Wednesday, July 03, 2013


Library of Congress
Rosenwald Collection

In Copy G the coloring is quite different than in this one. 
(Also in Copy I.)

Look at the omnipresent tree in the right border of the 
image. Two people (girls?) are climbing it. The upper one 
holds with her left hand to a limb of the tree and reaches 
down to the outstretched arm of the other one, standing on 
the ground and holding on with her other arm wrapped 
around the trunk of the tree.

In front of the upper girl's leg is an undetermined coiled up 
shape with the same color as the girls. (What might that 
be?)  Might it be the serpent; the poisoned apple, the tree 
of the knowledge of good and evil?

On the bottom border two naked figures are stretched out,  
joined at the bottom of their feet. The one on the left rests 
our head on her hand while the other one.

between the last three verses flying birds of various sizes 
and colors fill the empty space.
Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air; 
Hungry clouds swag on the deep
Once meek, and in a perilous path,
The just man kept his course along
The vale of death.
Roses are planted where thorns grow.
And on the barren heath
Sing the honey bees.
Then the perilous path was planted:
And a river, and a spring
On every cliff and tomb;
And on the bleached bones
Red clay brought forth.
Till the villain left the paths of ease,
To walk in perilous paths, and drive
The just man into barren climes.
Now the sneaking serpent walks
In mild humility.
And the just man rages in the wilds
Where lions roam.

Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep.
Some interpretations:
    Rintrah = Elijah, the angry prophet.  His roaring certainly seems energetic enough.
    "left the paths of ease, / To walk in perilous paths" = Christianity was perverted from its original power to become an institutional religion.
The just man is laughed to scorn (Job 12:4).
Perilous Path occurs three times in the text.  It obviously had a special meaning to Blake.

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