Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hughes' Jerusalem 6

The title of this Plate is "Los Conquers the Spectre" Unlike the last Section Hughes has relatively little to say in his commentary here. Here is part of Blake's section, found in Plate 10 of Jerusalem: PLATE 10 ---- And this is the manner of the Sons of Albion in their strength They take the Two Contraries which are calld Qualities, with which Every Substance is clothed, they name them Good & Evil From them they make an Abstract, which is a Negation Not only of the Substance from which it is derived A murderer of its own Body: but also a murderer Of every Divine Member: it is the Reasoning Power An Abstract objecting power, that Negatives every thing
This is the Spectre of Man: the Holy Reasoning Power And in its Holiness is closed the Abomination of Desolation Therefore Los stands in London building Golgonooza Compelling his Spectre to labours mighty; trembling in fear The Spectre weeps, but Los unmovd by tears or threats remains I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Mans I will not Reason & Compare: my business is to Create --------- So Los, in fury & strength: in indignation & burning wrath Shuddring the Spectre howls. his howlings terrify the night Driven to desperation by Los's terrors & threatning fears ------- Los cries, Obey my voice & never deviate from my will And I will be merciful to thee: be thou invisible to all To whom I make thee invisible, but chief to my own Children ------- The Spectre answer'd. Art thou not ashamd of those thy Sins That thou callest thy Children? lo the Law of God commands That they be offered upon his Altar: O cruelty & torment For thine are also mine! I have kept silent hitherto, Concerning my chief delight: but thou hast broken silence Now I will speak my mind! Where is my lovely Enitharmon O thou my enemy, where is my Great Sin? She is also thine
I said: Now is my grief at worst: incapable of being Surpassed: but every moment it accumulates more & more It continues accumulating to eternity! the joys of God advance For he is Righteous: he is not a Being of Pity & Compassion He cannot feel Distress: he feeds on Sacrifice & Offering: Delighting in cries & tears & clothed in Holiness & solitude But my griefs advance also, for ever & ever without end O that I could cease to be! Despair! I am Despair -------- So spoke the Spectre shuddring, & dark tears ran down his shadowy face Which Los wiped off, but comfort none could give! or beam of hope Yet ceasd he not from labouring at the roarings of his Forge With iron & brass Building Golgonooza in great contendings Till his Sons & Daughters came forth from the Furnaces At the sublime Labours for Los. compelld the invisible Spectre
To labours mighty, with vast strength, with his mighty chains, (Erdman 152-3)
In his commentary Hughes has a few things to say:

Re 'The Joys of God':
Hughes tells us Blake is not talking about the true God but "the
falsely-imagined God made by the Spectre in his own image," the God
of the people who demand that "a criminal" be punished. The true
God is the one of people like the Amish who forgave and prayed for
the man who 'mowed down' about 20 school children.

Re Building Golgonooza:
It's built by the children of Los, the spiritual fourfold London.
It isn't quite the same as the City of God, though some seem to think so.
Golgonooza is like 'building the kingdom' aspired to by former
church people; the 'kingdom' is not the same as heaven, though we
are to pray for it.

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