Tuesday, June 02, 2015


Four Zoas

This is the text for Plate 3 of the Four Zoas as provided in The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake, edited by David V Erdman:
Four Zoas, Night I, Page 3, (E 300)
"<4 6:12="" ephesians="" greek="" lines="" of="" text="">

<[For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the
darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high
places. (King James version)]>


                Night the First

The Song of the Aged Mother which shook the heavens with wrath
Hearing the march of long resounding strong heroic Verse
Marshalld in order for the day of Intellectual Battle

Four Mighty Ones are in every Man;
   a Perfect Unity                                    John XVII c. 21 & 22 & 23 v
Cannot Exist. but from the Universal                            
   Brotherhood of Eden                           John I c. 14. v

The Universal Man. To Whom be
     Glory Evermore Amen      

[What] are the Natures of those Living Creatures the
     Heavenly Father only
[Knoweth] no Individual [Knoweth nor] Can know
     in all Eternity

Los was the fourth immortal starry one, & in the Earth
Of a bright Universe Empery attended day & night                
Days & nights of revolving joy, Urthona was his name"

When we look at the image of Page 3, we are struck by the corrections which were made in the text before Blake was satisfied. He erased, he overwrote, he scratched out, and he rearranged.

Two lines which had been erased and are unreadable to the ordinary viewer have been deciphered by scholars and included in Erdman's text:

"[What] are the Natures of those Living Creatures the
    Heavenly Father only
[Knoweth] no Individual [Knoweth nor] Can know
    in all Eternity"

Two lines which are readable in the image are not included in Erdman:

"The Heavens quake: the earth was moved & shuddered & the mountains
With all their woods, the streams & valleys: wail'd in dismal fear"

Blake links his own work to the wisdom of the Bible by connecting to scripture four times on this page. First is through the quote from Ephesians which I wrote about in the post Rest & Labour. To the right of the line beginning "Four Mighty Ones" he directs us to these verses: 

John 17 
[21] That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
[22] And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

To the right of the line beginning "The Universal Man" we find reference to:

John 1
[14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Below the reference to John I, is a phrase in Greek to reinforce the quote which would be called to mind in English:
>Greek [kai eskanosen en [h]amen]<

John 1
And the Word became flesh and pitched a tent with us, and we gazed upon his glory,

Transliteration of Blake phrase:
"and dwelt among us" 

The image of Vala at the bottom of the page shows the form of Vala in the shape of a V. She touches the Earth as did the Buddha when seeking enlightenment. The earth is the element of Urthona whose "fall into Division & his Resurrection to Unity" is the theme of the Four Zoas. Damon tells us that "The Earth is the body, or the subconscious from which all Energy comes." (Page 113)

Vala will become an instrument of the fall which eventually will involve every Zoa and Emanation. But on Page 3 we have of her only her name, and the picture of a figure in repose with the potential to help or to hurt.

Jerusalem, Plate 29 [33], (E 175)
"Vala replied in clouds of tears Albions garment embracing       

I was a City & a Temple built by Albions Children.
I was a Garden planted with beauty I allured on hill & valley
The River of Life to flow against my walls & among my trees
Vala was Albions Bride & Wife in great Eternity
The loveliest of the daughters of Eternity"

1 comment:

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