Sunday, December 18, 2011

Plate 15

And Hand & Hyle rooted into Jerusalem by a fibre
Of strong revenge & Skofeld Vegetated by Reubens 

In every Nation of the Earth till the Twelve Sons 
of Albion
Enrooted into every Nation: a mighty Polypus 
From Albion over the whole Earth: such is my awful 

I see the Four-fold Man. The Humanity in deadly 
And its fallen Emanation. The Spectre & its cruel 
I see the Past, Present & Future, existing all at once
Before me; O Divine Spirit sustain me on thy wings!
That I may awake Albion from His long & cold repose.             
For Bacon & Newton sheathd in dismal steel, their 
terrors hang
Like iron scourges over Albion, Reasonings like vast Serpents
Infold around my limbs, bruising my minute articulations

I turn my eyes to the Schools & Universities of Europe
And there behold the Loom of Locke whose Woof rages 
Washd by the Water-wheels of Newton. black the cloth
In heavy wreathes folds over every Nation; cruel Works
Of many Wheels I View, wheel without wheel, with cogs 
Moving by compulsion each other: not as those in Eden: 
Wheel within Wheel in freedom revolve in harmony & 

I see in deadly fear in London Los raging round his Anvil
Of death: forming an Ax of gold: the Four Sons of Los
Stand round him cutting the Fibres from Albions hills
That Albions Sons may roll apart over the Nations
While Reuben enroots his brethren in the narrow Canaanite    
From the Limit Noah to the Limit Abram in whose Loins
Reuben in his Twelve-fold majesty & beauty shall take refuge
As Abraham flees from Chaldea shaking his goary locks
But first Albion must sleep, divided from the Nations

I see Albion sitting upon his Rock in the first Winter           
And thence I see the Chaos of Satan & the World of Adam
When the Divine Hand went forth on Albion in the mid Winter
And at the place of Death when Albion sat in Eternal Death
Among the Furnaces of Los in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom

The picture could be seen as 'Albion sitting upon his Rock' (near the end of the text).
The polypus is somewhere between a jellyfish and a polyp (typical of Blake to use a term with multiple connotations.
Hand, Hyle and Skofeld represent three scurrilous characters.
One would need to be a serious Bible scholar to be familiar with Reuben's Gate . Blake referred to Reuben 42 times.

"I see the Four-fold Man", this passage is exceedingly meaningful; the rest of the text summarizes Blake's value structure, his myth, system, many, many of his Visions.

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