Saturday, March 16, 2013


British Museum
Illustrations for Young's Night Thoughts

These are words Blake used to describe the Eternal Vala the Emanation of Luvah, the Zoa of emotion before she became expressed in outward forms and began her descent. She is the 'sinless soul', the 'sweet wanderer', the 'loveliest of the daughters of Eternity.'

The description of the gentle Thel as a reflection in a glass, a shadow in the water, and a lilly are apropos for Vala in her Eternal form:
Thel, Plate 1, (E 3)
"Ah! Thel is like a watry bow. and like a parting cloud.
Like a reflection in a glass. like shadows in the water.
Like dreams of infants. like a smile upon an infants face,       
Like the doves voice, like transient day, like music in the air; 
Ah! gentle may I lay me down, and gentle rest my head.          
And gentle sleep the sleep of death. and gentle hear the voice 
Of him that walketh in the garden in the evening time.

The Lilly of the valley breathing in the humble grass"
She and Jerusalem were like sisters when they cooperated in giving bodies and souls to Jerusalem's children.
 Jerusalem, Plate 18, (E 163)
"(For Vala produc'd the Bodies. Jerusalem gave the Souls)" 

Jerusalem, Plate 29 [33], (E 175) 
"Vala replied in clouds of tears Albions garment embracing        

I was a City & a Temple built by Albions Children.
I was a Garden planted with beauty I allured on hill & valley
The River of Life to flow against my walls & among my trees
Vala was Albions Bride & Wife in great Eternity
The loveliest of the daughters of Eternity when in day-break

I emanated from Luvah over the Towers of Jerusalem
And in her Courts among her little Children offering up
The Sacrifice of fanatic love! why loved I Jerusalem!"
Under ideal conditions Vala enjoyed all the contentment of Beulah, but this was when her emotions are not projected outward but remain unexpressed possibilities.
 Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 128, (E 397) 
"My Luvah here hath placd me in a Sweet & pleasant Land
And given me fruits & pleasant waters & warm hills & cool valleys
Here will I build myself a house & here Ill call on his name
Here Ill return when I am weary & take my pleasant rest

So spoke the Sinless Soul & laid her head on the downy fleece 
Of a curld Ram who stretchd himself in sleep beside his mistress
And soft sleep fell upon her eyelids in the silent noon of day

Then Luvah passed by & saw the sinless Soul
And said   Let a pleasant house arise to be the dwelling place
Of this immortal Spirit growing in lower Paradise 

He spoke & pillars were builded & walls as white as ivory
The grass she slept upon was pavd with pavement as of pearl
Beneath her rose a downy bed & a cieling coverd all

Vala awoke. When in the pleasant gates of sleep I enterd
I saw my Luvah like a spirit stand in the bright air 
Round him stood spirits like me who reard me a bright house
And here I see thee house remain in my most pleasant world
And on the rivers margin she ungirded her golden girdle
She stood in the river & viewd herself within the watry glass
And her bright hair was wet with the waters She rose up from the river
And as she rose her Eyes were opend to the world of waters
She saw Tharmas sitting upon the rocks beside the wavy sea
He strokd the water from his beard & mournd faint thro the summer vales

And Vala stood on the rocks of Tharmas & heard his mournful voice
Then Vala lifted up her hands to heaven to call on Enion
She calld but none could answer her & the Eccho of her voice returnd

Where is the voice of God that calld me from the silent dew
Where is the Lord of Vala dost thou hide in clefts of the rock
Why shouldst thou hide thyself from Vala from the soul that wanders desolate

She ceas'd & light beamd round her like the glory of the morning
PAGE 130 
And She arose out of the river & girded on her golden girdle"

I am reminded of Botticelli's Venus rising from the sea.

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