inhabitants of Eden, around them on all sides.
But Beulah to its Inhabitants appears within each district       
As the beloved infant in his mothers bosom round incircled
With arms of love & pity & sweet compassion. But to
The Sons of Eden the moony habitations of Beulah,
Are from Great Eternity a mild & pleasant Rest. 

 And it is thus Created. Lo the Eternal Great Humanity            
To whom be Glory & Dominion Evermore Amen
Walks among all his awful Family seen in every face
As the breath of the Almighty. such are the words of man to man
In the great Wars of Eternity, in fury of Poetic Inspiration,
To build the Universe stupendous: Mental forms Creating          

But the Emanations trembled exceedingly, nor could they
Live, because the life of Man was too exceeding unbounded
His joy became terrible to them they trembled & wept
Crying with one voice. Give us a habitation & a place
In which we may be hidden under the shadow of wings              
For if we who are but for a time, & who pass away in winter
Behold these wonders of Eternity we shall consume
But you O our Fathers & Brothers, remain in Eternity
But grant us a Temporal Habitation. do you speak
To us; we will obey your words as you obey Jesus                 
The Eternal who is blessed for ever & ever. Amen

So spake the lovely Emanations; & there appeard a pleasant
Mild Shadow above: beneath: & on all sides round,

PLATE 31 [34]
Into this pleasant Shadow all the weak & weary
Like Women & Children were taken away as on wings
Of dovelike softness, & shadowy habitations prepared for them"

Luvah and Vala, Tharmas and Enion had been granted rest from the severe contentions of Eternity.

Damon states on page 286 of A Blake Dictionary that "It is the function of the female to provide a moony space of refuge and rest for the male."

But no less important is the function of the Emanation in facilitating the interaction of Man with Man in Eternity.

Jerusalem, Plate 88, (E246)
"When in Eternity Man converses with Man they enter
Into each others Bosom (which are Universes of delight)
In mutual interchange. and first their Emanations meet
Surrounded by their Children. if they embrace & comingle
The Human Four-fold Forms mingle also in thunders of Intellect
But if the Emanations mingle not; with storms & agitations
Of earthquakes & consuming fires they roll apart in fear
For Man cannot unite with Man but by their Emanations
Which stand both Male & Female at the Gates of each Humanity"


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