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

Saturday, September 16, 2017

BLAKE & ELIOT

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 64

Perhaps when we read we are only allowing information to enter our brains at a superficial level. We may pick up some details of a story, or a theory, or a philosophy which we may record as a memory, or discard like rubbish in the waste paper basket. But some information we receive finds a connection with what lies deeper in the archives of fragments we have retained from earlier encounters. These are ideas that influence us because they penetrate the center of our being and lodge there to become light-bearers.

Blake had the ability to present ideas from the depths of his own being in order to reach and resonate with what was capable of responding in the depths of his reader.

In The Grammatical Man Jeremy Campbell quotes from T. S. Eliot in his essay The Frontiers of Criticism. Eliot indicates that Blake wrote from a level within himself which makes his poetry unexplainable to the natural mind.
 
T. S. Eliot:
"For myself, I can only say that knowledge of the springs which released a poem is not necessarily a help towards understanding the poem: too much information about the origins of the poem may even break my contact with it...I am ever prepared to suggest that there is, in all great poetry, something which must remain unaccountable however complete may be the knowledge of the poet, and that that is what matters most. When the poem has been made, something new has happened, something that cannot be wholly explained by anything that went before." Page 110 

In The Sacred Wood Eliot gives further insight in the mind of Blake: how it developed, how it differed from the conventional, and how it influenced his writing.
 
"... The question about Blake the man is the question of the circumstances that concurred to permit this honesty in his work, and what circumstances define its limitations. The favouring conditions probably include these two: that, being early apprenticed to a manual occupation, he was not compelled to acquire any other education in literature than he wanted, or to acquire it for any other reason than that he wanted it; and that, being a humble engraver, he had no journalistic-social career open to him.
...
It is important that the artist should be highly educated in his own art; but his education is one that is hindered rather than helped by the ordinary processes of society which constitute education for the ordinary man. For these processes consist largely in the acquisition of impersonal ideas which obscure what we really are and feel, what we really want, and what really excites our interest. It is of course not the actual information acquired, but the conformity which the accumulation of knowledge is apt to impose, that is harmful. Tennyson is a very fair example of a poet almost wholly encrusted with parasitic opinion, almost wholly merged into his environment. Blake, on the other hand, knew what interested him, and he therefore presents only the essential, only, in fact, what can be presented, and need not be explained. And because he was not distracted, or frightened, or occupied in anything but exact statement, he understood. He was naked, and saw man naked, and from the centre of his own crystal. To him there was no more reason why Swedenborg should be absurd than Locke. He accepted Swedenborg, and eventually rejected him, for reasons of his own. He approached everything with a mind unclouded by current opinions. There was nothing of the superior person about him. This makes him terrifying."

Milton, Plate 35 [39], (E 136)
"Just in this Moment when the morning odours rise abroad
And first from the Wild Thyme, stands a Fountain in a rock
Of crystal flowing into two Streams, one flows thro Golgonooza   

And thro Beulah to Eden beneath Los's western Wall
The other flows thro the Aerial Void & all the Churches
Meeting again in Golgonooza beyond Satans Seat

The Wild Thyme is Los's Messenger to Eden, a mighty Demon
Terrible deadly & poisonous his presence in Ulro dark            
Therefore he appears only a small Root creeping in grass
Covering over the Rock of Odours his bright purple mantle
Beside the Fount above the Larks nest in Golgonooza
Luvah slept here in death & here is Luvahs empty Tomb
Ololon sat beside this Fountain on the Rock of Odours." 

Milton, Plate 28 [30], (E 126)
"The Sons of Ozoth within the Optic Nerve stand fiery glowing
And the number of his Sons is eight millions & eight.            
They give delights to the man unknown; artificial riches
They give to scorn, & their posessors to trouble & sorrow & care,
Shutting the sun. & moon. & stars. & trees. & clouds. & waters.
And hills. out from the Optic Nerve & hardening it into a bone
Opake. and like the black pebble on the enraged beach.        
While the poor indigent is like the diamond which tho cloth'd
In rugged covering in the mine, is open all within
And in his hallowd center holds the heavens of bright eternity
Ozoth here builds walls of rocks against the surging sea
And timbers crampt with iron cramps bar in the joys of life     
From fell destruction in the Spectrous cunning or rage."

Milton, Plate 31 [34], (E 131)
"Thou percievest the Flowers put forth their precious Odours!
And none can tell how from so small a center comes such sweets
Forgetting that within that Center Eternity expands
Its ever during doors," 
Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 89 [97], (E 361)
"My Waters like a flood around thee fear not trust in me
And I will give thee all the ends of heaven for thy possession

In war shalt thou bear rule in blood shalt thou triumph for me
Because in times of Everlasting I was rent in sunder
And what I loved best was divided among my Enemies  
My little daughters were made captives & I saw them beaten
With whips along the sultry sands. I heard those whom I lovd  
Crying in secret tents at night & in the morn compelld
To labour & behold my heart sunk down beneath
In sighs & sobbings all dividing till I was divided 
In twain & lo my Crystal form that lived in my bosom
Followd her daughters to the fields of blood they left me naked
Alone & they refusd to return from the fields of the mighty
Therefore I will reward them as they have rewarded me
I will divide them in my anger & thou O my King  
Shalt gather them from out their graves & put thy fetter on them
And bind them to thee that my crystal form may come to me

So cried the Demon of the Waters in the Clouds of Los"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 130, (E 398)
"And then she enterd her bright house leading her mighty children 

And when night came the flocks laid round the house beneath the trees
She laid the Children on the beds which she saw prepard in the house
Then last herself laid down & closd her Eyelids in soft slumbers

And in the morning when the Sun arose in the crystal sky
Vala awoke & calld the children from their gentle slumbers 

