How many posts have already been written on the Spectre? And why again? Well it's ever with me; that's why?
I may annihilate it, but it comes back--every time I leave my bed. Actually it's a necessity for life, tantamount to living in the world, swimming in the sea of time and space. Is that why newborn babies cry (immediately)?
There's a way out; Odysseus found one; but he didn't do it by himself; it came to him, courtesy of Leucothea. With her help he reached dry land where Athena directed him to the southern gate of the Cave of the Nymphs.
All of these myths have inner meanings completely other than the obvious literal meaning. In this instance they have analogs in the Bible as well. Here Leucothea represents the Savior who rescues us from the spectral Sea of Time and Space. (This is called the mythopoeic meaning.)
The story of Odysseus is a story of everyman: we all go through the same type of adventures that he did. We all at least are thrown out into the Sea of Time and Space, generally at birth or shortly thereafter. It happened to Jesus, too. You may recall him walking in the water once; Peter (representing you and me) aspired to do the same, but for him it was a hard matter).
Once on dry land Odysseus got further direction (from Athena perhaps) to "the southern gate of 'return' where worthy mortals ascend into the higher realm of immortality".
Christians call that heaven (and I think Blake did, too).
Sin and Salvation that's the Bible's story and Blake's story: the Spectre, Experience, the Sea of Time and Space, the Selfhood: Blake's names for sin; our universal experience; what comes next? it's up to you.
It came naturally to Blake in childhood and youth; then came The Fall.
My spectre around me night and day
Like a wild beast guards my way.
My emanation far within
Weeps incessantly for my sin.
A fathomless and boundless deep,
There we wander, there we weep;
On the hungry craving wind
My spectre follows thee behind.
He scents thy footsteps in the snow,
Wheresoever thou dost go
Through the wintry hail and rain.
When wilt thou return again?
Dost thou not in pride and scorn
Fill with tempests all my morn,
And with jealousies and fears
Fill my pleasant nights with tears?
Seven of my sweet loves thy knife
Has bereaved of their life.
Their marble tombs I built with tears
And with cold and shuddering fears.
Seven more loves weep night and day
Round the tombs where my loves lay,
And seven more loves attend each night
Around my couch with torches bright.
And seven more loves in my bed
Crown with wine my mournful head,
Pitying and forgiving all
Thy transgressions, great and small.
When wilt thou return & view
My loves & them to life renew
When wilt thou return & live
When wilt thou pity as I forgive
Never Never I return
Still for Victory I burn
And when dead l'll be thy Grave
Thro the Heavn & Earth & Hell
Thou shalt never never quell
I will fly & thou pursue
Night & Morn the flight renew
Till I turn from Female Love
And root up the Infernal Grove
I shall never worthy be
To Step into Eternity
And to end thy cruel mocks Annihilate thee on the rocks And another form create To be subservient to my Fate Let us agree to give up Love And root up the infernal grove Then shall we return & see he worlds of happy Eternity & Throughout all Eternity I forgive you you forgive me As our dear Redeemer said This the Wine & this the Bread (E 475)