Sunday, June 17, 2012

Plate 85

Thus sang the Daughters in lamentation, uniting into One
With Rahab as she turnd the iron Spindle of destruction.    
Terrified at the Sons of Albion they took the Falshood which
Gwendolen hid in her left hand. it grew &, grew till it

Became a Space & an Allegory around the Winding Worm
They namd it Canaan & built for it a tender Moon
Los smild with joy thinking on Enitharmon & he brought
Reuben from his twelvefold wandrings & led him into it
Planting the Seeds of the Twelve Tribes & Moses & David
And gave a Time & Revolution to the Space Six Thousand Years
He calld it Divine Analogy, for in Beulah the Feminine
Emanations Create Space. the Masculine Create Time, & plant
The Seeds of beauty in the Space: listning to their lamentation
Los walks upon his ancient Mountains in the deadly darkness    
Among his Furnaces directing his laborious Myriads watchful     
Looking to the East: & his voice is heard over the whole Earth
As he watches the Furnaces by night, & directs the labourers

And thus Los replies upon his Watch: the Valleys listen silent:
The Stars stand still to hear: Jerusalem & Vala cease to mourn:  
His voice is heard from Albion: the Alps & Appenines
Listen: Hermon & Lebanon bow their crowned heads
Babel & Shinar look toward the Western Gate, they sit down
Silent at his voice: they view the red Globe of fire in Los's
As he walks from Furnace to Furnace directing the Labourers    
And this is the Song of Los, the Song that he sings on his Watch

O lovely mild Jerusalem! O Shiloh of Mount Ephraim!
I see thy Gates of precious stones: thy Walls of gold & silver
Thou art the soft reflected Image of the Sleeping Man
Who stretchd on Albions rocks reposes amidst his Twenty-eight
Cities: where Beulah lovely terminates, in the hills & valleys of
Cities not yet embodied in Time and Space: plant ye
The Seeds O Sisters in the bosom of Time & Spaces womb
To spring up for Jerusalem: lovely Shadow of Sleeping Albion
Why wilt thou rend thyself apart & build an Earthly Kingdom    
To reign in pride & to opress & to mix the Cup of Delusion
O thou that dwellest with Babylon! Come forth O lovely-one
(Erdman 243-4)

The Plate:

(The Plate: shown in Blake Archives is a great improvement over the one shown above.

In this plate the picture is of special interest:

The blue sky, the (worldly) sun, the moon all strongly suggest that this is a worldly scene.

The scene particularly addresses the last paragraph on the Song of Los.  Jerusalem is fallen, beguiled by her dark shadow, Vala, she appears to be casting the fatal net, from which Los shrinks.

Blake may have been disposed to confuse his readers in the way in which he may portray Jesusalem in both heavenly and worldly guises, and likewise with Vala.

However Paley’s Jerusalem (page 274) identifies the lady as Enitharmon, and what I called the net is a “Tabernacle for Moral Law”. (The disputes of Los and Enitharmon will appear a couple of plates later.)

The two people have their back to each other.

The ‘Net’ is actually a grape vine as Jerusalem/Enitharmon shows in her right hand.  
Jesus was reported saying (in John 15:5): "I am the vine; ye are the branches", 
but the vine insinuated in this plate has a far different purpose.
(In the same way various misguided people distort and emasculate many other verses in the Bible.)

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