Saturday, November 28, 2009


The plight of Albion as he falls from his original unity as an Eternal, is portrayed in Night the First of the Four Zoas.

"Then those in Great Eternity met in the Council of God
As one Man for contracting their Exalted Senses
- 310 -
They behold Multitude or Expanding they behold as one
As One Man all the Universal family & that one Man
They call Jesus the Christ & they in him & he in them
Live in Perfect harmony in Eden the land of life
Consulting as One Man above the Mountain of Snowdon Sublime

For messengers from Beulah come in tears & darkning clouds
Saying Shiloh is in ruins our brother is sick Albion He
Whom thou lovest is sick he wanders from his house of Eternity
The daughters of Beulah terrified have closd the Gate of the
Luvah & Urizen contend in war around the holy tent

So spoke the Ambassadors from Beulah & with solemn mourning
They were introducd to the divine presence & they kneeled down
In Conways Vale thus recounting the Wars of Death Eternal

The Eternal Man wept in the holy tent Our Brother in Eternity
Even Albion whom thou lovest wept in pain his family
Slept round on hills & valleys in the regions of his love
But Urizen awoke & Luvah woke & thus conferrd

Thou Luvah said the Prince of Light behold our sons & daughters
Reposd on beds. let them sleep on."

It is confusing but enlightening that Blake brings to our minds a reference to the death and resurrection of Jesus's friend Lazarus by including familiar words from the story as told in John's Gospel. Lazarus is Jesus's friend whom he loves. Jesus knows his friend is sick but holds back from visiting until Lazarus has been in the grave four days. Jesus weeps over his friend and then brings him back to life.

John, Chapter 11

When Jesus revives Lazarus it is a four stage process: he has the stone removed from the entrance to the grave, he wakes him up, he removes the grave clothes that restrain him, then he calls him forth.

Albion will be brought back from the brink of Eternal Death, but it will be a multi-stage process involving the four Zoas, the Emanations, the Spectres, and ultimately Jesus himself.

In John, the account of the raising of Lazarus is followed immediately by the passage in which the determination is made by the priests and Pharisees that Jesus must be killed.

Blake, through the retelling of the Christian myth using psychological and mythopoeic methods, aims to follow Jesus as described in this verse:

11:4 - When Jesus received the message, he said, "This illness is not meant to end in death; it is going to bring glory to God - for it will show the glory of the Son of God."

The raising of Lazarus as shown by Blake in three different ways:

Lazarus in No Natural Religion

Lazarus in Tate Gallery

Lazarus in Young's Night Thoughts

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