Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ALBION GUARDED

william-blake.org
Christ in the Sepulcher Guarded by Angels
There are two perspectives from which Blake presents Albion. The first is that of the fallen Albion, asleep on his rock or dead in his sepulcher. This fallen giant undergoes the agonies of separation into warring factions. He suffers the anguish of  a disintegrating  world. He has lost the cohesion which the Divine Vision provides.

Blake, however, provides a view of Albion from a contrasting perspective as well. He presents Albion as under the guardianship of benevolent forces which protect him until the processes which he undergoes have returned him to a state of unity. Offering him protection and succor are Sons of Eden, Daughters of Beulah, the Divine Hand, the Seven Eyes of God, Los the Imagination, and all Beulah hovering over his couch.     

Jerusalem, Plate 72, (E 227)
"And the Four Gates of Los surround the Universe Within and       
Without; & whatever is visible in the Vegetable Earth, the same
Is visible in the Mundane Shell; reversd in mountain & vale
And a Son of Eden was set over each Daughter of Beulah to guard
In Albions Tomb the wondrous Creation: & the Four-fold Gate
Towards Beulah is to the South[.] Fenelon, Guion, Teresa,    
Whitefield & Hervey, guard that Gate; with all the gentle Souls
Who guide the great Wine-press of Love; Four precious stones that Gate:"

Jerusalem, Plate 15, (E 158)
"And Hand & Hyle rooted into Jerusalem by a fibre
Of strong revenge & Skofeld Vegetated by Reubens Gate
In every Nation of the Earth till the Twelve Sons of Albion
Enrooted into every Nation: a mighty Polypus growing
From Albion over the whole Earth: such is my awful Vision.   

I see the Four-fold Man. The Humanity in deadly sleep
And its fallen Emanation. The Spectre & its cruel Shadow.
I see the Past, Present & Future, existing all at once
Before me; O Divine Spirit sustain me on thy wings!
That I may awake Albion from His long & cold repose.             
For Bacon & Newton sheathd in dismal steel, their terrors hang
Like iron scourges over Albion, Reasonings like vast Serpents
Infold around my limbs, bruising my minute articulations

I turn my eyes to the Schools & Universities of Europe
And there behold the Loom of Locke whose Woof rages dire  
Washd by the Water-wheels of Newton. black the cloth
In heavy wreathes folds over every Nation; cruel Works
Of many Wheels I View, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic
Moving by compulsion each other: not as those in Eden: which
Wheel within Wheel in freedom revolve in harmony & peace. 

I see in deadly fear in London Los raging round his Anvil
Of death: forming an Ax of gold: the Four Sons of Los
Stand round him cutting the Fibres from Albions hills
That Albions Sons may roll apart over the Nations
While Reuben enroots his brethren in the narrow Canaanite    
From the Limit Noah to the Limit Abram in whose Loins
Reuben in his Twelve-fold majesty & beauty shall take refuge
As Abraham flees from Chaldea shaking his goary locks
But first Albion must sleep, divided from the Nations

I see Albion sitting upon his Rock in the first Winter           
And thence I see the Chaos of Satan & the World of Adam
When the Divine Hand went forth on Albion in the mid Winter
And at the place of Death when Albion sat in Eternal Death
Among the Furnaces of Los in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom"
Four Zoas, Night I, Page 21 [19], (E 312) 
"Jerusalem his Emanation is become a ruin       
Her little ones are slain on the top of every street    
And she herself le[d] captive & scatterd into the indefinite
Gird on thy sword O thou most mighty in glory & majesty
Destroy these opressors of Jerusalem & those who ruin Shiloh     

So spoke the Messengers of Beulah. Silently removing
The Family Divine drew up the Universal tent
Above High Snowdon & closd the Messengers in clouds around 
Till the time of the End. Then they Elected Seven. called the Seven
Eyes of God & the Seven lamps of the Almighty                    
The Seven are one within the other the Seventh is named Jesus
The Lamb of God blessed for ever & he followd the Man
Who wanderd in mount Ephraim seeking a Sepulcher
His inward eyes closing from the Divine vision & all
His children wandering outside from his bosom fleeing away"   
Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 99 (E 370)
"The Fallen Man stretchd like a Corse upon the oozy Rock
Washd with the tides Pale overgrown with weeds
Two winged immortal shapes one standing at his feet
Toward the East one standing at his head toward the west
Their wings joind in the Zenith over head
Such is a Vision of All Beulah hovring over the Sleeper

The limit of Contraction now was fixd & Man began
To wake upon the Couch of Death he sneezed seven times
A tear of blood dropped from either eye again he reposd
In the saviours arms, in the arms of tender mercy & loving kindness

Then Los said I behold the Divine Vision thro the broken Gates
Of thy poor broken heart astonishd melted into Compassion & Love
And Enitharmon said I see the Lamb of God upon Mount Zion
Wondring with love & Awe they felt the divine hand upon them"

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