Tuesday, October 18, 2011


In image 9 of Blake's illustrations to Paradise Regained he continues to draw upon his own methods of presenting psychological and spiritual content in illustrating Milton.

Dominating this image, titled 'Morning chasing away the phantoms', is the lovely female presence which personifies morning, an awakening from the dreams which troubled the sleep of Jesus. Blake like Milton can paint word pictures of the waking of the day in 'minute particulars' of nature coming to life.

Paradise Regained

"till Morning fair
Came forth with pilgrim steps, in amice grey,
Who with her radiant finger stilled the roar
Of thunder, chased the clouds, and laid the winds,
And griesly spectres, which the Fiend had raised [430]
To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.
And now the sun with more effectual beams
Had cheered the face of earth, and dried the wet
From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds,
Who all things now behold more fresh and green,
After a night of storm so ruinous,
Cleared up their choicest notes in bush and spray,
To gratulate the sweet return of morn.
Nor yet, amidst this joy and brightest morn,
Was absent, after all his mischief done, [440]
The Prince of Darkness; glad would also seem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came;"

Milton, Plate 30 [33], (E 131)
"First eer the morning breaks joy opens in the flowery bosoms
Joy even to tears, which the Sun rising dries; first the Wild Thyme
And Meadow-sweet downy & soft waving among the reeds.
Light springing on the air lead the sweet Dance: they wake
The Honeysuckle sleeping on the Oak: the flaunting beauty
Revels along upon the wind; the White-thorn lovely May
Opens her many lovely eyes: listening the Rose still sleeps
None dare to wake her. soon she bursts her crimson curtaind bed
And comes forth in the majesty of beauty; every Flower:
The Pink, the Jessamine, the Wall-flower, the Carnation
The Jonquil, the mild Lilly opes her heavens! every Tree,
And Flower & Herb soon fill the air with an innumerable Dance
Yet all in order sweet & lovely, Men are sick with Love!
Such is a Vision of the lamentation of Beulah over Ololon"

In his image Blake goes beyond the arrival of the new light of day to show the night visitors which have been dispelled. In the air, the territory of Urizen, the demons of thought flee from the wakening Jesus. Blake pictures three, one of whom displays the bat wings of Satan. Sinking back into the earth, the territory of Urthona, are unconscious elements of the psyche which surfaced in the dream state. The figure of 'morn' is more than ego consciousness returning as ordinary sleep is dispelled; she is Eternal consciousness which is being strengthened in Jesus' growing awareness.

'Morn' displays a blue halo: the the moon's reflected sunlight. The feminine aspect of the 'undivided essence' of humanity is symbolized by the moon. The radiant light that surrounds the head of Jesus indicates the transition in consciousness which is transforming the way he perceives reality.

The divisions which must be overcome in achieving the Universal Manhood in the 'morn of ages' is indicated in his passage.

Four Zoas , Night VII, PAGE 84, (E 359)
"The Spectre said [to Vala]. Thou lovely Vision this delightful Tree
Is given us for a Shelter from the tempests of Void & Solid
Till once again the morn of ages shall renew upon us
To reunite in those mild fields of happy Eternity
Where thou & I in undivided Essence walkd about
Imbodied. thou my garden of delight & I the spirit in the garden
Mutual there we dwelt in one anothers joy revolving
Days of Eternity with Tharmas mild & Luvah sweet melodious
Upon our waters. This thou well rememberest listen I will tell
What thou forgettest. They in us & we in them alternate Livd
Drinking the joys of Universal Manhood."

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