Awake O Enion awake & let thine innocent Eyes
Enlighten all the Crystal house of Vala awake awake
Awake Tharmas awake awake thou child of dewy tears
Open the orbs of thy blue eyes & smile upon my gardens"

Songs & Ballads, The Crystal Cabinet, (E 488)
"I strove to sieze the inmost Form
With ardor fierce & hands of flame
But burst the Crystal Cabinet
And like a Weeping Babe became

A weeping Babe upon the wild 
And Weeping Woman pale reclind
And in the outward air again
I filld with woes the passing Wind"

Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 98[90], (E 370)
"Where the Spectrous dead wail & sighing thus he spoke to Enitharmon

Lovely delight of Men Enitharmon shady refuge from furious war 
Thy bosom translucent is a soft repose for the weeping souls
Of those piteous victims of battle there they sleep in happy obscurity
They feed upon our life we are their victims. Stern desire
I feel to fabricate embodied semblances in which the dead
May live before us in our palaces & in our gardens of labour
Which now opend within the Center we behold spread abroad
To form a world of Sacrifice of brothers & sons & daughters 
To comfort Orc in his dire sufferings; look! my fires enlume afresh
Before my face ascending with delight as in ancient times"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 132, (E 400)
"And when Morning began to dawn upon the distant hills
a whirlwind rose up in the Center & in the Whirlwind a shriek 
And in the Shriek a rattling of bones & in the rattling of bones 
A dolorous groan & from the dolorous groan in tears
Rose Enion like a gentle light
. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

PARADISE LOST 1

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost 
Butts Set, Illustration 1
Satan Arousing the Rebel Angels 
John Milton wrote 12 books in his epic Paradise Lost. For these 12 books Blake make 12 illustrations. Since Blake could cover only the highlights of Milton's poem in 12 pictures, he choose the most dramatic and revealing scenes as subjects for his illustrations. Milton's narrative does not move in a straight line from beginning to end of his poem since it is dealing with the interaction of time and eternity. Only in the final scene when Adam and Eve were led from the Garden of Eden did the earth as the habitation of man become real. At that point the limits of time and space became the milieu in which humanity was confined.

Milton chose to begin his epic in the midst of action. Satan, one of the heavenly hosts, had already rebelled against God. He had attracted as his followers a third of the angels into a battle against the remaining angels loyal to God. Blake's first illustration pictures Satan and his army after they have been defeated and expelled from heaven. The angels, not being mortal, were alive in hell and suffering regrets. Satan had not accepted defeat but was rousing his troops to further mischief.

When Milton wrote, he was not thinking only of God and the angels who opposed his leadership but of Cromwell (in whose government Milton had served) and the opposing military and political forces which brought down his government. When Blake illustrated, he was thinking also of events in his own times. The American and French revolutions had upended the prevailing order. Napoleon had led his military forces against the governments of Europe and prevailed.

The rebellion of Satan and the war in heaven are mentioned in the Book of Revelation. However as they appear in Paradise Lost, they were invented by Milton as explanations of the entry of evil into the world. In Blake's myth it was the disobedience of Urizen which initiated the appearance of Satan and the fall from heaven of a portion of the starry host.

Revelation
Chapter 12
[1] And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
[2] And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
[3] And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
[4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
[5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
[6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
[7] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
[8] And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
[9] And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Paradise Lost
John Milton
 

Book 1, lines 81-127
"To whom the arch-enemy,
And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence thus began.
If thou beest he; But oh how fallen! how changed
From him, who in the happy realms of light
Clothed with transcendent brightness didst outshine
Myriads though bright: If he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Joined with me once, now misery hath joined
In equal ruin: into what pit thou seest
From what heighth fallen, so much the stronger proved
He with his thunder: and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms? yet not for those,
Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,

Though changed in outward luster; that fixed mind
And high disdain, from sense of injured merit,
That with the mightiest raised me to contend,

And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of spirits armed
That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power,
Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted his empire, that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since by fate the strength of gods
And this empyreal substance cannot fail,

Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war
Irreconcilable, to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in the excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.
So spake the apostate angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair:"



Four Zoas, Night V, Page 64, (E 343)
[Urizen speaks]
"My songs are turned to cries of Lamentation              
Heard on my Mountains & deep sighs under my palace roofs         
Because the Steeds of Urizen once swifter than the light
Were kept back from my Lord & from his chariot of mercies

O did I keep the horses of the day in silver pastures
O I refusd the Lord of day the horses of his prince
O did I close my treasuries with roofs of solid stone            
And darken all my Palace walls with envyings & hate

O Fool to think that I could hide from his all piercing eyes
The gold & silver & costly stones his holy workmanship
O Fool could I forget the light that filled my bright spheres
Was a reflection of his face who calld me from the deep          

I well remember for I heard the mild & holy voice
Saying O light spring up & shine & I sprang up from the deep 
He gave to me a silver scepter & crownd me with a golden crown
& said Go forth & guide my Son who wanders on the ocean      

I went not forth. I hid myself in black clouds of my wrath       
I calld the stars around my feet in the night of councils dark
The stars threw down their spears & fled naked away
We fell. I siezd thee dark Urthona In my left hand falling

I siezd thee beauteous Luvah thou art faded like a flower
And like a lilly is thy wife Vala witherd by winds               
When thou didst bear the golden cup at the immortal tables
Thy children smote their fiery wings crownd with the gold of heaven

Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 101, (E 374)
"Terrified & astonishd Urizen beheld the battle take a form  
Which he intended not a Shadowy hermaphrodite black & opake 
The Soldiers namd it Satan but he was yet unformd & vast
Hermaphroditic it at length became hiding the Male
Within as in a Tabernacle Abominable Deadly

