"The Sky is an immortal tent built by the Sons of Los
And every Space that a Man views around his dwelling-place:
Standing on his own roof, or in his garden on a mount
Of twenty-five cubits in height, such space is his Universe;
And on its verge the Sun rises & sets. the Clouds bow
To meet the flat Earth & the Sea in such an orderd Space:
The Starry heavens reach no further but here bend and set
On all sides & the two Poles turn on their valves of gold:
And if he move his dwelling-place, his heavens also move."
(Milton Plate 29; Erdman 127)
Blake said, (Auguries of Innocence)
"Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine"
Excellent! Under the temptation of the Main Chance Blake, at the critical moment, acted exactly as Lavater suggests here.
Although some of these aphorisms appear to serve as source material for Blake's poetic thought, the true worth of 'Lavater' to Blake was more in the moral values that the two men shared. Very negative in his feelings about clergymen in general, Blake obviously had much admiration for Lavater.
"I hope no one will call what I have written cavilling because he may think my remarks of small consequence For I write from the warmth of my heart. & cannot resist the impulse I feel to rectify what I think false in a book I love so much. & approve so generally:
Man is bad or good. as he unites himself with bad or good spirits. tell me with whom you go & Ill tell you what you do
As we cannot experience pleasure but by means of others who experience either pleasure or pain thro us. And as all of us on earth are united in thought, for it is impossible to think without images of somewhat on earth--So it is impossible to know God or heavenly things without conjunction with those who know God & heavenly things. therefore, all who converse in the spirit, converse with spirits. [& these are either Good or Evil]
For these reasons I say that this Book is written by consultation with Good Spirits because it is Good. & that the name Lavater. is the amulet of those who purify the heart of man.
Murder is Hindering Another
Theft is Hindering Another
Backbiting. Undermining C[i]rcumventing & whatever is Negative is Vice
But the or[i]gin of this mistake in Lavater & his cotemporaries, is, They suppose that Womans Love is Sin. in consequence all the Loves & Graces with them are Sin" (Erdman 600-01)"
Blake makes a sharp distinction between Womans Love and Female Love; they are two entirely different things.