Monday, January 19, 2015


British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Harold Bloom, who wrote Blake's Apocalypse, uses his deep acquaintance with the Old Testament to reveal something or what Blake was trying to communicate in his conclusion of Auguries of Innocence. Bloom connects the Human Form which is Blake's term for the indwelling spirit with the lesson Jonah was taught about the lost souls of Ninivah whom God would reclaim.

"In the passage that ends Blake's Auguries [of Innocence] the bodily eye is identified with the shadowing gourd [Book of Jonah], born in the night of our fall to perish in the night of our destruction. Blake's irony is at its subtlest as he plays at the equivocal beams of light that blind us in our wilful darkness. The eye of our corporeal existence, a narrow opening in our material cavern, was born when our soul slept in the heavenly light. If our soul had kept awake in the light, we would not have fallen, and would now have an eye to see with, and not through, if we are to see our own relation to what we were. But like Jonah we are poor souls dwelling within the mental cavern or whale's belly of the night, the dark forest in which the Bard of Experience saw his Tyger.

As God taught Jonah the humane view of apocalypse, so now Blake seeks to teach it to himself. God appears as a light shining into our darkness if we insist upon dwelling in the darkness. But if we see through the eye, the we are auguries of a second Innocence, and dwell in the clear realms of day, where the Tygers of Wrath are anything but fearful, and where God displays the form of the human."
(Page 303)

Everlasting Gospel, (E 520)
"This Lifes dim Windows of the Soul
Distorts the Heavens from Pole to Pole
And leads you to Believe a Lie
When you see with not thro the Eye   
That was born in a night to perish in a night
When the Soul slept in the beams of Light."

Auguries of Innocence, (E 492)
"Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born 
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
We are led to Believe a Lie 
When we see not Thro the Eye  
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night 
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day"

Songs of Innocence & of Experience, (E 12)
Song 18, The Divine Image 
"For Mercy has a human heart
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress."

Jerusalem, Plate 27, (E 173)
"He witherd up the Human Form,
By laws of sacrifice for sin:
  Till it became a Mortal Worm:    
But O! translucent all within.

  The Divine Vision still was seen
Still was the Human Form, Divine
  Weeping in weak & mortal clay
O Jesus still the Form was thine.      

  And thine the Human Face & thine
The Human Hands & Feet & Breath
  Entering thro' the Gates of Birth
And passing thro' the Gates of Death"

Jonah 4
[6] And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
[7] But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
[9] And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd ? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
[10] Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

[11] And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

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