Four Zoas, Night IX, (E 397)
"So spoke the Sinless Soul & laid her head on the downy fleece
Of a curld Ram who stretchd himself in sleep beside his mistress
And soft sleep fell upon her eyelids in the silent noon of day
Then Luvah passed by & saw the sinless Soul
And said Let a pleasant house arise to be the dwelling place
Of this immortal Spirit growing in lower Paradise
He spoke & pillars were builded & walls as white as ivory
The grass she slept upon was pavd with pavement as of pearl
Beneath her rose a downy bed & a cieling coverd all
Vala awoke. When in the pleasant gates of sleep I enterd
I saw my Luvah like a spirit stand in the bright air
Round him stood spirits like me who reard me a bright house
And here I see thee house remain in my most pleasant world
My Luvah smild I kneeled down he laid his hand on my head
And when he laid his hand upon me from the gates of sleep I came
Into this bodily house to tend my flocks in my pleasant garden
So saying she arose & walked round her beautiful house
And then from her white door she lookd to see her bleating lambs
But her flocks were gone up from beneath the trees into the hills
I see the hand that leadeth me doth also lead my flocks
She went up to her flocks & turned oft to see her shining house
She stopd to drink of the clear spring & eat the grapes & apples
She bore the fruits in her lap she gatherd flowers for her bosom
She called to her flocks saying follow me O my flocks
They followd her to the silent vall[e]y beneath the spreading trees
And on the rivers margin she ungirded her golden girdle
She stood in the river & viewd herself within the watry glass
And her bright hair was wet with the waters She rose up from the river
And as she rose her Eyes were opend to the world of waters
She saw Tharmas sitting upon the rocks beside the wavy sea
He strokd the water from his beard & mournd faint thro the summer vales
And Vala stood on the rocks of Tharmas & heard his mournful voice"
Jerusalem, Copy a
Her house is Vala's garment of material nature. She enters it as her eyes are opened to a reflected image of the permanent realities of Eternity. She steps into the water of time and space as she assumes a body. Kathleen Raine relates the Neo-platonic idea that the the soul of Nature desired to contemplate herself and so relinquished a part of of herself to externality. But the substance remains the original Eternal Reality. The shadow is the world of matter in which our bodies live as Vala lives in her house of illusion beside the river while Tharmas mourns .
On Page 36 of Golgonooza: City of Imagination, Raine writes:
"Vala's only reality is as the 'shadow' of Jerusalem, a reflection of Soul cast in the 'Vegetable Glass' of nature."
Vision of the Last Judgment, (E 555)
in that Eternal World the Permanent Realities of Every Thing
which we see are reflected in this Vegetable Glass of Nature"
Jerusalem, Plate 11, (E 154)
"Vala is but thy Shadow, O thou loveliest among women!
A shadow animated by thy tears O mournful Jerusalem!
Why wilt thou give to her a Body whose life is but a Shade?.
Her joy and love, a shade: a shade of sweet repose:
But animated and vegetated, she is a devouring worm:
What shall we do for thee O lovely mild Jerusalem?"