Saturday, September 21, 2013

America 14

Rosenwald LC
America 14
What time the thirteen Governors that England sent convene
In Bernards house; the flames coverd the land, they rouze they
Shaking their mental chains they rush in fury to the sea
To quench their anguish; at the feet of Washington down fall'n
They grovel on the sand and writhing lie, while all              

The British soldiers thro' the thirteen states sent up a howl
Of anguish: threw their swords & muskets to the earth & ran
From their encampments and dark castles seeking where to hide
From the grim flames; and from the visions of Orc; in sight
Of Albions Angel; who enrag'd his secret clouds open'd           
From north to south, and burnt outstretchd on wings of wrath
The eastern sky, spreading his awful wings across the heavens;
Beneath him roll'd his num'rous hosts, all Albions Angels camp'd
Darkend the Atlantic mountains & their trumpets shook the valleys
Arm'd with diseases of the earth to cast upon the Abyss,         
Their numbers forty millions, must'ring in the eastern sky.

About the Text

Bernards houseSir Francis Bernard was the colonial governor ot Massachusetts.

a howl Of anguish: during the Revolutionary War a great many of the
'redcoats' wound up as patriots (See Redcoat).

wings of wrath: the 'wings' are very visible in the image. In the next line it's called
'awful wings'. Blake used the figure of 'wings' often; look for example at MHH 15.

About the Image

Blake developed this plate to Jerusalem (plate 58):
Rosenwald  LC
Jerusalem Plate 58

The wings are less imposing than the one in America,
but obviously bat-like, the daughters and sons of Albion
rather than Albion's Angel.

Here the prone figure at the bottom is skeletal, which may
remind you of George MacDonald's LilithIn America the
prone figure is fastened down by a snake; here it's simply


Part of this story appears in Visions of the Daughters of 
America, where Oothoon is referred to as the "soft soul of America", by which Blake meant perhaps the 'softness' of
a democracy compared to a military dictatorship.

In the middle 20th century it was said that Mussolini made
the trains run on time.  Of course he did some other things that like Hitler were much less pleasant.

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