Monday, August 11, 2014

Furnace II

There are 168 occurrencies of 'furnace' in Blake's poetry and over 100 of them are in Jerusalem. We hear it first in Songs of Experience; look at 'The Tyger':

In the Four Zoas:
Luvah was cast into the Furnaces of affliction & sealed (Night 2;; Erdman 376)                                            
In Golgonooza Los's anvils stand & his Furnaces rage 
(Night 8 Erdman 376)

In Jerusalem plate 5:
The Male is a Furnace of beryll; the Female is a golden Loom The Starry Wheels revolv'd heavily over the Furnaces; 
(Erdman 148)   

In my Furnaces into One Nation the English: & taking refuge

with solemn cadences she drew
Fibres of life out from the Bones into her golden Loom
Hand had his Furnace on Highgates heights & it reachd
To Brockley Hills across the Thames: he with double Boadicea
In cruel pride cut Reuben apart from the Hills of Surrey
Comingling with Luvah & with the Sepulcher of Luvah
For the Male is a Furnace of beryll: the Female is a golden Loom

Los cries: No Individual ought to appropriate to Himself
Or to his Emanation, any of the Universal Characteristics
Of David or of Eve, of the Woman, or of the Lord.
Of Reuben or of Benjamin, of Joseph or Judah or Levi
Those who dare appropriate to themselves Universal Attributes
Are the Blasphemous Selfhoods & must be broken asunder

Loud scream the Daughters of Albion beneath the Tongs & Hammer
Dolorous are their lamentations in the burning Forge
They drink Reuben & Benjamin as the iron drinks the fire
They are red hot with cruelty: raving along the Banks of Thames
And on Tyburns Brook among the howling Victims in loveliness
While Hand & Hyle condense the Little-ones & erect them into
A mighty Temple even to the stars: but they Vegetate
Beneath Los's Hammer, that Life may not be blotted out.
(Jerusalem Plate 90; Erdman 249-50)

                                                                Jerusalem, 92.2; E252
161. This sinful Nation Created in our Furnaces & Looms is Albion

                                                                Jerusalem, 92.6; E252:
162. Beneath the Furnaces & the starry Wheels & the Immortal Tomb
                                                                Jerusalem, 94.2; E254:
163. Revolve: & over them the Furnaces of Los & the Immortal Tomb around
                                                                Jerusalem, 94.12; E254:
164. Beneath the Furnaces & starry Wheels and in the Immortal Tomb
                                                                Jerusalem, 94.19; E254:

165. So Albion spoke & threw himself into the Furnaces of affliction
                                                                Jerusalem, 96.35; E256

166. All was a Vision, all a Dream: the Furnaces became
                                                                Jerusalem, 96.36; E256
(More to come.)

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