Thursday, January 17, 2013


In Poetical Sketches (Erdman 445)

                       [Further Sketches]

[In a Manuscript Fragment]

               "then She bore Pale desire . . ."                t

then She bore Pale desire father of Curiosity a Virgin ever
young. And after. Leaden Sloth from whom came Ignorance. who 
brought forth wonder. These are the Gods which Came from fear.
for Gods like these. nor male nor female are but Single Pregnate
or if they list together mingling bring forth mighty powrs[.] She
knew them not yet they all war with Shame and Strengthen her weak
arm.  But Pride awoke nor knew that Joy was born. and taking
Poisnous Seed from her own Bowels. in the Monster Shame infusd. 
forth Came Ambition Crawling like a toad Pride Bears it in her
Bosom. and the Gods. all bow to it. So Great its Power. that
Pride inspird by it Prophetic Saw the Kingdoms of the World & all
their Glory. Giants of Mighty arm before the flood.

In The Everlasting Gospel at Erdman 520:

PAGES 48-52 

Was Jesus Chaste or did he
Give any Lessons of Chastity
The morning blushd fiery red
Mary was found in Adulterous bed
Earth groand beneath & Heaven above   
Trembled at discovery of Love
Jesus was sitting in Moses Chair
They brought the trembling Woman There
Moses commands she be stoned to Death
What was the sound of Jesus breath                              t
He laid his hand on Moses Law
The Ancient Heavens in Silent Awe
Writ with Curses from Pole to Pole
All away began to roll
The Earth trembling & Naked lay    
In secret bed of Mortal Clay
On Sinai felt the hand Divine
Putting back the bloody shrine
And she heard the breath of God
As she heard by Edens flood     
Good & Evil are no more                                         t
Sinais trumpets cease to roar

From A Descriptive Catalog on page 541:

                  NUMBER IV.  
          The Bard, from Gray

                 On a rock, whose haughty brow
                 Frown'd o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
                 Robed in the sable garb of woe,
                 With haggard eyes the Poet stood,
                 Loose his beard, and hoary hair 
                 Stream'd like a meteor to the troubled air.

                 Weave the warp, and weave the woof
                 The winding sheet of Edward's race.

Erdman 545: still in a Descriptive Catalog:
  The dead and the dying, Britons naked, mingled with armed
Romans, strew the field beneath.  Among these, the last of the
Bards who were capable of attending warlike deeds, is seen
falling, outstretched among the dead and the dying; singing to
his harp in the pains of death.
  [PAGE 50]Distant among the mountains, are Druid Temples,
similar to Stone Hedge.  The Sun sets behind the mountains,
bloody with the day of battle.
  The flush of health in flesh, exposed to the open air,
nourished by the spirits of forests and floods, in that ancient
happy period, which history has recorded, cannot be like the.....

In his Descriptions of the Last Judgment (Erdman 552-66) Blake drew extensively on the biblical Flood in several ways: as a simple time and as Blake's poetic interpretaion; it is a very poetic description. It's well worth reading with special reference to these excerpts:

      Beneath the Cloud on which Abel kneels is
Abraham with Sarah & Isaac [&] also Hagar & Ishmael.
Churches before the flood that they were filld with blood & fire
& vapour of smoke even till Abrahams time the vapour & heat was
not Extinguishd These States Exist now Man Passes on but States
remain for Ever he passes thro them like a traveller who may as
well suppose that the places he has passed thro exist no more as
a Man may suppose that the States he has passd thro exist no more
Every Thing is Eternal.......
     But to proceed with the description of those on the Left
hand. beneath the Cloud on which Moses kneels is two figures a
Male & Female chaind [P 77] together by the feet[.] they
represent those who perishd by the flood[

     The Persons who ascend to Meet the Lord coming in the Clouds
Generations when seen remote they appear as One Man. a little
below Seth on his right are Two Figures a Male & Female with
numerous Children these represent those who were not in the Line
of the Church & yet were Saved from among the Antediluvians who
Perished. between Seth & these a female figure [with the back
with power & great Glory. are representations of those States described in the Bible under the Names of the Fathers before & after the Flood Noah is seen in the Midst of these Canopied by a Rainbow. on his right hand Shem & on his Left Japhet these three Persons represent Poetry Painting & Music the three Powers  
of conversing with Paradise which the flood did not Sweep away 
     Above the Head of Noah is Seth this State calld Seth is Male
& Female in a higher state of Happiness & wisdom than Noah being
nearer the State of Innocence beneath the feet of Seth two
figures represent the two Seasons of Spring & Autumn. while
beneath the feet of Noah Four Seasons represent [our present
changes of Extremes] the Changed State made by the flood. 
     By the side of Seth is Elijah he comprehends all the
Prophetic Characters he is seen on his fiery Chariot bowing
before the throne of the Saviour. in like manner The figures of
Seth & his wife Comprehends the Fathers before the flood & their
turnd] represents the Solitary State of those who previous
to the Flood walked with God 

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