Thursday, February 23, 2012

Plate 45

Plate 1
So Los in lamentations followd Albion, Albion coverd,

PLATE 45 [31]
His western heaven with rocky clouds of death & despair.

Fearing that Albion should turn his back against the Divine
Los took his globe of fire to search the interiors of Albions
Bosom, in all the terrors of friendship, entering the caves
Of despair & death, to search the tempters out, walking among 
Albions rocks & precipices! caves of solitude & dark despair,
And saw every Minute Particular of Albion degraded & murderd
But saw not by whom; they were hidden within in the minute
Of which they had possessd themselves; and there they take up
The articulations of a mans soul, and laughing throw it down   
Into the frame, then knock it out upon the plank, & souls are
In bricks to build the pyramids of Heber & Terah. But Los
Searchd in vain: closd from the minutia he walkd, difficult.
He came down from Highgate thro Hackney & Holloway towards London
Till he came to old Stratford & thence to Stepney & the Isle     
Of Leuthas Dogs, thence thro the narrows of the Rivers side
And saw every minute particular, the jewels of Albion, running
The kennels of the streets & lanes as if they were abhorrd.
Every Universal Form, was become barren mountains of Moral
Virtue: and every Minute Particular hardend into grains of sand:
And all the tendernesses of the soul cast forth as filth & mire,
Among the winding places of deep contemplation intricate
To where the Tower of London frownd dreadful over Jerusalem:
A building of Luvah builded in Jerusalems eastern gate to be
His secluded Court: thence to Bethlehem where was builded   
Dens of despair in the house of bread: enquiring in vain
Of stones and rocks he took his way, for human form was none:
And thus he spoke, looking on Albions City with many tears
What shall I do! what could I do, if I could find these 
I could not dare to take vengeance; for all things are so
And builded by the Divine hand, that the sinner shall always
And he who takes vengeance alone is the criminal of Providence;
If I should dare to lay my finger on a grain of sand
In way of vengeance; I punish the already punishd: O whom
Should I pity if I pity not the sinner who is gone astray!       
O Albion, if thou takest vengeance; if thou revengest thy wrongs
Thou art for ever lost! What can I do to hinder the Sons
Of Albion from taking vengeance? or how shall I them perswade.

So spoke Los, travelling thro darkness & horrid solitude:
And he beheld Jerusalem in Westminster & Marybone,    
Among the ruins of the Temple: and Vala who is her Shadow,
Jerusalems Shadow bent northward over the Island white.
At length he sat on London Stone, & heard Jerusalems voice.
Plate 45
Albion I cannot be thy Wife. thine own Minute Particulars,
Belong to God alone. and all thy little ones are holy            
They are of Faith & not of Demonstration: wherefore is Vala
Clothd in black mourning upon my rivers currents, Vala awake!
I hear thy shuttles sing in the sky, and round my limbs
I feel the iron threads of love & jealousy & despair.

Vala reply'd. Albion is mine! Luvah gave me to Albion            
And now recieves reproach & hate. Was it not said of old
Set your Son before a man & he shall take you & your sons
For slaves: but set your Daughter before a man & She
Shall make him & his sons & daughters your slaves for ever!
And is this Faith? Behold the strife of Albion, & Luvah          
Is great in the east, their spears of blood rage in the eastern
Urizen is the champion of Albion, they will slay my Luvah:
And thou O harlot daughter! daughter of despair art all
This cause of these shakings of my towers on Euphrates.
Here is the House of Albion, & here is thy secluded place        
And here we have found thy sins: & hence we turn thee forth,
For all to avoid thee: to be astonishd at thee for thy sins:
Because thou art the impurity & the harlot: & thy children!
Children of whoredoms: born for Sacrifice: for the meat & drink
Offering: to sustain the glorious combat & the battle & war      
That Man may be purified by the death of thy delusions.

So saying she her dark threads cast over the trembling River:
And over the valleys; from the hills of Hertfordshire to the
Of Surrey across Middlesex & across Albions House
Of Eternity! pale stood Albion at his eastern gate, 
(Erdman 194-5)


"Los took his globe of fire": Blake used The 'globe of fire' 7 times; the earliest was in The First Book of Urizen at
"Urizen explor'd his dens
Mountain, moor, & wilderness,
With a globe of fire lighting his journey

A fearful journey, annoy'd

By cruel enormities: forms
Of life on his forsaken mountains

And his world teemd vast enormities

Frightning; faithless;"
Erdman page 81) "And saw every Minute Particular of Albion degraded & murderd
But saw not by whom;
Aha! A Detective Story.  Who's the guilty party?
"they take up The articulations of a mans soul,"
The murderers violate our soul!!!

But Los
Searchd in vain: closd from the minutia he walkd,"

Los was the detective, but he was getting nowhere.

"What shall I do! what could I do, if I could find these
I could not dare to take vengeance;"

Now Los knew who the culprits were, but he couldn't act
against them. (Jesus told us to forgive!!)

Blake had a lot to teach in this Plate, but nothing more important than the gospel; the gospel is about forgiveness.

There follows a dialogue of Jerusalem and Vala to Albion.

(This is how you might envision the Plate if you had my psyche.  Use you own to make whatever significance and meaning there may be here for you.)

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