Sunday, April 13, 2014

Milton 11

Rosenwald LC
Milton 42

Erdman suggests that the image of two people may be post-coital, "the moment of the fall of Milton's star, the descent of an eagle screams waking naked lovers....the reluctant sleepers are archetypically Albion and his bride, Jerusalem.

Awake, awake: we hear that over and over in the New Testament; both the  Bible and William Blake are trying to awaken us from our sleep; In MHH Blake quoted Ezekiel, who spoke of "the desire of raising other men into a perception of the infinite".

The concordance shows 87 occurrences to the word, 'awake' as:
I cry the watchman heareth not I pour my voice in roarings
Watchman the night is thick & darkness cheats my rayie sight
Lift up Lift up O Los awake my watchman for he sleepeth
Lift up Lift up Shine forth O Light watchman thy light is out  
O Los unless thou keep my tower the Watchman will be slain

The concordance shows 71 occurrences of the word, 'couch' as:
"Is this the Void Outside of Existence, which if enterd into
PLATE 42 [49]                                                t
Becomes a Womb? & is this the Death Couch of Albion
Thou goest to Eternal Death & all must go with thee

So saying, the Virgin divided Six-fold & with a shriek
Dolorous that ran thro all Creation a Double Six-fold Wonder!
Away from Ololon she divided & fled into the depths              
Of Miltons Shadow as a Dove upon the stormy Sea."

The Dove upon the stormy Sea is obviously taken from Genesis:


  1. [8] Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
  2. [9] But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
  3. [10] And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
  4. [11] And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
  5. [12] And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
Name the two people Albion and England represent the Lord's people.

The eagle found here is described in Jerusalem as a tradional symbol of St. John, the living trumpet of prophecy. (from page 259 of Erdman's Illuminated Blake)

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