Ram Horn'd with Gold
The Spiritual Autobiography of William Blake
Edited by Larry Clayton
"Blake sent this poem to the one faithful Christian he knew who had befriended and loved him. The circumstances leave no doubt as to the identity of the One Man. The poem poetically expresses Blake's faith as it relates to God, Man and the relationship between the two. It expresses what the Christian faith has to say about the relationship as well as it can be expressed verbally. It also expresses with vivid eloquence the child like nature of the entrance to the kingdom of God. Blake here celebrates and confesses it. To interpret Blake's experience we could use any number of hackneyed phrases representing the various dialects of the language of Zion; suffice it to say that for most of them as for Blake this is the main event, the center of the Moment of Grace. At this point Jesus became and forever afterward remained the One and the ever present Reality which Blake had formerly known as the Infinite or Eternal. For Blake Jesus was a Man, the Reality of Life, and most ultimately the All. In all three instances Blake strictly followed Johnine and Pauline strains of the New Testament."
Letters, 16, Oct 1800, (E 712) "To my Friend Butts I write My first Vision of Light On the yellow sands sitting The Sun was Emitting His Glorious beams From Heavens high Streams Over Sea over Land My Eyes did Expand Into regions of air Away from all Care Into regions of fire Remote from Desire The Light of the Morning Heavens Mountains adorning In particles bright The jewels of Light Distinct shone & clear-- Amazd & in fear I each particle gazed Astonishd Amazed For each was a Man Human formd. ... I stood in the Streams Of Heavens bright beams And Saw Felpham sweet Beneath my bright feet In soft Female charms And in her fair arms My Shadow I knew And my wifes shadow too And My Sister & Friend. We like Infants descend In our Shadows on Earth Like a weak mortal birth My Eyes more & more Like a Sea without shore Continue Expanding The Heavens commanding Till the jewels of Light Heavenly Men beaming bright Appeard as One Man Who Complacent began My limbs to infold In his beams of bright gold Like dross purgd away All my mire & my clay Soft consumd in delight In his bosom sun bright I remaind. Soft he smild And I heard his voice Mild Saying This is My Fold O thou Ram hornd with gold" Look also at this Plate from America a Prophecy, copy A, in the collection of the Morgan Library