Continuing our study of America a Prophecy we look now at Plates
The fiery young man in the picture can certainly be thought of as Orc, harbinger of Revolution, which appalls the King (or the forces of oppression), and also Albion's Angel because of the violence and blood shed.
PLATE 10: Thus wept the Angel voice & as he wept the terrible blasts Of trumpets, blew a loud alarm across the Atlantic deep. No trumpets answer; no reply of clarions or of fifes, Silent the Colonies remain and refuse the loud alarm. On those vast shady hills between America & Albions shore; Now barr'd out by the Atlantic sea: call'd Atlantean hills: Because from their bright summits you may pass to the Golden world An ancient palace, archetype of mighty Emperies, Rears its immortal pinnacles, built in the forest of God By Ariston the king of beauty for his stolen bride, Here on their magic seats the thirteen Angels sat perturb'd For clouds from the Atlantic hover o'er the solemn roof. According to Plato, Atlantis was a naval power 'in front of the Pillars of Hercules' that conquered much much of Western Europe and Africa about 9600 BC. After a failed attempt to invade Athens Atlantis sank into the ocean 'in a single day and night of misfortune'.
|lc plate 11|
PLATE 11: "Fiery the Angels rose, & as they rose deep thunder roll'd Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc And Bostons Angel cried aloud as they flew thro' the dark night. He cried: Why trembles honesty and like a murderer" (This is timely, brothers: our country is so parlous that to ever speak of it is a no, no.) "Why seeks he refuge from the frowns of his immortal station! Must the generous tremble & leave his joy, to the idle: to the pestilence! That mock him? who commanded this? what God? what Angel! To keep the gen'rous from experience till the ungenerous Are unrestraind performers of the energies of nature; Till pity is become a trade, and generosity a science, That men get rich by, & the sandy desart is giv'n to the strong (Read Erdman 33, the Argument of the Marriage of Heaven and Hell.) What God is he, writes laws of peace, & clothes him in a tempest What pitying Angel lusts for tears, and fans himself with sighs What crawling villain preaches abstinence & wraps himself In fat of lambs? no more I follow, no more obedience pay."
'What God?' Blake was painfully aware of the close allegiance of the (Established) Church to the empirical forces of oppression that must lead to war.
PLATE 12 "So cried he, rending off his robe & throwing down his scepter. In sight of
Albions Guardian, and all the thirteen Angels Rent off their robes to the hungry wind, &
threw their golden scepters Down on the land of America. indignant they descended
Headlong from out their heav'nly heights, descending swift as fires Over the land; naked &
flaming are their lineaments seen In the deep gloom, by Washington & Paine & Warren
they stood And the flame folded roaring fierce within the pitchy night Before the Demon red
[Orc], who burnt towards America, In black smoke thunders and loud winds rejoicing in its terror
Breaking in smoky wreaths from the wild deep, & gath'ring thick In flames as of a furnace
on the land from North to South"