Thursday, September 27, 2012

book of Thel 2

Why should the mistress of the vales of Har, utter a sigh.
She ceasd & smild in tears, then sat down in her silver shrine.

Thel answerd. O thou little virgin of the peaceful valley.

Giving to those that cannot crave, the voiceless, the o'ertired.
Thy breath doth nourish the innocent lamb, he smells thy milky garments,

He crops thy flowers. while thou sittest smiling in his face,
Wiping his mild and meekin mouth from all contagious taints.
Thy wine doth purify the golden honey, thy perfume,
Which thou dost scatter on every little blade of grass that
Revives the milked cow, & tames the fire-breathing steed.
But Thel is like a faint cloud kindled at the rising sun:
I vanish from my pearly throne, and who shall find my place.

Queen of the vales the Lilly answerd, ask the tender cloud,

And it shall tell thee why it glitters in the morning sky,
And why it scatters its bright beauty thro' the humid air.
Descend O little cloud & hover before the eyes of Thel.

The Cloud descended, and the Lilly bowd her modest head:

And went to mind her numerous charge among the verdant grass.


We meet Har in a previously written Blake poem called Tiriel,
where he is said to correspond to old Adam before the apple was eaten.
In Thel Har may be thought to be the Heaven of the nymphs awaiting mortal birth.

The Lilly of the Valley, who has lived corporeally as well as
eternally, addresses the question To Thel which begins Plate 2.

Thel answers describing the Lilly's activities on the Earth.
And she describes her fears of vanishing (with mortal death of course).

This early work of Blake's is a discussion of life and death.
Thel fears to live mortally because she fears death and after
hearing of the four facets of mortal life she chose not to live
mortally, but continue in the vale of Har, which has been variously
interpreted as selfcenteredness or simply fear to take a chance about life.
It is only the daring souls who choose Experience.

The birch tree is said to be the queen of the forest; this one has a single
branch and under it Thel stands in a regal way.  In front are a small
group of lilies, the main (largest one bowing deeply as to a queen). Smaller 
stems are waiting for their turn.

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