Monday, February 27, 2012

Plate 47

PLATE 47 [When Albion utterd his last words Hope is banishd from me
From Camberwell to Highgate where the mighty Thames shudders along, 
Where Los's Furnaces stand, where Jerusalem & Vala howl: Luvah tore forth from Albions Loins, in fibrous veins, in rivers Of blood over Europe: 
a Vegetating Root in grinding pain. 
Animating the Dragon Temples, soon to become that Holy Fiend The Wicker Man of Scandinavia in which cruelly consumed 
The Captives reard to heaven howl in flames among the stars Loud the cries of War on the Rhine & 
Danube, with Albions Sons,  
Away from Beulahs hills & vales break forth the 
Souls of the Dead, With cymbal, trumpet, clarion; & the scythed chariots of Britain. And
Plate 47
the Veil of Vala, is composed of the Spectres of the Dead 
 Hark! the mingling cries of Luvah with the Sons of Albion Hark! & 
Record the terrible wonder! that the Punisher Mingles with his Victims Spectre, enslaved and tormented 
To him whom he has murderd, bound in vengeance & enmity 
Shudder not, but Write, & the hand of God will assist you! 
Therefore I write Albions last words. Hope is banish'd from me

The Picture belongs between two sections of the text  right before mention of Vala's veil.  You might guess that the three figures are Albion (on the right) and Vala and jerusalem on the left.

From Camberwell to Highgate: two areas: one in South London, the other in North London.

Luvah tore forth from Albions Loins, a quaint way of mentioning the Fall.  This fallen Luvah (one of the four zoas, is bloody in the extreme; he was soon to become "the Wicker Man of Scandinavia"

"War on the Rhine & Danube": Much of most intense fighting in the later Roman Empire occured in the area embraced by these two river valleys.  Gibbon in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire spoke exhaustively of this campaign.  Blake had undoubted familiarity with Gibbon's work. (See Erdman's Prophet Against Empire, p. 468.)

"Away from Beulah's hills and vales" the fallen souls turn avidly to War.

Notice how Blake wrote 'Albion's last words. Hope is bansh'd from me' at the beginning and again at the end of the Plate.

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