He carried the idea of clothing the body in a garment to his imagery. In Auguries of Innocence he called 'Joy & Woe' clothing for the soul divine. Milton took off the 'robe of the promise' to descend into our world from his abode in Eternity. Luvah put on the robes of blood 'lest Man should fall into Eternal Death.' The 'Light' is the garment of the Divine Vision. Satan does not know the 'Garment from the Man.' Blake wove the image of garments into his poetry like a thread which bound together levels of understanding.
|University of Adelaide|
In the quotes we see that not all weaving is beneficent. Vala weaves bodies of misery.
Four Zoas Night VIII, Page 104, (E 378)
"Los said to Enitharmon Pitying I saw
Pitying the Lamb of God Descended thro Jerusalems gates To put off Mystery time after time & as a Man Is born on Earth so was he born of Fair Jerusalem In mysterys woven mantle & in the Robes of Luvah He stood in fair Jerusalem to awake up into Eden The fallen Man but first to Give his vegetated body To be cut off & separated that the Spiritual body may be Reveald" Milton, Plate 14 , (E 108) "Then Milton rose up from the heavens of Albion ardorous! The whole Assembly wept prophetic, seeing in Miltons face And in his lineaments divine the shades of Death & Ulro He took off the robe of the promise, & ungirded himself from the oath of God And Milton said, I go to Eternal Death!"
Milton, Plate 18, (E 111) "And thus the Shadowy Female howls in articulate howlings I will lament over Milton in the lamentations of the afflicted My Garments shall be woven of sighs & heart broken lamentations The misery of unhappy Families shall be drawn out into its border Wrought with the needle with dire sufferings poverty pain & woe Along the rocky Island & thence throughout the whole Earth There shall be the sick Father & his starving Family! there The Prisoner in the stone Dungeon & the Slave at the Mill I will have Writings written all over it in Human Words That every Infant that is born upon the Earth shall read And get by rote as a hard task of a life of sixty years" Four Zoas, Night II, Page 33, (E 321) "For the Divine Lamb Even Jesus who is the Divine Vision Permitted all lest Man should fall into Eternal Death For when Luvah sunk down himself put on the robes of blood Lest the state calld Luvah should cease. & the Divine Vision Walked in robes of blood till he who slept should awake" Jerusalem, Plate 54, (E 203) "In Great Eternity, every particular Form gives forth or Emanates Its own peculiar Light, & the Form is the Divine Vision And the Light is his Garment This is Jerusalem in every Man A Tent & Tabernacle of Mutual Forgiveness Male & Female Clothings. And Jerusalem is called Liberty among the Children of Albion" Gates of Paradise, The Keys, (E 269) "Truly My Satan thou art but a Dunce And dost not know the Garment from the Man" Jerusalem, Plate 18, (E 163) (For Vala produc'd the Bodies. Jerusalem gave the Souls) Jerusalem, Plate 59, (E 209) And one Daughter of Los sat at the fiery Reel & another Sat at the shining Loom with her Sisters attending round Terrible their distress & their sorrow cannot be utterd And another Daughter of Los sat at the Spinning Wheel Endless their labour, with bitter food. void of sleep, Tho hungry they labour: they rouze themselves anxious Hour after hour labouring at the whirling Wheel Many Wheels & as many lovely Daughters sit weeping Yet the intoxicating delight that they take in their work Obliterates every other evil; none pities their tears Yet they regard not pity & they expect no one to pity For they labour for life & love, regardless of any one But the poor Spectres that they work for, always incessantly They are mockd, by every one that passes by. they regard not They labour; & when their Wheels are broken by scorn & malice They mend them sorrowing with many tears & afflictions. Other Daughters Weave on the Cushion & Pillow, Network fine That Rahab & Tirzah may exist & live & breathe & love Ah, that it could be as the Daughters of Beulah wish! Other Daughters of Los, labouring at Looms less fine Create the Silk-worm & the Spider & the Catterpiller To assist in their most grievous work of pity & compassion And others Create the wooly Lamb & the downy Fowl To assist in the work: the Lamb bleats: the Sea-fowl cries Men understand not the distress & the labour & sorrow That in the Interior Worlds is carried on in fear & trembling Weaving the shuddring fears & loves of Albions Families Thunderous rage the Spindles of iron. & the iron Distaff Maddens in the fury of their hands, Weaving in bitter tears The Veil of Goats-hair & Purple & Scarlet & fine twined Linen Jerusalem, Plate 64, (E 215) "Then the Spectre drew Vala into his bosom magnificent terrific Glittering with precious stones & gold, with Garments of blood & fire He wept in deadly wrath of the Spectre, in self-contradicting agony Crimson with Wrath & green with jealousy dazling with Love And jealousy immingled & the purple of the violet darkend deep Over the Plow of Nations thundring in the hand of Albions Spectre A dark Hermaphrodite they stood frowning upon Londons River And the Distaff & Spindle in the hands of Vala with the Flax of Human Miseries turnd fierce with the Lives of Men along the Valley As Reuben fled before the Daughters of Albion Taxing the Nations" Jerusalem, Plate 80, (E 236) But I Vala, Luvahs daughter, keep his [Albion's] body embalmd in moral laws With spices of sweet odours of lovely jealous stupefaction: Within my bosom, lest he arise to life & slay my Luvah Pity me then O Lamb of God! O Jesus pity me! Come into Luvahs Tents, and seek not to revive the Dead! So sang she: and the Spindle turnd furious as she sang: The Children of Jerusalem the Souls of those who sleep Were caught into the flax of her Distaff, & in her Cloud To weave Jerusalem a body according to her will A Dragon form on Zion Hills most ancient promontory The Spindle turnd in blood & fire: loud sound the trumpets Of war:" Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 137, (E 405) "Then Tharmas & Urthona rose from the Golden feast satiated With Mirth & joy Urthona limping from his fall on Tharmas leand In his right hand his hammer Tharmas held his Shepherds crook Beset with gold gold were the ornaments formed by the sons of Urizen Then Enion & Ahania & Vala & the wife of Dark Urthona Rose from the feast in joy ascending to their Golden Looms There the wingd shuttle Sang the spindle & the distaff & the Reel Rang sweet the praise of industry. Thro all the golden rooms Heaven rang with winged Exultation All beneath howld loud With tenfold rout & desolation roard the Chasms beneath Where the wide woof flowd down & where the Nations are gatherd together" .