Saturday, January 28, 2012

Plate 32

PLATE 46 [32]

Leaning against the pillars, & his discase rose from his skirts

Upon the Precipice he stood! ready to fall into Non-Entity.

Los was all astonishment & terror: he trembled sitting on the


Vala and Jerusalem
Of London: but the interiors of Albions fibres & nerves were
From Los; astonishd be beheld only the petrified surfaces:
And saw his Furnaces in ruins, for Los is the Demon of the
He saw also the Four Points of Albion reversd inwards
He siezd his Hammer & Tongs, his iron Poker & his Bellows,
Upon the valleys of Middlesex, Shouting loud for aid Divine.

In stern defiance came from Albions bosom Hand, Hyle, Koban,

Gwantok, Peachy, Brertun, Slaid, Huttn, Skofeld, Kock, Kotope

- 195 -Bowen: Albions Sons: they bore him a golden couch into the porch

And on the Couch reposd his limbs, trembling from the bloody
Rearing their Druid Patriarchal rocky Temples around his limbs.
(All things begin & end, in Albions Ancient Druid Rocky Shore.)


This text obviously bears little acquaintance with the text. It seems best to discuss the picture, which is one of the most obvious contraries between Vala and Jerusalem. The veiled figure on the left is obviously Vala and the naked figure in the center Jerusalem. (Veils and nakedness have often been explained to differentiate between the garment of worldlings and the nakedness in Eternity, which is to say that Vala represents the world and materiality while Jerusalem (the bride of Christ) represents the nakedness with which we all expect to arrive at the Heavenly Gate.

Note that the church at the lower left is St. Paul, the citadel of Anglicanism, a flawed institution, especially in Blake's time, while the one on the right is Westminster Abbey, which goes back way before the Reformation. Once again, a marker between materiality and eternity.

Vala is dark- like Ulro, while Jerusalem is radiant.

The three younger figures clutched around Jerusalem might be called her daughters.

No comments: