Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Plate 48

Therefore I write Albions last words. Hope is banish'd from me.

These were his last words, and the merciful Saviour in his arms
Reciev'd him, in the arms of tender mercy and repos'd
The pale limbs of his Eternal Individuality
Upon the Rock of Ages. Then, surrounded with a Cloud:
In silence the Divine Lord builded with immortal labour,         
Of gold & jewels a sublime Ornament, a Couch of repose,
With Sixteen pillars: canopied with emblems & written verse.
Spiritual Verse, order'd & measur'd, from whence, time shall
The Five books of the Decologue, the books of Joshua & Judges,
Samuel, a double book & Kings, a double book, the Psalms &
The Four-fold Gospel, and the Revelations everlasting
Eternity groan'd. & was troubled, at the image of Eternal Death!

Beneath the bottoms of the Graves, which is Earths central joint,
There is a place where Contrarieties are equally true:
(To protect from the Giant blows in the sports of intellect,     
Thunder in the midst of kindness, & love that kills its beloved:
Because Death is for a period, and they renew tenfold.)
From this sweet Place Maternal Love awoke Jerusalem

With pangs she forsook Beulah's pleasant lovely shadowy Universe
Where no dispute can come; created for those who Sleep.          

Weeping was in all Beulah, and all the Daughters of Beulah
Wept for their Sister the Daughter of Albion, Jerusalem:
When out of Beulah the Emanation of the Sleeper descended
With solemn mourning out of Beulahs moony shades and hills:
Within the Human Heart, whose Gates closed with solemn sound.   

And this the manner of the terrible Separation
The Emanations of the grievously afflicted Friends of Albion
Concenter in one Female form an Aged pensive Woman.
Astonish'd! lovely! embracing the sublime shade: the Daughters 
     of Beulah
Beheld her with wonder! With awful hands she took                
A Moment of Time, drawing it out with many tears & afflictions
And many sorrows: oblique across the Atlantic Vale
Which is the Vale of Rephaim dreadful from East to West,
Where the Human Harvest waves abundant in the beams of Eden
Into a Rainbow of jewels and gold, a mild Reflection from        
Albions dread Tomb. Eight thousand and five hundred years
In its extension. Every two hundred years has a door to Eden
She also took an Atom of Space, with dire pain opening it a
Into Beulah: trembling the Daughters of Beulah dried
Her tears. she ardent embrac'd her sorrows. occupied in labours  
Of sublime mercy in Rephaims Vale. Perusing Albions Tomb
She sat: she walk'd among the ornaments solemn mourning.
The Daughters attended her shudderings, wiping the death sweat
Los also saw her in his seventh Furnace, he also terrified
Saw the finger of God go forth upon his seventh Furnace:         
Away from the Starry Wheels to prepare Jerusalem a place.
When with a dreadful groan the Emanation mild of Albion.
Burst from his bosom in the Tomb like a pale snowy cloud,
Female and lovely, struggling to put off the Human form
Writhing in pain. The Daughters of Beulah in kind arms reciev'd  
Jerusalem: weeping over her among the Spaces of Erin,
In the Ends of Beulah, where the Dead wail night & day.

And thus Erin spoke to the Daughters of Beulah, in soft tears

Albion the Vortex of the Dead! Albion the Generous!
Albion the mildest son of Heaven! The Place of Holy Sacrifice! 
Where Friends Die for each other: will become the Place,
Of Murder, & Unforgiving, Never-awaking Sacrifice of Enemies
The Children must be sacrific'd! (a horror never known
Till now in Beulah.) unless a Refuge can be found
To hide them from the wrath of Albions Law that freezes sore     
Upon his Sons & Daughters, self-exiled from his bosom

Draw ye Jerusalem away from Albions Mountains
To give a Place for Redemption, let Sihon and Og
Remove Eastward to Bashan and Gilead, and leave

The secret coverts of Albion & the hidden places of America
(Erdman 196-7) 


Plate 48 starts with 'the merciful Saviour in his arms
Reciev'd him [Albion] and set him on the Rock of Ages coming from Isaiah 26:3, 
'everlasting Rock.'
     Rock is very persuasive in the Bible and in Blake:
When the Children in the wilderness from Egypt moaned because of lack of water, 
Moses angrily struck a rock, from which came 'everlasting water'  God penalized 
him for that lapse by prohibiting from from entering the Promised Land.
This is an example of the ambiguous way Blake (an the Bible as well) dealt with 
the events of the O.T.
The Divine Lord is working (timelessly) before Abraham or Moses: "Before Abraham 
was I am" was spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of John. (Many Bible students 
believe that Jesus was reported to have said he existed before Abraham; however 
a better idea (IMO) was that 'I am' was used elsewhere as a name for God. 
the books of the Bible: "from whence, time shall reveal. The Five books of the 
Decologue", etc. This is a step down from Heaven to earth (from the Eternal to 
the temporal).
Like so many of these posts Blake gives an alternation: heaven, fall to earth 
("I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven") (Luke 10:18; memorialized by 
Milton in Paradise Lost.)
"Eternity groan' the image of Eternal Death!" we understand 'Eternal 
Death' to mean being born (from Heaven to 'this vale of tears'.

"a place where Contrarieties are equally true:" which is to say 'Beulah': the 
first place where man descended from Heaven.
  And on and on and on he goes.

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