The battle howls the terrors fird rage in the work of death
Enormous Works Los Contemplated inspird by the holy Spirit
Los builds the Walls of Golgonooza against the stirring battle 
That only thro the Gates of Death they can enter to Enitharmon
Raging they take the human visage & the human form

Feeling the hand of Los in Golgonooza & the force
Attractive of his hammers beating & the Silver looms
Of Enitharmon singing lulling cadences on the wind 
They humanize in the fierce battle where in direful pain
Troop by troop the beastial droves rend one another sounding loud
The instruments of sound & troop by troop in human forms they urge

PAGE 102 
The dire confusion till the battle faints those that remain
Return in pangs & horrible convulsions to their beastial state"

    

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

PARADISE LOST 2

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost 
Illustration 2
Satan, Sin and Death: Satan Comes to the Gates of Hell 
Paradise Lost
John Milton
 

Book 2, Beginning line 721
"For never but once more was wither like
To meet so great a foe. And now great deeds
Had been achieved, whereof all Hell had rung,
Had not the snaky Sorceress, that sat
Fast by Hell-gate and kept the fatal key,
Risen, and with hideous outcry rushed between.
Oh father, what intends thy hand, she cried,
Against thy only son? What fury, Oh son,

Possesses thee to bend that mortal dart
Against thy father's head? And know'st for whom?  ...
T' whom thus the portress of Hell-gate replied:
Hast thou forgot me, then; and do I seem
Now in thine eye so foul?, once deemed so fair
In Heaven, when at the assembly, and in sight
Of all the seraphim with thee combined
In bold conspiracy against Heaven's King,

All on a sudden miserable pain
Surprised thee, dim thine eyes and dizzy swum
In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast
Threw forth, till on the left side opening wide,
Likest to thee in shape and countenance bright,
Then shining heavenly fair, a goddess armed,
Out of thy head I sprung. Amazement seized
All the host of Heaven; back they recoiled afraid
At first, and called me Sin,
and for a sign
Portentous held me; but, familiar grown,
I pleased, and with attractive graces won
The most averse, thee chiefly, who, full oft
Thyself in me thy perfect image viewing,
Becam'st enamored; and such joy thou took'st
With me in secret that my womb conceived
A growing burden.

...
Pensive here I sat
Alone; but long I sat not, till my womb,
Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown,
Prodigious motion felt and rueful throes.
At last this odious offspring whom thou seest,
Thine own begotten, breaking violent way,
Tore through my entrails, that, with fear and pain
Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
Transformed: but he my inbred enemy
Forth issued, brandishing his fatal dart,
Made to destroy. I fled, and cried out Death!"


Blake's second illustration to Paradise Lost shows what has been called the 'Unholy Trinity.' Satan, Sin and Death are pictured at the Gate of Hell as Satan tries to exit hell on his journey to disrupt God's intention to create a new level of being called 'man.' Being unwilling to come under the dominion of God, Satan has undertaken to oppose God by launching an attack on man. At the gate of hell Satan encountered two beings whom he did not recognize. Sin was a woman, partly beautiful and alluring, partly grotesque and repelling. Death was an armed and menacing being, although without form or substance. Sin and Death were children of Satan whose conception was so dreadful that Satan had erased it from his memory. When they were identified to Satan, the gate was unlocked and he was allowed to pass out through the Gate of Hell in order to continue on his path to menace the newly created earthly beings.

Milton's scenario did not originate in the Bible. In the book of Genesis, the entry of Death into the world was the result of the fall of Eve and Adam. They were expelled from Eden to prevent them from eating the fruit of the Tree of Life which would have granted Eternal life. Their fate instead would be to return to the earth from which they were made.

The first mention of sin occurs later in Genesis in conjunction with Cain's gift being unacceptable to God. There is no mention of Satan in the book of Genesis. 

Genesis 3 
[19] In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return
... 
[22] And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 
[23] Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 
[24] So drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Blake refused to see the physical body made from dust as the true humanity. The death of the body was a release to the Life Eternal. Eternal Death was life on earth in as far as it was lived without consciousness of the Divine.

That which prevented man from living Eternally, although confined to earth, was his Selfhood, Spectre or Satan. It's origin was mental when he first conceived of a distant, punishing God whose love was exclusive. It was not sin which alienated man from God. It was his inability to experience God as good, loving and accessible. 

Jerusalem, Plate 4, (E 146) 
"Of the Sleep of Ulro! and of the passage through 
Eternal Death! and of the awaking to Eternal Life." 

Milton, Plate 14 [15], (E 108)  
"I in my Selfhood am that Satan: I am that Evil One!              
He is my Spectre! in my obedience to loose him from my Hells
To claim the Hells, my Furnaces, I go to Eternal Death.

And Milton said. I go to Eternal Death! Eternity shudder'd
For he took the outside course, among the graves of the dead
A mournful shade. Eternity shudderd at the image of eternal death

Then on the verge of Beulah he beheld his own Shadow;
A mournful form double; hermaphroditic: male & female
In one wonderful body. and he enterd into it
In direful pain for the dread shadow, twenty-seven-fold
Reachd to the depths of direst Hell, & thence to Albions land:  
Which is this earth of vegetation on which now I write,"

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

PARADISE LOST 3

Wikipedia Commons   Illustrations to Paradise Lost     Illustration 3
Christ Offers to Redeen Man
John Milton, William Blake and the writers of John and Philippians agreed that God had foreknowledge that Adam and Eve would fall to Satan's temptation. Before Adam and Eve encountered the serpent in Eden, God had provided that his Son would offer himself as an avenue through which Adam and Eve and their descendants would be redeemed.

