Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Plate 89

Tho divided by the Cross & Nails & Thorns & Spear
In cruelties of Rahab & Tirzah[,] permanent endure            
A terrible indefinite Hermaphroditic form
A Wine-press of Love & Wrath double Hermaph[r]oditic
Twelvefold in Allegoric pomp in selfish holiness         
The Pharisaion, the Grammateis, the Presbuterion,
The Archiereus, the Iereus, the Saddusaion, double
Each withoutside of the other, covering eastern heaven

Thus was the Covering Cherub reveald majestic image
Of Selfhood, Body put off, the Antichrist accursed        
Coverd with precious stones, a Human Dragon terrible
And bright, stretchd over Europe & Asia gorgeous
In three nights he devourd the rejected corse of death

His Head dark, deadly, in its Brain incloses a reflexion
Of Eden all perverted; Egypt on the Gihon many tongued     
And many mouthd: Ethiopia, Lybia, the Sea of Rephaim
Minute Particulars in slavery I behold among the brick-kilns
Disorganizd, & there is Pharoh in his iron Court:
And the Dragon of the River & the Furnaces of iron.
Outwoven from Thames & Tweed & Severn awful streams       
Twelve ridges of Stone frown over all the Earth in tyrant pride
Frown over each River stupendous Works of Albions Druid Sons
And Albions Forests of Oaks coverd the Earth from Pole to Pole

His Bosom wide reflects Moab & Ammon on the River
Pison, since calld Arnon, there is Heshbon beautiful       
The flocks of Rabbath on the Arnon & the Fish-pools of Heshbon  t
Whose currents flow into the Dead Sea by Sodom & Gomorra
Above his Head high arching Wings black filld with Eyes
Spring upon iron sinews from the Scapulae & Os Humeri.
There Israel in bondage to his Generalizing Gods       
Molech & Chemosh, & in his left breast is Philistea
In Druid Temples over the whole Earth with Victims Sacrifice,
From Gaza to Damascus Tyre & Sidon & the Gods
Of Javan thro the Isles of Grecia & all Europes Kings
Where Hiddekel pursues his course among the rocks         
Two Wings spring from his ribs of brass, starry, black as night
But translucent their blackness as the dazling of gems

His Loins inclose Babylon on Euphrates beautiful
And Rome in sweet Hesperia. there Israel scatterd abroad
In martydoms & slavery I behold: ah vision of sorrow!   
Inclosed by eyeless Wings, glowing with fire as the iron
Heated in the Smiths forge, but cold the wind of their dread fury

But in the midst of a devouring Stomach, Jerusalem
Hidden within the Covering Cherub as in a Tabernacle
Of threefold workmanship in allegoric delusion & woe       
There the Seven Kings of Canaan & Five Baalim of Philistea
Sihon & Og the Anakim & Emim, Nephilim & Gibborim
From Babylon to Rome & the Wings spread from Japan
Where the Red Sea terminates the World of Generation & Death
To Irelands farthest rocks where Giants builded their Causeway
Into the Sea of Rephaim, but the Sea oerwhelmd them all.

A Double Female now appeard within the Tabernacle,
Religion hid in War, a Dragon red & hidden Harlot
Each within other
, but without a Warlike Mighty-one

Of dreadful power, sitting upon Horeb pondering dire       
And mighty preparations mustering multitudes innumerable
Of warlike sons among the sands of Midian & Aram
For multitudes of those who sleep in Alla descend
Lured by his warlike symphonies
of tabret pipe & harp

Burst the bottoms of the Graves & Funeral Arks of Beulah[;]  
Wandering in that unknown Night beyond the silent Grave
They become One with the Antichrist & are absorbd in him
(Erdman 248-9)


Interesting the way he juxtaposed Pharisees and Presbterians, as if to say there's no difference between the Religious establishment in Jesus' day and our day: both fallen.  It would also be interesting to research the other names in that paragraph; the only other one that rings true to me is the Sadducees.

But In the greek New Testament appears a brotherhood of very high initiated people name Grammateis and pharisees Matthew 23:2 

Archiereus a Greek term for bishop

Iereus: archbishop, high priest, such as the pope.

All these terms may be construed as Blake's veiled way of damning the Church; he belonged to no church, considered them all fallen.

The subject of the first paragraph appears to be the Covering Cherub, another name for the Selfhood.

The rest of the post appears to be desciptive of this deadly thing. 

The last paragraph contains “Religion hid in War, a Dragon red & hidden Harlot, Each within other”. 
'Religion hid in War': that’s the story of Christianity for the last two millenia.  In every war this country has had, the Church has been the staunchist supporter of the war; those who oppose war are thought of as oddballs or worse.  

Times certainly haven’t changed since Blake’s day.
He went back before Christ to the earliest judaic religion: 

For multitudes of those who sleep in Alla descend
Lured by his warlike symphonies 

('Alla' is a primitive name for the Hebrew God.)

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