Friday, March 30, 2012

Plate 55

When those who disregard all Mortal Things, saw a Mighty-One
Among the Flowers of Beulah still retain his awful strength
They wonderd; checking their wild flames & Many gathering
Together into an Assembly; they said, let us go down
And see these changes! Others said, If you do so prepare       
For being drived from our fields, what have we to do with the
To be their inferiors or superiors we equally abhor;
Superior, none we know: inferior none: all equal share
Divine Benevolence & joy, for the Eternal Man
Walketh among us, calling us his Brothers & his Friends:       
Forbidding us that Veil which Satan puts between Eve and Adam
By which the Princes of the Dead enslave their Votaries
Teaching them to form the Serpent of precious stones and gold
To sieze the Sons of Jerusalem & plant them in One Mans Loins
To make One Family of Contraries: that Joseph may be sold      
Into Egypt: for Negation; a Veil the Saviour born and dying rends.

But others said: Let us to him who only Is, and who
Walketh among us, give decision. bring forth all your fires!

So saying, an eternal deed was done: in fiery flames
The Universal Conc[l]ave raged, such thunderous sounds as never
Were sounded from a mortal cloud, nor on Mount Sinai old
Plate 55
Nor in Havilah where the Cherub rolld his redounding flame.

Loud! loud! the Mountains lifted up their voices, loud the Forests
Rivers thunderd against their banks, loud Winds furious fought
Cities and Nations contended in fires & clouds and tempests.       
The Seas raisd up their voices and lifted their hands on high
The Stars in their courses fought. the Sun! Moon! Heaven! Earth.
Contending for Albion and for Jerusalem his Emanation
And for Shiloh, the Emanation of France and for lovely Vala.

Then far the greatest number were about to make a Separation   
And they Elected Seven, calld the Seven Eyes of God;
Lucifer, Molech, Elohim, Shaddai, Pahad, Jehovah, Jesus.
They namd the Eighth. he came not, he hid in Albions Forests
But first they said: and their Words stood in Chariots in array
Curbing their Tygers with golden bits and bridles of silver and

Let the Human Organs be kept in their perfect Integrity
At will Contracting into Worms, or Expanding into Gods
And then behold! what are these Ulro Visions of Chastity[!]
Then as the moss upon the tree: or dust upon the plow:
Or as the sweat upon the labouring shoulder: or as the chaff
Of the wheat-floor or as the dregs of the sweet wine-press
Such are these Ulro Visions, for tho we sit down within
The plowed furrow, listning to the weeping clods till we
Contract or Expand Space at will: or if we raise ourselves
Upon the chariots of the morning. Contracting or Expanding Time!
Every one knows, we are One Family! One Man blessed for ever

Silence remaind and every one resumd his Human Majesty
And many conversed on these things as they labourd at the furrow
Saying: It is better to prevent misery, than to release from
It is better to prevent error, than to  forgive the criminal:  
Labour well the Minute Particulars, attend to the Little-ones:
And those who are in misery cannot remain so long
If we do but our duty: labour well the teeming Earth.

They Plow'd in tears, the trumpets sounded before the golden Plow
And the voices of the Living Creatures were heard in the clouds
    of heaven
Crying: Compell the Reasoner to Demonstrate with unhewn
Let the Indefinite be explored. and let every Man be judged
By his own Works, Let all Indefinites be thrown into
To be pounded to dust and melted in the Furnaces of Affliction:
He who would do good to another, must do it in Minute
General Good is the plea of the scoundrel hypocrite and flatterer:
For Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized
And not in generalizing Demonstrations of the Rational Power.
The Infinite alone resides in Definite and Determinate Identity
Establishment of Truth depends on destruction of Falshood
On Circumcision: not on Virginity, O Reasoners of Albion

So cried they at the Plow. Albions Rock frowned above
And the Great Voice of Eternity rolled above terrible in clouds
Saying Who will go forth for us! and Who shall we send before our
(Erdman 204-5)
Notes on Plate 55:
This plate begins with an account of activity of ‘those who disregard all mortal things’, in other words the Eternal Ones. They had observed the redemption of Albion and his parts (described in the previous chapter). Some wanted to 'go down’ to Beulah, but others urged caution: 'don’t get mixed up with the dead’, they said, because the Divine Man had forbidden them Satan’s veil (prevalent in mortal life). “a veil the Saviour born and dying rends”. "So saying an eternal deed was done..” Blake proceeds to picture the tumultuous event.  It led to their election “of the Seven Eyes of God” (Night 1 of The Four Zoas dwells on the Seven Eyes, and Milton Percival has a chapter on them; it’s profitable to read both of these interpretations.)

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