Thursday, April 03, 2014

Milton 6

From the Plate immediately before the one with the image we have:
"First Milton saw Albion upon the Rock of Ages,
Deadly pale outstretchd and snowy cold, storm coverd;
A Giant form of perfect beauty outstretchd on the rock

In solemn death: the Sea of Time & Space thunderd aloud
Against the rock, which was inwrapped with the weeds of death    
Hovering over the cold bosom, in its vortex Milton bent down
To the bosom of death, what was underneath soon seemd above.
A cloudy heaven mingled with stormy seas in loudest ruin;
But as a wintry globe descends precipitant thro' Beulah bursting,
With thunders loud and terrible: so Miltons shadow fell        
Precipitant loud thundring into the Sea of Time & Space.

Then first I saw him in the Zenith as a falling star,
Descending perpendicular, swift as the swallow or swift;
And on my left foot falling on the tarsus, enterd there;
But from my left foot a black cloud redounding spread over

Then Milton knew that the Three Heavens of Beulah were beheld
By him on earth in his bright pilgrimage of sixty years"
(Erdman 109-10)

Rosenwald Lof C
Milton Plate 32

The star we saw above the large MILTON at Milton 2  has fallen to a point above his lower leg.  He has been coming down a series of large stone steps.

The flaming Satan (or Selfhood) we saw at Milton 3 is seen only as smoke now.
Erdman suggests that the impact of this moment is like that of the fire brought to the sons of Job.

This ends the first Book of Milton.  Near the begining of Book the Second is a mirror image of this one, but instead of Wiiliam at the top we find Robert.

As everyone knows Blake had a beloved younger brother named Robert. William and Robert lived and conferred to one another continuously until Robert's unfortunately died, leaving William bereft.

But not entirely; William tells us that he continued to confer  day after day with Robert; he might tell us that he and Robert lived together in two worlds: mortal and eternal. William would say he preferred the eternal (superstitiously????).

No comments: