Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Golden Feast

Early in his career Isaac encountered some strangers who may or
may not have been friendly.

In Genesis 26 we read:
"[27] And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing 

ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?

[28] And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: 
and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us 
and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee;

[29] That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, 
and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent 
thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD.

[30] And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.

[31] And they rose up betimes in the morning, and , they departed 
from him in peace."

There are many other feasts in Genesis and elsewhere.

There also many feasts in Blake's poetry, but we will focus here
on The Golden Feast, mentioned several times near the end of
The Four Zoas:

At Erdman 307
“So spoke the Prince of Light & sat beside the Seat of Los        
Upon the sandy shore rested his chariot of fire

Ten thousand thousand were his hosts of spirits on the wind:
Ten thousand thousand glittering Chariots shining in the sky:
They pour upon the golden shore beside the silent ocean.
Rejoicing in the Victory & the heavens were filld with blood    

“Not long in harmony they dwell, their life is drawn away       
And wintry woes succeed; successive driven into the Void
Where Enion craves: successive drawn into the
golden feast"

At Erdman 308
"The Earth spread forth her table wide. the Night a silver cup
Fill'd with the wine of anguish waited at the
golden feast
But the bright Sun was not as yet; he filling all the expanse
Slept as a bird in the blue shell that soon shall burst away”

At Erdman 310
“The Spider sits in his labourd Web, eager watching for the Fly
Presently comes a famishd Bird & takes away the Spider           
His Web is left all desolate, that his little anxious heart
So careful wove; & spread it out with sighs and weariness.

This was the Lamentation of Enion round the
golden Feast
Eternity groand and was troubled at the image of Eternal Death”

At Erdman 401
The Eternal Man arose he welcomd them to the Feast
The feast was spread in the bright South & the Eternal Man
Sat at the feast rejoicing & the wine of Eternity
Was servd round by the flames of Luvah all day & all the night

And Many Eternal Men sat at the golden feast to see
The female form now separate They shudderd at the horrible thing
Not born for the sport and amusement of Man but born to drink up
    all his powers
They wept to see their shadows they said to one another this
This is the Generative world they rememberd the Days of old”

At Erdman 403, near the end of the Four Zoas:
“Aha Aha how came I here so soon in my sweet native land         
How came I here Methinks I am as I was in my youth
"When in my fathers house I sat & heard his chearing
Methinks I see his flocks & herds & feel my limbs
And Lo my Brethren in their tents & their little ones around them
The song arose to the Golden feast the Eternal Man

“When in my fathers house I sat & heard his chearing voice
Methinks I see his flocks & herds & feel my limbs renewd
And Lo my Brethren in their tents & their little ones around them

The song arose to the Golden feast the Eternal Man rejoicd
Then the Eternal Man said Luvah the Vintage is ripe arise        
The sons of Urizen shall gather the vintage with sharp hooks
And all thy sons O Luvah bear away the families of Earth
I hear the flail of Urizen his barns are full no roo[m]
Remains & in the Vineyards stand the abounding sheaves beneath
The falling Grapes that odorous burst upon the winds. Arise      
My flocks & herds trample the Corn my cattle browze upon
The ripe Clusters The shepherds shout for Luvah prince of Love
Let the Bulls of Luvah tread the Corn & draw the loaded waggon
Into the Barn while children glean the Ears around the door
Then shall they lift their innocent hands & stroke his furious
And he shall lick the little girls white neck & on her head
Scatter the perfume of his breath while from his mountains high
The lion of terror shall come down & bending his bright mane
And couching at their side shall eat from the curld boys white
His golden food and in the evening sleep before the Door”     

An amplification of Isaiah:
Isaiah 11:6
“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with 

the goat,  the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a 
little child will lead them.”

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