This Plate (No. 5) appears only on the Thomas set:
Satan Spying on Adam and Eve and
|William Blake at the Henry E. Huntington Library|
Book V: (for Raphael's descent)
Raphael's Descent into Paradise
Like so many of Blake's images this one has three levels;
Two things are happening here:
1. At God's direction the angel Raphael is coming down to Earth in the fulcrum of a V shaped cloud.
He turns up towards God with his elbows out and his hands pointed over his chest like you might identify yourself.
2. Satan with wings, encased in the snake, looks on sadly at God's creation of Adam and Eve.
The snake raises his mouth right above Satan's head. His wings are prominent.
At the bottom of the image three strong trees become visible; on the left border Satan stands beside it.
At the right side Adam and Eve stand, facing one another. Adam is touching the fourth of the strong trees.
Beside him Eve touches a tree, smaller but with fruit.
Looking at the image as a whole the mortals are on the fringe of the woods while the two angels have come down with two obvious intentions.
Extracts from Paradise Lost
Saw undelighted all delight, all kind
Of living Creatures new to sight and strange:
Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native Honour clad
In naked Majestie seemd Lords of all, [ 290 ]
And worthie seemd, for in thir looks Divine
The image of thir glorious Maker shon,
Truth, wisdome, Sanctitude severe and pure,
Severe but in true filial freedom plac't;
Whence true autority in men; though both [ 295 ]
Not equal, as thir sex not equal seemd;
For contemplation hee and valour formd,
For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace,
Hee for God only, shee for God in him:
His fair large Front and Eye sublime declar'd [ 300 ]
Absolute rule; and Hyacinthin Locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
Shee as a vail down to the slender waste
[Did Blake get his vail/Vala from here?]
Her unadorned golden tresses wore [ 305 ]
Disheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav'd
As the Vine curles her tendrils, which impli'd
Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best receivd,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride, [ 310 ]
And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald,
Then was not guiltie shame, dishonest shame
Of natures works, honor dishonorable,
Sin-bred, how have ye troubl'd all mankind [ 315 ]
With shews instead, meer shews of seeming pure,
And banisht from mans life his happiest life,
Simplicitie and spotless innocence.
So passd they naked on, nor shund the sight
Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill: [ 320 ]
So hand in hand they passd, the lovliest pair
That ever since in loves imbraces met,
Adam the goodliest man of men since borne
His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters Eve.
Under a tuft of shade that on a green [ 325 ]
Stood whispering soft, by a fresh Fountain side
They sat them down.
(So much for the Garden scene.)
Attend: That thou art happie, owe to God; [ 520 ]
That thou continu'st such, owe to thy self,
That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd.
God made thee perfet, not immutable;
And good he made thee, but to persevere [ 525 ]
He left it in thy power, ordaind thy will
By nature free, not over-rul'd by Fate
Inextricable, or strict necessity;
Our voluntarie service he requires,
Not our necessitated, such with him [ 530 ]
Finds no acceptance, nor can find, for how
Can hearts, not free, be tri'd whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By Destinie, and can no other choose?
Myself and all th' Angelic Host that stand [ 535 ]
In sight of God enthron'd, our happie state
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other surety none; freely we serve
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall: [ 540 ]
And Som are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,
And so from Heav'n to deepest Hell; O fall
From what high state of bliss into what woe!
Attentive, and with more delighted eare [ 545 ]
Divine instructer, I have heard, then when
Cherubic Songs by night from neighbouring Hills
Aereal Music send: nor knew I not
To be both will and deed created free;
Yet that we never shall forget to love [ 550 ]
Our maker, and obey him whose command
Single, is yet so just, my constant thoughts
Assur'd me and still assure: though what thou tellst
Hath past in Heav'n, Som doubt within me move,
But more desire to hear, if thou consent, [ 555 ]
The full relation, which must needs be strange,