Images from the British Museum
Eight of the images in the Small Book of Designs were discovered in a Railway Timetable sold in a lot of used books in the 1970's. The images had been separated from the set and disappeared from sight for about a century and a quarter. They now belong to the Tate Gallery and are shown here by the BBC.
From Book of Urizen
Milton , Plate 15 , (E 109)
"First Milton saw Albion upon the Rock of Ages,
Deadly pale outstretchd and snowy cold, storm coverd;
A Giant form of perfect beauty outstretchd on the rock
In solemn death: the Sea of Time & Space thunderd aloud
Against the rock, which was inwrapped with the weeds of death
Hovering over the cold bosom, in its vortex Milton bent down
To the bosom of death, what was underneath soon seemd above.
A cloudy heaven mingled with stormy seas in loudest ruin;
But as a wintry globe descends precipitant thro' Beulah bursting,
With thunders loud and terrible: so Miltons shadow fell
Precipitant loud thundring into the Sea of Time & Space."
Four Zoas. Page 51, (E 334)
"Tharmas before Los stood & thus the Voice of Tharmas rolld
Now all comes into the power of Tharmas. Urizen is falln
And Luvah hidden in the Elemental forms of Life & Death
Urthona is My Son O Los thou art Urthona & Tharmas
Is God. The Eternal Man is seald never to be deliverd
I roll my floods over his body my billows & waves pass over him
The Sea encompasses him & monsters of the deep are his companions
Dreamer of furious oceans cold sleeper of weeds & shells
Thy Eternal form shall never renew my uncertain prevails against thee
Yet tho I rage God over all. A portion of my Life
That in Eternal fields in comfort wanderd with my flocks
At noon & laid her head upon my wearied bosom at night
She is divided She is vanishd even like Luvah & Vala
O why did foul ambition sieze thee Urizen Prince of Light"
For more on this image read Wartry Tharmas or Air, Water, Earth & Fire.
From Book of Urizen
Jerusalem, Plate 3, (E 145)
"Reader! [lover] of books! [lover] of heaven,
And of that God from whom [all books are given,]
Who in mysterious Sinais awful cave
To Man the wond'rous art of writing gave,
Again he speaks in thunder and in fire!
Thunder of Thought, & flames of fierce desire:
Even from the depths of Hell his voice I hear,
Within the unfathomd caverns of my Ear.
Therefore I print; nor vain my types shall be:
Heaven, Earth & Hell, henceforth shall live in harmony
Of the Measure, in which
the following Poem is written"
Jerusalem, Plate 66, (E 219)
"And as their eye & ear shrunk, the heavens shrunk away
The Divine Vision became First a burning flame, then a column
Of fire, then an awful fiery wheel surrounding earth & heaven:
And then a globe of blood wandering distant in all unknown night:"
Jerusalem, Plate 68, (E 222)
"Once Man was occupied in intellectual pleasures & energies
But now my soul is harrowd with grief & fear & love & desire
And now I hate & now I love & Intellect is no more:
There is no time for any thing but the torments of love & desire"
Thel, Plate 1, (E 3)
"Ah! Thel is like a watry bow. and like a parting cloud.
Like a reflection in a glass. like shadows in the water.
Like dreams of infants. like a smile upon an infants face,
Like the doves voice, like transient day, like music in the air;
Ah! gentle may I lay me down, and gentle rest my head.
And gentle sleep the sleep of death. and gentle hear the voice
Of him that walketh in the garden in the evening time."
For more on this image read Thel II.