Sunday, July 17, 2011


Ram Horn'd with Gold

A Blake Hypertext Commentary

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

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