Yale Center for British Art Jerusalem Plate 25, Copy E
The process through which the three beautiful virgins have become visible as reflections in the water of materiality rather than as mental images created by the imagination or reasoning is stated, then it is repeated as the young man turns away from the perception of the infinite. This is imaged as the young man straying underneath the net. By involving himself emotionally with the illusions which appear to him, he creates a world exterior to his mind and assigns to it the substance which belongs to the infinite, eternal existence of imagination.
The three virgins appear in Blake mythopoeic system under the names of Vala, Rahab, and the Shadowy Female. Vala's daughter Tirzah is part of the family too. They exist as long as the mind cedes primary reality to the images it creates instead of the ability to create images.
The Pickering Manuscript, (E 483) " The Golden Net Three Virgins at the break of day Whither young Man whither away Alas for woe! alas for woe! They cry & tears for ever flow The one was Clothd in flames of fire The other Clothd in iron wire The other Clothd in tears & sighs Dazling bright before my Eyes They bore a Net of Golden twine To hang upon the Branches fine Pitying I wept to see the woe That Love & Beauty undergo To be consumd in burning Fires And in ungratified Desires And in tears clothd Night & day Melted all my Soul away When they saw my Tears a Smile That did Heaven itself beguile Bore the Golden Net aloft As on downy Pinions soft Over the Morning of my Day Underneath the Net I stray Now intreating Burning Fire Now intreating Iron Wire Now intreating Tears & Sighs O when will the morning rise"