In testimony to the fact that this account is not taking place in time but in Eternity, early in his drama Milton places the scene of Son of God offering to take upon himself the wrath which should have fallen on man. The creation in time and the temptation had not yet occurred when the Son accepted his role in the process of redemption.

Blake's third illustration to Paradise Lost captures the moment when God in heaven accepts the offer of his Son to redeem Man. A mournful God embraces the Son who has assumed the human form. Satan has escaped from the hell into which he fell and is occupying the world made for man. 

Paradise lost
Book 3
Line 167
"To whom the great Creator thus replied.
Oh son, in whom my soul hath chief delight,
Son of my bosom, Son who art alone.
My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all
As my eternal purpose hath decreed;
man shall not quite be lost, but saved who will;
Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
Freely vouchsafed; once more I will renew
His lapsed powers, though forfeit; and enthralled
By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
On even ground against his mortal foe;

line 213
 Say, heavenly Powers, where shall we find such love?
Which of you will be mortal, to redeem
Man's mortal crime, and just the unjust to save?
Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear?
And silence was in Heaven: on man's behalf
He asked, but all the heavenly quire stood mute,
Patron or intercessor none appeared, 
By me upheld, that he may know how frail
His fallen condition is, and to me owe
All his deliverance, and to none but me. 

line 227
Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace; 

line 237
I offer: on me let thine anger fall;
Account me Man; I for his sake will leave
Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee
Freely put off, and for him lastly die
Well pleased; on me let Death wreak all his rage."   

John 1
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[2] The same was in the beginning with God.
[3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 

Philippians 2 
[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 
[6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God
[7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 
[8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 
[9] Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 107 [115], (E 381)
"And Satan not having the Science of Wrath but only of Pity
Was soon condemnd & wrath was left to wrath & Pity to Pity
Rintrah & Palamabron Cut sheer off from Golgonooza
Enitharmons Moony space & in it Satan & his companions
They rolld down a dim world Crusted with Snow deadly & dark 

Jerusalem pitying them wove them mantles of life & death
Times after times And those in Eden sent Lucifer for their Guard
Lucifer refusd to die for Satan & in pride he forsook his charge
Then they sent Molech Molech was impatient They sent
Molech impatient They Sent Elohim who created Adam
To die for Satan Adam refusd but was compelld to die
By Satans arts. Then the Eternals Sent Shaddai
Shaddai was angry Pachad descended Pachad was terrified
And then they Sent Jehovah who leprous stretchd his hand to Eternity
Then Jesus Came & Died willing beneath Tirzah & Rahab"

Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 256)
"Jesus said. Wouldest thou love one who never died
For thee or ever die for one who had not died for thee
And if God dieth not for Man & giveth not himself           
Eternally for Man Man could not exist. for Man is Love:
As God is Love: every kindness to another is a little Death
In the Divine Image nor can Man exist but by Brotherhood

So saying. the Cloud overshadowing divided them asunder
Albion stood in terror: not for himself but for his Friend
Divine, & Self was lost in the contemplation of faith
And wonder at the Divine Mercy & at Los's sublime honour"

Jerusalem, Plate 40 [45], (E 188)
"So spoke, unheard by Albion. the merciful Son of Heaven
To those whose Western Gates were open, as they stood weeping
Around Albion: but Albion heard him not; obdurate! hard!      
He frown'd on all his Friends, counting them enemies in his sorrow"
.
 

Monday, August 28, 2017

PARADISE LOST 4

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations of Milton's Paradise Lost 
Illustration 4
Satan Watching the Caresses of Adam and Eve
In Blake's fourth illustration to Milton's Paradise Lost Blake shows a contrast between Satan entwined by the serpent, and Adam and Eve embracing each other. Most striking is that Satan and the serpent gaze into the other's eyes just as the human lovers do. Satan points to the head of Adam indicating his point of attack will be through Adam's brain (or perhaps through his unconscious.)

The first set of Illustrations of Paradise Lost which Blake painted for Rev. Joseph Thomas shows Satan with his upper body above Eve, facing toward Adam. In the second series Blake made the following year for Thomas Butts, he reverses the position of Satan. Also reversed are the positions of the sun and the moon. The sun which had been setting behind Eve is now rising behind Adam. This positions the sun in its rightful place with the male, and the moon with its reflected light behind the female. This positioning is more consistent with Milton's intent:

"For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him:" (line 296-7)    

In 2008 Anna Beer wrote a biography titled Milton: Poet, pamphleteer, and Patriot. She sees the mature Milton as having resolved many of his sexual issues and able to envision Eden from a healthy sexual perspective. She states: "Milton's Edenic vision of ideal heterosexual love, expressed both physically and emotionally, is an extraordinary development in his writing, indeed in his life." (Page 326) 

On Page 324, Beer makes this observation:

"Milton's vision of Eden is an erotic world of sensuous pleasures, where man and woman are fascinatingly different from each other. Adam and Eve walk through Eden hand in hand, those 'wanton ringlets' waving as she moves, every step a kind of foreplay.
...
The lovers 'enjoy their fill / Of bliss on bliss.'
Milton, unlike many of religious commentators, unlike his younger self, is quite comfortable with the idea that there was sex, and good sex, before the Fall. But it was sex with love rather than

in the bought smile
Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendeared,
Casual fruition... (IV:765-7)

No 'casual fruition', for Adam and Eve; instead 'mutual bliss,' a delightful sleep as rose-petals fall upon their naked bodies...This is what humanity had lost."


Paradise Lost 
John Milton 
Book 4
Line 289
"for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
(Severe, but in true filial freedom placed,)
Whence true authority in men; though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal seemed;
For contemplation he and velour formed;
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him:
His fair large front and eye sublime declared
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Disheveled, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed;
Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame
Of nature's works, honor dishonorable,
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banished from man's life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence. 

