Tuesday, October 01, 2013


Early in our study for Blake's blog I was reading Revelation.

Here's a portion of Chapter 1 of Revelation:

"[12] And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

[13] And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

[14] His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

[15] And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

[16] And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

[17] And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

[18] I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

[19] Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

[20] The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Something clicked: what did Blake do with the golden bowl
In the beginning of Thel we read:

Does the Eagle know what is in the pit?
Or wilt thou go ask the Mole:
Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod?
Or Love in a golden bowl?

In Thel we're introduced to the Lilly, in fact the Lilly of the Valley, a name for Christ;
"The Lilly of the valley breathing in the humble grass            
Answer'd the lovely maid and said; I am a watry weed,
And I am very small, and love to dwell in lowly vales;
So weak, the gilded butterfly scarce perches on my head.
Yet I am visited from heaven and he that smiles on all.
Walks in the valley. and each morn over me spreads his hand      
Saying, rejoice thou humble grass, thou new-born lilly flower,
Thou gentle maid of silent valleys. and of modest brooks;
For thou shalt be clothed in light, and fed with morning manna:
Till summers heat melts thee beside the fountains and the springs
To flourish in eternal vales: then why should Thel complain,"  
(Erdman 4; Plate 1 of Thel)

The Bible also uses the lamb for that purpose, in Rev 5 in fact. So Blake took the lamb and the golden bowl from Rev 5:
([8] And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
So much for the King James Version; but look at the New International Version:

And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
for Thel, one of his earliest lessons for us from the Bible.

Move now down to Blake's first vision of light, and note the identity that God (Christ) gave to him:

'Thou ram horn'd with gold.' You might say we're still in Rev 5.

(For more on this go here.)

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