Wednesday, September 18, 2013

America 12

Rosenwald LC
America Plate 11

Fiery the Angels rose, & as they rose deep thunder roll'd
Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc
And Bostons Angel cried aloud as they flew thro' the dark night.

He cried: Why trembles honesty and like a murderer,
Why seeks he refuge from the frowns of his immortal station!     
Must the generous tremble & leave his joy, to the idle: to the
That mock him? who commanded this? what God? what Angel!
To keep the gen'rous from experience till the ungenerous
Are unrestraind performers of the energies of nature;
Till pity is become a trade, and generosity a science,           
That men get rich by, & the sandy desart is giv'n to the strong
What God is he, writes laws of peace, & clothes him in a tempest
What pitying Angel lusts for tears, and fans himself with sighs
What crawling villain preaches abstinence & wraps himself
In fat of lambs? no more I follow, no more obedience pay.        

About the Text
the Angels rose: by that Blake meant of course the 13 angels of
the colonies; with Bostons Angel he called the readers' attention
to the trouble that started in Boston involving the 'boston teaparty'.
Try to read it this way:
as they flew thro' the dark night Boston's angel cried...

This plate may be construed as Blake's declaration of independence
from the conventional Christianity and interpretation of the Bible
that focuses on violence and war.  Isn't it interesting that virtually
every war we've ever had has been ardently supported by the
religious community?

                  About the Image

After the first sentence we see something like a swan flying high with 
a man (representing the 13 angels) flying on its back.

At the bottom we see a serpent like dragon and on it's back a lady,
child and smaller child being assisted by his elder sibling.

When I think about the swan and the dragon, it appears that the swan
might reflect the declaration of independence and the dragon reflects
the final victory of the colonies, who of course have varied weight.

They have subdued and domesticated the dragon king.

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