Sunday, June 19, 2011


Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 20, (E 42)
"So the Angel said: thy phantasy has imposed upon me & thou
oughtest to be ashamed.
I answerd: we impose on one another, & it is but lost time
to converse with you whose works are only Analytics.

Opposition is true Friendship."
[Barely visible in the waves below Leviathan]

Compare copies of the plate in the Blake Archive

The climax of Jerusalem occurs as Albion (mankind) is reunited to Brittannia his connection to Eternity. In the 'wrathful rebuke' which accompanied their reunion, Erdman sees Blake's wrath which had impelled him to write his prophetic poems as vindicated. Action and Passion, Joy and Wrath are both awake and alive in one body.

David V Erdman, in Prophet Against Empire gives us this perspective on events as Jerusalem is reaching its resolution:

"Her (Britannia's) waking exclamations reanimated the 'stony members' of Albion-Adam, who, 'when he saw England,' rose up first in anger, full of the "wrath of God' and speaking 'in direful Revolutions of Action and Passion.' But these revolutions swiftly compelled his dislocated Zoas to resume their proper places as 'Sons of Eden.' Whereupon 'England who is Britannia entered Albion's Bosom rejoicing, Rejoicing in his indignation! adoring his wrathful rebuke' (J. 94-95).
After this visionary preview, the rest is easy. Blake knows that the prophetic wrath he has had difficulty trying to control will be fully vindicated when Albion learns to express it adequately and generously in Action and Passion. Vox populi, vox dei. [Voice of man, voice of God] The wrath in his bosom has really come from the Divine Humanity in his bosom, as he now discovers when Jesus appears, ready to converse 'as Man with Man, in Ages of Eternity And the Divine Appearance [is] the likeness and similitude of Los.' Albion is quickly given to understand that the angry prophet has been his true friend all along, dying for him continually - for 'every kindness to another is a little Death In the Divine Image nor can Man exist but by Brotherhood' (J. 96)."
(Page 485)

Jerusalem , Plate 95, (E 254)
Her [Brittannia's] voice pierc'd Albions clay cold ear. he moved upon the Rock
The Breath Divine went forth upon the morning hills, Albion mov'd

Upon the Rock, he opend his eyelids in pain; in pain he mov'd
His stony members, he saw England. Ah! shall the Dead live again

The Breath Divine went forth over the morning hills Albion rose
In anger: the wrath of God breaking bright flaming on all sides around
His awful limbs: into the Heavens he walked clothed in flames
Loud thundring, with broad flashes of flaming lightning & pillars
Of fire, speaking the Words of Eternity in Human Forms, in direful
Revolutions of Action & Passion, thro the Four Elements on all sides
Surrounding his awful Members. Thou seest the Sun in heavy clouds
Struggling to rise above the Mountains. in his burning hand
He takes his Bow, then chooses out his arrows of flaming gold
Murmuring the Bowstring breathes with ardor! clouds roll around the
Horns of the wide Bow, loud sounding winds sport on the mountain brows
Compelling Urizen to his Furrow; & Tharmas to his Sheepfold;
And Luvah to his Loom: Urthona he beheld mighty labouring at
His Anvil, in the Great Spectre Los unwearied labouring & weeping
Therefore the Sons of Eden praise Urthonas Spectre in songs
Because he kept the Divine Vision in time of trouble."

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