Line 354
[Satan first observes Adam and Eve]
 When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length failed speech recovered sad.
Oh Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold?
Into our room of bliss thus high advanced
Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
Not Spirits, yet to heavenly Spirits bright
Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace
The hand that formed them on their shape hath poured.
Ah, gentle pair, ye little think how nigh
Your change approaches, when all these delights
Will vanish, and deliver ye to woe;
More woe, the more your taste is now of joy;" 
The Bible had little to say about the relationship between Adam and Eve before the fall. Man was created first, and woman was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

Genesis 1
[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
[27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
[28] And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 2
[20]...but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
[21] And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
[22] And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
[23] And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
[24] Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

An account of Los and Enitharmon parallels facets of the creation of Adam and Eve. Enitharmon is a part of Los before she becomes a separate being outside of him. Like Milton's first couple they are fascinated by one another's beauty and differences. But their 'two wills', 'two intellects' will also turn their joy to woe as Milton predicts for his lovers.    

Jerusalem, Plate 86, (E 245)
"Nor can any consummate bliss without being Generated
On Earth...
So dread is Los's fury, that none dare him to approach
Without becoming his Children in the Furnaces of affliction

And Enitharmon like a faint rainbow waved before him         
Filling with Fibres from his loins which reddend with desire
Into a Globe of blood beneath his bosom trembling in darkness
Of Albions clouds. he fed it, with his tears & bitter groans 
Hiding his Spectre in invisibility from the timorous Shade
Till it became a separated cloud of beauty grace & love       
Among the darkness of his Furnaces dividing asunder till
She separated stood before him a lovely Female weeping
Even Enitharmon separated outside, & his Loins closed
And heal'd after the separation: his pains he soon forgot:
Lured by her beauty outside of himself in shadowy grief.      
Two Wills they had; Two Intellects: & not as in times of old.

Silent they wanderd hand in hand like two Infants wandring
From Enion in the desarts, terrified at each others beauty
Envying each other yet desiring, in all devouring Love,"
.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

PARADISE LOST 5

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost 
Illustration 5
Adam and Eve Asleep
Genesis 3
[4] And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
[5] For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Blake's fifth Illustration of Paradise Lost shows the two angels whom God sent to look over Adam and Eve when they entered the state of sleep. Milton's implication is that in sleep the mind is more vulnerable to the entry of darkness into the psyche to counter the higher levels of consciousness. Eve had not yet consciously thought of eating the forbidden fruit. However Satan in the disguise of a toad whispered in her ear what she perceived as a dream.   

Paradise Lost
Milton 
Book 4
Line 784-812
  "From these, two strong and subtle Spirits he called
That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge.
Ithuriel and Zephon, with winged speed
Search through this garden, leave unsearched no nook;
But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge,
Now laid perhaps asleep, secure of harm.
This evening from the sun's decline arrived,
Who tells of some infernal Spirit seen
Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escaped
The bars of Hell, on errand bad no doubt:
Such, where ye find, seize fast, and hither bring.
So saying, on he led his radiant files,
Dazzling the moon; these to the bower direct
In search of whom they sought: Him there they found
Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve,
Assaying by his devilish art to reach
The organs of her fancy, and with them forge
Illusions, as he list, phantasms and dreams;
Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
The animal spirits, that from pure blood arise
Like gentle breaths from rivers pure, thence raise
At least distempered, discontented thoughts,
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires,
Blown up with high conceits ingendering pride.
Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear
Touched lightly; for no falsehood can endure
Touch of celestial temper, but returns
Of force to its own likeness: Up he starts
Discovered and surprised."

Book 5 line 82
[Eve's dream]
  "So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part
Which he had plucked; the pleasant savory smell
So quickened appetite, that I, methought,
Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds
With him I flew, and underneath beheld
The earth outstretched immense, a prospect wide
And various: Wondering at my flight and change
To this high exaltation; suddenly
My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down,
And fell asleep; but Oh, how glad I waked
To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her night
Related, and thus Adam answered sad.

line 117
[Adam to Eve]
 Evil into the mind of God or man
May come and go, so unreproved, and leave
No spot or blame behind: Which gives me hope
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream,
Waking thou never will consent to do."

The wisdom of the ages tells us that when dreams occur their meaning is obscure. They come from a deeper level of consciousness than the one we operate from in our waking state. They speak in the language of images and imagination. When Eve was given a dream she did not know where it came from or how to interpret it. From her dream she constructed illusions and fancies of an Eve who was more than the 'helpmeet' of Adam. Satan planted in Eve's mind the idea that eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree would make her wiser, stronger and more like God himself. Eve had the choice: evolve according to the pattern implanted within her or seek more than had been given to her.

This was the dilemma with which Eve struggled. Milton and Blake struggled with it too, as do you and I.
Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Song 26, (E 16)
"A Dream
Once a dream did weave a shade,
O'er my Angel-guarded bed,
That an Emmet lost it's way
Where on grass methought I lay.

Troubled wilderd and folorn   
Dark benighted travel-worn,
Over many a tangled spray
All heart-broke I heard her say.

O my children! do they cry
Do they hear their father sigh.   
Now they look abroad to see,
Now return and weep for me.

Pitying I drop'd a tear:
But I saw a glow-worm near:
Who replied. What wailing wight   
Calls the watchman of the night.

I am set to light the ground,
While the beetle goes his round:
Follow now the beetles hum,
Little wanderer hie thee home."   
 
Europe, Plate 9, (E 63)
"Enitharmon slept,                                                
Eighteen hundred years: Man was a Dream!
The night of Nature and their harps unstrung:
She slept in middle of her nightly song,
Eighteen hundred years, a female dream!"

Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38], (E 180)
"Thus speaking; the Divine Family follow Albion:
I see them in the Vision of God upon my pleasant valleys.

I behold London; a Human awful wonder of God!
He says: Return, Albion, return! I give myself for thee:         
My Streets are my, Ideas of Imagination.
Awake Albion, awake! and let us awake up together.
My Houses are Thoughts: my Inhabitants; Affections,
The children of my thoughts, walking within my blood-vessels,
Shut from my nervous form which sleeps upon the verge of Beulah  
In dreams of darkness, while my vegetating blood in veiny pipes,
Rolls dreadful thro' the Furnaces of Los, and the Mills of Satan.
For Albions sake, and for Jerusalem thy Emanation
I give myself, and these my brethren give themselves for Albion.

So spoke London, immortal Guardian!"

Jerusalem, Plate 10 [11], E 104
"Then Los & Enitharmon knew that Satan is Urizen       
Drawn down by Orc & the Shadowy Female into Generation
Oft Enitharmon enterd weeping into the Space, there appearing
An aged Woman raving along the Streets (the Space is named
Canaan) then she returnd to Los weary frighted as from dreams   

The nature of a Female Space is this: it shrinks the Organs
Of Life till they become Finite & Itself seems Infinite.   

And Satan vibrated in the immensity of the Space! Limited
To those without but Infinite to those within: it fell down and
Became Canaan: closing Los from Eternity in Albions Cliffs     
A mighty Fiend against the Divine Humanity mustring to War"
 
Blake's friend Henry Fuseli pictured the scene in Paradise Lost differently. 
.
 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

PARADISE LOST 6

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost
Illustration 6
Raphael Warns Adam and Eve
Genesis 2
[8] And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
[9] And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
...
[16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
[17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The sixth Illustration to Paradise Lost shows Adam, Eve and the angel Raphael in the glorious garden of Eden. God knew that Satan had entered the earth and begun his attack on the 'human pair.' Thinking that Adam and Eve might prevent Satan's 'designs In them at once to ruin all mankind', God assigned Raphael to descend to the garden with a warning. Raphael's delivered the message that the happy couple could lose the idyllic situation they enjoyed if Satan could trap them with his deceit.

Adam looks at Raphael apprehensively; Eve, with an untroubled look, serves the lunch. Around the fruit laden tree in the background which is entwined by a serpent, Blake included symbolic animals:
elephant - strength
tiger - wrath
peacock - pride
horse - lust
donkey - beast of burden
ox - patience
birds of paradise - freedom
wading birds - transcend earth, water and air.
God did not place humanity on earth to be alone. Adam and Eve walked in the garden with God 'in the cool of the evening.' Guardian angels were dispatched to watch over them throughout the day and night.

Paradise Lost
John Milton
 

Book 5
Line 224
[God instructs Raphael]
  " Raphael, said he, thou hearest what stir on Earth
Satan, from Hell 'scaped through the darksome gulf,
Hath raised in Paradise; and how disturbed
This night the human pair; how he designs
In them at once to ruin all mankind. 
Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend
Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade
Thou findest him from the heat of noon retired,
To respite his day-labor with repast,
Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
As may advise him of his happy state,
Happiness in his power left free to will,
Left to his own free will, his will though free,
Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware
He swerve not, too secure: Tell him withal
His danger, and from whom; what enemy,
Late fallen himself from Heaven, is plotting now
The fall of others from like state of bliss;
By violence? no, for that shall be withstood;
But by deceit and lies: This let him know,
Lest, willfully transgressing, he pretend
Surprisal, unadmonished, unforewarned.
So spake the Eternal Father,"

Book 5
Line 519
[Raphael to Adam and Eve]
"Son of Heaven and Earth,
Attend. That thou art happy, owe to God;
That thou continuest such, owe to thyself,
That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
This was that caution given thee; be advised.
God made thee perfect, not immutable;
And good he made thee, but to persevere
He left it in thy power; ordained thy will
By nature free, not over-ruled by fate
Inextricable, or strict necessity:
Our voluntary service he requires,
Not our necessitated; such with him
Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how
Can hearts, not free, be tried whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By destiny, and can no other choose?
Myself, and all the angelic host, that stand
In sight of God, enthroned, our happy state
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other surety none: Freely we serve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
And some are fallen, to disobedience fallen,
And so from Heaven to deepest Hell; Oh fall
From what high state of bliss, into what woe!"

The danger of falling away from the Divine Benevolence can not be taken lightly. Blake and Milton wanted to impress upon their readers the effort and care that God takes to keep his precious creation intact. Man is not meant to be divided from Man or God. Eternal vigilance is Man's responsibility.
 

Jerusalem, Plate 55, (E 204) 
 "all equal share 
Divine Benevolence & joy, for the Eternal Man 
Walketh among us, calling us his Brothers & his Friends: 
Forbidding us that Veil which Satan puts between Eve & Adam"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 133, (E 401)
And Many Eternal Men sat at the golden feast to see 
The female form now separate They shudderd at the horrible thing
Not born for the sport and amusement of Man but born to drink up all his powers
They wept to see their shadows they said to one another this is Sin
This is the Generative world they rememberd the Days of old

And One of the Eternals spoke All was silent at the feast 

Man is a Worm wearied with joy he seeks the caves of sleep
Among the Flowers of Beulah in his Selfish cold repose
Forsaking Brotherhood & Universal love in selfish clay
Folding the pure wings of his mind seeking the places dark
Abstracted from the roots of Science then inclosd around  
In walls of Gold we cast him like a Seed into the Earth
Till times & spaces have passd over him duly every morn
We visit him covering with a Veil the immortal seed
With windows from the inclement sky we cover him & with walls
And hearths protect the Selfish terror till divided all 

In families we see our shadows born. & thence we know | Ephesians
That Man subsists by Brotherhood & Universal Love     |    iii c.
We fall on one anothers necks more closely we embrace |   10 v   

Not for ourselves but for the Eternal family we live
Man liveth not by Self alone but in his brothers face            
Each shall behold the Eternal Father & love & joy abound

So spoke the Eternal at the Feast they embracd the New born Man
Calling him Brother image of the Eternal Father."

