Thursday, May 03, 2012

Blake 68

O Skofield why art thou cruel? Lo Joseph is thine! to make
You One: to weave you both in the same mantle of skin
Bind him down Sisters bind him down on Ebal. Mount of cursing:
Malah come forth from Lebanon: & Hoglah from Mount Sinai:
Come circumscribe this tongue of sweets & with a screw of iron 
Fasten this car into the rock! Milcah the task is thine
Weep not so Sisters! weep not so! our life depends on this
Or mercy & truth are fled away from Shechem & Mount Gilead
Unless my beloved is bound upon the Stems of Vegetation

And thus the Warriors cry, in the hot day of Victory, in Songs.
Look: the beautiful Daughter of Albion sits naked upon the Stone
Her panting Victim beside her: her heart is drunk with blood
Tho her brain is not drunk with wine: she goes forth from Albion
In pride of beauty: in cruelty of holiness: in the brightness
Of her tabernacle, & her ark & secret place, the beautiful
Of Albion, delights the eyes of the Kings. their hearts & the
Hearts of their Warriors glow hot before Thor & Friga. O Molech!
O Chemosh! O Bacchus! O Venus! O Double God of Generation
The Heavens are cut like a mantle around from the Cliffs of
Across Europe; across Africa; in howlings & deadly War
A sheet & veil & curtain of blood is let down from Heaven
Across the hills of Ephraim & down Mount Olivet to
The Valley of the Jebusite: Molech rejoices in heaven
He sees the Twelve Daughters naked upon the Twelve Stones
Themselves condensing to rocks & into the Ribs of a Man
Lo they shoot forth in tender Nerves across Europe & Asia
Lo they rest upon the Tribes, where their panting Victims lie
Molech rushes into the Kings in love to the beautiful Daughters
But they frown & delight in cruelty, refusing all other joy
Bring your Offerings, your first begotten: pamperd with milk & blood

Plate 68
Your first born of seven years old: be they Males or Females:
To the beautiful Daughters of Albion! they sport before the Kings
Clothed in the skin Of the Victim! blood! human blood! is the
And delightful food of the Warrior: the well fed Warriors flesh
Of him who is slain in War: fills the Valleys of Ephraim with
Breeding Women walking in pride & bringing forth under green trees
With pleasure, without pain, for their food is. blood of the
Molech rejoices thro the Land from Havilah to Shur: he rejoices
In moral law & its severe penalties: loud Shaddai & Jehovah
Thunder above: when they see the Twelve panting Victims
On the Twelve Stones of Power, & the beautiful Daughters of
If you dare rend their Veil with your Spear; you are healed of
From the Hills of Camberwell & Wimbledon: from the Valleys
Of Walton & Esher: from Stone-henge & from Maldens Cove
Jerusalems Pillars fall in the rendings of fierce War
Over France & Germany: upon the Rhine & Danube
Reuben & Benjamin flee; they hide in the Valley of Rephaim
Why trembles the Warriors limbs when he beholds thy beauty
Spotted with Victims blood: by the fires of thy secret tabernacle
And thy ark & holy place: at thy frowns: at thy dire revenge
Smitten as Uzzah of old: his armour is softend; his spear
And sword faint in his hand, from Albion across Great Tartary
O beautiful Daughter of Albion: cruelty is thy delight
O Virgin of terrible eyes, who dwellest by Valleys of springs
Beneath the Mountains of Lebanon, in the City of Rehob in Hamath
Taught to touch the harp: to dance in the Circle of Warriors
Before the Kings of Canaan: to cut the flesh from the Victim
To roast the flesh in fire: to examine the Infants limbs
In cruelties of holiness: to refuse the joys of love: to bring
The Spies from Egypt, to raise jealousy in the bosoms of the
Kings of Canaan: then to let the Spies depart to Meribah Kadesh
To the place of the Amalekite; I am drunk with unsatiated love
I must rush again to War: for the Virgin has frownd & refusd
Sometimes I curse & sometimes bless thy fascinating beauty
Once Man was occupied in intellectual pleasures & energies
But now my soul is harrowd with grief & fear & love & desire
And now I hate & now I love & Intellect is no more:
There is no time for any thing but the torments of love & desire
The Feminine & Masculine Shadows soft, mild & ever varying
In beauty: are Shadows now no more, but Rocks in Horeb (Erdman 221-22)

Skofield was the name of the drunk soldier who went into Blake's garden.  He precipitated what might be called seditious words as Blake drove him out of the garden.  Then he charged him and caused Blake no end of trouble; he barely escaped from hanging.

What followed Skofield in the text for several lines is unexplainable to me.

"The beautiful daughter of Albion sits naked": this is presumably Vala although Vala Blake rarely pictured Vala without her veil (body or clothing).

"The beautiful daughter of Albion delights the eyes of the Kings": in Blake's intonation in this context kings are killers who make war and delight in killing their 'enemies'.  These kings are delighted with the urging to kill of the 'beautiful daughters of Albion'.

As the Plate continues Blake lamented the "fierce War over France and Germany" in which the British King was involved at the time he was writing.

"O beautiful Daughter of Albion: cruelty is thy delight"

"Beautiful Daughter of Albion appears five times in this Plate, from which we may properly surmise that the subject is the work of these beaufiul daughters in inciting WAR.

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