Thursday, September 12, 2013

America 9

                                   PLATE 8
The terror answerd: I am Orc, wreath'd round the accursed tree:
The times are ended; shadows pass the morning gins to break;
The fiery joy, that Urizen perverted to ten commands,
What night he led the starry hosts thro' the wide wilderness:
That stony law I stamp to dust: and scatter religion abroad
 To the four winds as a torn book, & none shall gather the leaves;
But they shall rot on desart sands, & consume in bottomless deeps;
To make the desarts blossom, & the deeps shrink to their fountains,
And to renew the fiery joy, and burst the stony roof.
That pale religious letchery, seeking Virginity,
 May find it in a harlot, and in coarse-clad honesty
The undefil'd tho' ravish'd in her cradle night and morn:
For every thing that lives is holy, life delights in life;
Because the soul of sweet delight can never be defil'd.
Fires inwrap the earthly globe, yet man is not consumd;
 Amidst the lustful fires he walks: his feet become like brass,
His knees and thighs like silver, & his breast and head like gold.
                About the Text                      

From Erdman's Illuminated Blake (page 146):
 The giant figure above is Urizen, "the divine form of George III"; 
he's confronted by "Orc, wreath'd round the accursed tree"; 
the accursed tree is the Tree of Mystery, the Tree of the Knowledge 
of Good and Evil.  We read in the Tree of Mystery: 

"No more remaind of Orc but the Serpent round the tree of Mystery.
The form of Orc was gone he reard his serpent hulk among
the Stars of Urizen in Power rending the form of life
Into a formless indefinite & strewing her on the Abyss"
(Night 7 of 4Z; Erdman 365)

(Albion's evil of oppression is overcome by Orc evil of War; 
that's the way we live.)

                                               About the Image

The form of George III is "cluching tight-- to his possessions? to his life?
Works: "the figure is very probably Urizen":
From this we may gather that when Blake thought about the King, he
pictured him as Urizen with his stony laws: that stony law I stamp to death"

At the bottom of the plate is the ocean.

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