Ephesians 3
[8] Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this 
grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable 
riches of Christ;
[9] And to make all men see what is the 
fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath 
been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
[10] To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly 
places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
[11] According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
[12] In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Once to Every Man and Nation
Author: James Russell Lowell (1845)
.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

PARADISE LOST 7

Wikipedia Commons  
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost   
Illustration 7  
The Rout of the Rebel Angels 
Genesis 1
[1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
[2] And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
[3] And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
[4] And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

John 1
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[2] The same was in the beginning with God.
[3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
[4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
[5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Milton's account of the rout of the rebel angels is from a memory as told by Raphael to Adam and Eve who were not in that time or place when it occurred. This is an account of the separation of light from darkness as was the biblical statement of what occurred 'In the beginning.' The rebel angels infected heaven - the place of light - with darkness when they chose to be separate themselves from the unity. The light cast them out into hell - the place of darkness. The rebel angels were not destroyed for their disobedience. They were sent away from the light; they were forced out of heaven. But as Adam and Eve would learn, they were still capable of engaging Men and Women in the Battle for Truth.
Paradise Lost
John Milton
Book VI 
Line 710-718
[From the account by Raphael to Adam and Eve]
"Go then, Thou Mightiest, in thy Father's might;
Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels
That shake Heaven's basis, bring forth all my war,
My bow and thunder, my almighty arms
Gird on, and sword upon thy puissant thigh;
Pursue these sons of darkness, drive them out
From all Heaven's bounds into the utter deep:
There let them learn, as likes them, to despise
God, and Messiah his anointed King."

Line 844-866
 "Nor less on either side tempestuous fell
His arrows, from the fourfold-visaged Four
Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels
Distinct alike with multitude of eyes;
One Spirit in them ruled; and every eye
Glared lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among the accursed, that withered all their strength,
And of their wonted vigor left them drained,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen.
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but checked
His thunder in mid volley; for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of Heaven:
The overthrown he raised, and as a herd
Of goats or timorous flock together thronged
Drove them before him thunder-struck, pursued
With terrors, and with furies, to the bounds
And crystal wall of Heaven; which, opening wide,
Rolled inward, and a spacious gap disclosed
Into the wasteful deep: The monstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward, but far worse
Urged them behind: Headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of Heaven; eternal wrath
Burnt after them to the bottomless pit." 

C. S. Lewis gives us insight into Milton's character Satan by revealing the incompatibility of self-centeredness and self-deception with clarity of vision.

From Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis:

"But I do not know whether we can distinguish his [Satan's] conscious lies from the blindness he has almost willingly imposed upon himself... for far earlier in his career he has become more a Lie than a Liar, a personified contradiction. (Page 97)
...
What we see in Satan is the horrible co-existence of a subtle and incessant intellectual ability with an incapacity to understand anything. (Page 99)
...
The point need not be laboured. Adam, though confined to a small park on a small planet, has interests which embrace 'all the choir of heaven and all the furniture of earth.' Satan has been in the Heaven of Heavens and in the abyss of hell, and surveyed all that lies between them, and in that whole immensity has found only one thing that interests Satan. It may be said that Adam's situation made it easier for him, than for Satan, to let his mind roam. But that is just the point. Satan's monomaniac concern for himself, and his supposed rights and wrongs is a necessity of the Satanic predicament. Certainly, he had no choice. He had chosen to have no choice. He had wished to 'be himself', and to be in himself and for himself, and his wish was granted. The Hell he carries with him is, in one sense, a Hell of infinite boredom...Milton makes plain the blank unintrestingness of being Satan." (Page 102)

Blake has his own way of treating the the opposition of the forces promoting the success of light or of darkness - of the Son of Man or Satan. For him the inexorable advance of truth opening the way for the power and glory of the Son of Man to reveal the apocalypse comes through recognition, repentance and forgiveness. The battle like the tears it provokes, is an intellectual thing.

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 123, (E 392)
"The furious wind still rends around they flee in sluggish effort

They beg they intreat in vain now they Listend not to intreaty
They view the flames red rolling on thro the wide universe
From the dark jaws of death beneath & desolate shores remote
These covering Vaults of heaven & these trembling globes of Earth
One Planet calls to another & one star enquires of another  
What flames are these coming from the South what noise what dreadful rout
As of a battle in the heavens hark heard you not the trumpet
As of fierce battle while they spoke the flames come on intense roaring

They see him whom they have piercd they wail because of him  
They magnify themselves no more against Jerusalem Nor
Against her little ones the innocent accused before the Judges
Shines with immortal Glory trembling the judge springs from his throne 
Hiding his face in the dust beneath the prisoners feet & saying
Brother of Jesus what have I done intreat thy lord for me  
Perhaps I may be forgiven While he speaks the flames roll on
And after the flames appears the Cloud of the Son of Man
Descending from Jerusalem with power and great Glory" 
Songs and Ballads, The Grey Monk, (E 489)
"But vain the Sword & vain the Bow 
They never can work Wars overthrow
The Hermits Prayer & the Widows tear
Alone can free the World from fear

For a Tear is an Intellectual Thing  
And a Sigh is the Sword of an Angel King 
And the bitter groan of the Martyrs woe
Is an Arrow from the Almighties Bow" 
. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

PARADISE LOST 8

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's
Paradise Lost Illustration 8
The Creation of Eve
Genesis 2
[21] And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
[22] And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
[23] And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

 
Genesis 3
[20] And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

In his epic Paradise Lost Milton embellished the few lines in Genesis concerning the creation of Adam and Eve. He explored the characteristics of our first parents and the relationship they shared in minute detail. Milton's Adam was privileged to communicate directly with the Almighty and make his desires known. He realized that he was uniquely embodying in a limited way the characteristics of God in whose image he was created. He knew that his understanding was greater than that of the beasts although far less than that of his maker. His request for a companion with whom be could share equally was answered by God removing a part of Adam himself to make for him a being like unto himself.

