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

Saturday, June 25, 2016

IN GOD'S PRESENCE



Matthew 6
[24] No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 
Luke 4
[5] And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
[6] And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
[7] If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
[8] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

 
John Linnell appreciated William Blake for his artistic ability and for his spiritual perception, but he also appreciated him for his friendship. Linnell welcomed Blake into his home and into his family circle. When Linnell and his family moved from London proper to the countryside north of the city, Blake became a frequent visitor to their farm in Hampstead. On one of these visits Linnell prevailed on Blake to pose for this sketch. Linnell knew Blake well enough to capture a likeness showing alertness, perception and good humor.

The lighthearted Blake is apparent in this poem from Blake's Notebook.

University of Adelaide
Drawings & Engravings of William Blake
by Laurence Binyon 
Portrait by John Linnell
Songs & Ballads, From Blake's Notebook, (E 481)
"I rose up at the dawn of day
Get thee away get thee away
Prayst thou for Riches away away
This is the Throne of Mammon grey

Said I this sure is very odd                                     
I took it to be the Throne of God
For every Thing besides I have
It is only for Riches that I can crave

I have Mental Joy & Mental Health
And Mental Friends & Mental wealth
Ive a Wife I love & that loves me
Ive all But Riches Bodily
                
I am in Gods presence night & day 
And he never turns his face away
The accuser of sins by my side does stand                      
And he holds my money bag in his hand

For my worldly things God makes him pay
And hed pay for more if to him I would pray
And so you may do the worst you can do
Be assurd Mr Devil I wont pray to you                         
                
Then If for Riches I must not Pray
God knows I little of Prayers need say
So as a Church is known by its Steeple 
If I pray it must be for other People 

He says if I do not worship him for a God                     
I shall eat coarser food & go worse shod
So as I dont value such things as these
You must do Mr Devil just as God please"
Blake's poor health in the last few years of his life prevented him from enjoying the company of Linnell as often as he would have liked. He relished his visits to Collins Farm until he was forced to curtail his activities.
 
Letters, To John Linnell Esqre, N 6 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square, (E 778)
[Postmark: 2 July 1826]
"My dearest Friend
     This sudden cold weather has cut .up all my hopes by the
roots.  Everyone who knows of our intended flight into your
delightful Country concur in saying: "Do not Venture till summer
appears again".  I also feel Myself weaker than I was aware,
being not able as yet to sit up longer than six hours at a
time. & also feel the Cold too much to dare venture beyond my
present precincts.  My heartiest Thanks for your care in my
accomodation & the trouble you will yet have with me.  But I get
better & stronger every day, tho weaker in muscle & bone than I
supposed. As to pleasantness of Prospect it is All pleasant
Prospect at North End.  Mrs Hurd's I should like as well as
any--But think of the Expense & how it may be spared & never mind
appearances
     I intend to bring with me besides our necessary change of
apparel Only My Book of Drawings from Dante & one Plate shut up
in the Book.  All will go very well in the Coach. which at
present would be a rumble I fear I could not go thro.  So that
I conclude another Week must pass before I dare Venture upon what
I ardently desire--the seeing you with your happy Family once
again & that for a longer Period than I had ever hoped in my
health full hours
I am dear Sir
Yours most gratefully
WILLIAM BLAKE"
Athenaeum.org Collins's Farm, North End, Hampstead: 1831 by John Linnell

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