Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Vineyard

After the Flood had receded God said to Noalike he said to 
Adam. "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth".
That was in Genesis 9:1.

In Genesis 9:20 we read:

" And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:"

The word vineyard occurs often in the Bible. Jesus used it 
to tell a parable:
"There was a man who planted a vineyard, and let it out to some 
vine-dressers, while he went away to spend a long time abroad.  
10 And when the season came, he sent one of his servants on an 
errand to the vine-dressers, bidding them pay him his share of the
vineyard’s revenues. Whereupon the vine-dressers beat him, and
sent him away empty-handed.  
11 Then he sent another servant; and him too they sent away 
empty-handed, beating him first, and insulting him.  
12 Then he sent a third; and they drove him away wounded, like
the others.  
13 So the owner of the vineyard said, What am I to do? I will send 
my well-beloved son, perhaps they will have reverence for him.
14 But the vine-dressers, on seeing him, debated thus among 
themselves; This is the heir, let us kill him, so that his inheritance  may pass into our hands.  
15 And they thrust him out of the vineyard and killed him. And 
now, what will the owner of the vineyard do to them?  
16 He will come and make an end of those vine-dressers, and give 
his vineyard to others."  

In Jerusalem (Erdman 185) Blake wrote:
"And the soft smile of friendship & the open dawn of benevolence
Become a net & a trap, & every energy renderd cruel,
Till the existence of friendship & benevolence is denied:

The wine of the Spirit & the vineyards of the Holy-One.

Here: turn into poisonous stupor & deadly intoxication:
That they may be condemnd by Law & the Lamb of God be slain!
And the two Sources of Life in Eternity[,] Hunting and War,
Are become the Sources of dark & bitter Death & of
corroding Hell"

From The French Revolution (Erdman 289-90):

"Then the ancientest Peer, Duke of Burgundy, rose from the 
Monarch's right hand, red as wines
From his mountains, an odor of war, like a ripe 
vineyard, rose from his garments,
And the chamber became as a clouded sky; o'er the 
council he stretch'd his red limbs,
Cloth'd in flames of crimson, as a ripe vineyard 
stretches over sheaves of corn,
The fierce Duke hung over the council; around him 
croud, weeping in his burning robe,"

The primary product of the vineyard of course is wine; the two

words are closely related.  Ecclesiastically wine symbolizes the
blood of the Lamb.  This led Blake to make the immortal

"& Throughout all Eternity

I forgive you you forgive me
As our dear Redeemer said
This the Wine & this the Bread"
(Erdman 477)

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