None of Blake's images conveys more passion, power or enigma than does the Large Color Print which goes by the name Pity. Blake seems to be representing the compassion of a divine being in providing for the supine woman whose feet are in a shroud. The babe is descending from the hands of a woman on an airborne horse. In this copy the resting woman's breast is bare as if prepared to nurse the child.
Metropolitan Museum of Art http://www.metmuseum.org/ Large Color Print
Urizen, Plate 14, (E 77) "6. Los wept obscur'd with mourning: His bosom earthquak'd with sighs; He saw Urizen deadly black, In his chains bound, & Pity began, 7. In anguish dividing & dividing For pity divides the soul"
In this poem the attributes which are beneficent in the hands of the angel are used by the devil to create misery.
Songs and Ballads, (E 470) "I heard an Angel singing When the day was springing Mercy Pity Peace Is the worlds release Thus he sung all day Over the new mown hay Till the sun went down And haycocks looked brown I heard a Devil curse Over the heath & the furze Mercy could be no more If there was nobody poor And pity no more could be If all were as happy as we At his curse the sun went down And the heavens gave a frown Down pourd the heavy rain Over the new reapd grain And Miseries increase Is Mercy Pity Peace"As a means of understanding the return journey from the depths of Ulro, the pity of which we speak is an Eternal characteristic. If we look at the picture Pity as a stage in the return of man to Eternity, it portrays the assistance which is provided to man by the Divine Hand and by the emanation in reaching the point at which the Savior can be born in his heart.
Jerusalem, Plate 50, (E 200) Come O thou Lamb of God and take away the remembrance of Sin To Sin & to hide the Sin in sweet deceit. is lovely!! To Sin in the open face of day is cruel & pitiless! But To record the Sin for a reproach: to let the Sun go down In a remembrance of the Sin: is a Woe & a Horror! A brooder of an Evil Day, and a Sun rising in blood Come then O Lamb of God and take away the remembrance of Sin Jerusalem, Plate 59, (E 209) "And one Daughter of Los sat at the fiery Reel & another Sat at the shining Loom with her Sisters attending round Terrible their distress & their sorrow cannot be utterd And another Daughter of Los sat at the Spinning Wheel Endless their labour, with bitter food. void of sleep, Tho hungry they labour: they rouze themselves anxious Hour after hour labouring at the whirling Wheel Many Wheels & as many lovely Daughters sit weeping Yet the intoxicating delight that they take in their work Obliterates every other evil; none pities their tears Yet they regard not pity & they expect no one to pity For they labour for life & love, regardless of any one But the poor Spectres that they work for, always incessantly" Jerusalem, Plate 77 (E 232) "But Jesus is the bright Preacher of Life Creating Nature from this fiery Law, By self-denial & forgiveness of Sin. Go therefore, cast out devils in Christs name Heal thou the sick of spiritual disease Pity the evil, for thou art not sent To smite with terror & with punishments Those that are sick, like the Pharisees Crucifying &,encompassing sea & land For proselytes to tyranny & wrath, But to the Publicans & Harlots go! Teach them True Happiness, but let no curse Go forth out of thy mouth to blight their peace For Hell is opend to heaven; thine eyes beheld The dungeons burst & the Prisoners set free." Four Zoas, Night IV, Page 56, (E 337) "The Saviour mild & gentle bent over the corse of Death Saying If ye will Believe your Brother shall rise again And first he found the Limit of Opacity & namd it Satan In Albions bosom for in every human bosom these limits stand And next he found the Limit of Contraction & namd it Adam While yet those beings were not born nor knew of good or Evil Then wondrously the Starry Wheels felt the divine hand. Limit Was put to Eternal Death Los felt the Limit & saw The Finger of God touch the Seventh furnace in terror And Los beheld the hand of God over his furnaces Beneath the Deeps in dismal Darkness beneath immensity"
 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
 And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean."
 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean."
 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.