The companion whom God created pleased Adam because she was both like him and different from him. Milton followed conventional wisdom in describing woman as subservient to man. However each delighted in all that the other offered, and the bonds of love grew strong between them.

In Blake's eighth illustration to Milton's Paradise Lost, he pictured Christ as the agent who drew Eve from the body of Adam. Eve like Adam was more than a physical body; both were embodied spirits. Blake emphasized this by showing Adam lying on vegetation and Eve floating on air. This picture is, however, an image of separation: the feminine, represented by the new moon, became divided from the masculine whose light she was designed to reflect.  
 
Paradise Lost
John Milton
Book VIII

Beginning at line 445
 "not good for man to be alone;
...
Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, called
By Nature as in aid, and closed mine eyes.
Mine eyes he closed, but open left the cell
Of fancy, my internal sight; by which,
Abstract as in a trance, methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood:
Who stooping opened my left side, and took
From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
And life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound,
But suddenly with flesh filled up and healed:
The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands;
Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Man-like, but different sex; so lovely fair,
That what seemed fair in all the world, seemed now
Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained
And in her looks; which from that time infused
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
And into all things from her air inspired
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
...
Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love.
I, overjoyed, could not forbear aloud.
This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfilled
Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,
Giver of all things fair. but fairest this
Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself
Before me: Woman is her name; of man
Extracted: for this cause he shall forego
Father and mother, and to his wife adhere;
And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul."
 

Beginning at line 536
  "from my side subducting, took perhaps
More than enough; at least on her bestowed
Too much of ornament, in outward show
Elaborate, of inward less exact.
For well I understand in the prime end
Of Nature her the inferior, in the mind
And inward faculties, which most excel;
In outward also her resembling less
His image who made both, and less expressing
The character of that dominion given
O'er other creatures: Yet when I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best:
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded; Wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discountenanced,"

Beginning at line 589
"Love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges; hath his seat
In reason, and is judicious; is the scale
By which to heavenly love thou mayest ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure; for which cause,
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.
To whom thus, half abashed, Adam replied.
Neither her outside formed so fair, nor aught
In procreation common to all kinds,
(Though higher of the genial bed by far,
And with mysterious reverence I deem,)
So much delights me, as those graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies, that daily flow
From all her words and actions mixed with love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned
Union of mind, or in us both one soul;"

Although Blake did not have a single way of describing the separation of the male and female, this passage is enlightening. Blake indicates that when the emanation is split from the unified man, a second division ensues. The depleted Spirit is left a Spectre, a pale image of his original substance. Blake's aim is always for everything 'To reunite in those mild fields of happy Eternity.'                                             

 

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 84, (E 359)
[Spectre of Urthona to Enitharmon)
"To reunite in those mild fields of happy Eternity
Where thou & I in undivided Essence walkd about   
Imbodied. thou my garden of delight & I the spirit in the garden
Mutual there we dwelt in one anothers joy revolving
Days of Eternity with Tharmas mild & Luvah sweet melodious
Upon our waters. This thou well rememberest listen I will tell
What thou forgettest. They in us & we in them alternate Livd 
 
Drinking the joys of Universal Manhood. One dread morn
Listen O vision of Delight One dread morn of goary blood
 
The manhood was divided for the gentle passions making way
Thro the infinite labyrinths of the heart & thro the nostrils issuing
In odorous stupefaction stood before the Eyes of Man   
A female bright. I stood beside my anvil dark a mass
Of iron glowd bright prepard for spades & plowshares. sudden down
I sunk with cries of blood issuing downward in the veins
Which now my rivers were become rolling in tubelike forms
Shut up within themselves descending down I sunk along, 
The goary tide even to the place of seed & there dividing

 I was divided in darkness & oblivion thou an infant woe
And I an infant terror in the womb of Enion
My masculine spirit scorning the frail body issud forth
From Enions brain In this deformed form leaving thee there 
Till times passd over thee but still my spirit returning hoverd
And formd a Male to be a counterpart to thee O Love
Darkend & Lost In due time issuing forth from Enions womb
 
Thou & that demon Los wert born Ah jealousy & woe       
Ah poor divided dark Urthona now a Spectre wandering  
The deeps of Los the Slave of that Creation I created
I labour night & day for Los but listen thou my vision
I view futurity in thee I will bring down soft Vala
To the embraces of this terror & I will destroy
That body I created then shall we unite again in bliss"
 

Jerusalem, Plate 92, (E 252)
"Los answerd swift as the shuttle of gold. Sexes must vanish & cease 
To be, when Albion arises from his dread repose O lovely Enitharmon: 
When all their Crimes, their Punishments their Accusations of Sin: 
All their Jealousies Revenges. Murders. hidings of Cruelty in Deceit 
Appear only in the Outward Spheres of  Visionary Space and Time. 
In the shadows of Possibility by Mutual Forgiveness forevermore 
And in the Vision & in the Prophecy, that we may Foresee & Avoid 
The terrors of Creation & Redemption & Judgment." 
.