Saturday, July 04, 2015

EDGE OF BEULAH [18]

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Four Zoas
Page 18


Four Zoas, Night I,PAGE 18, (E 310)
"Why is the Sheep given to the knife? the Lamb plays in the Sun
He starts! he hears the foot of Man! he says, Take thou my wool
But spare my life, but he knows not that winter cometh fast..

The Spider sits in his labourd Web, eager watching for the Fly
Presently comes a famishd Bird & takes away the Spider           
His Web is left all desolate, that his little anxious heart
So careful wove; & spread it out with sighs and weariness.

This was the Lamentation of Enion round the golden Feast
Eternity groand and was troubled at the image of Eternal Death
Without the body of Man an Exudation from his sickning limbs     

Now Man was come to the Palm tree & to the Oak of Weeping
Which stand upon the Edge of Beulah & he sunk down
From the Supporting arms of the Eternal Saviour; who disposd
The pale limbs of his Eternal Individuality
Upon The Rock of Ages. Watching over him with Love & Care 
 
End of First Night"
Page 18 is one of two pages which Blake concludes with the words 'End of First Night.' After Page 18 there are four additional pages which are considered to be pages of the manuscript of the First Night. Blake initially seems to have intended to end the First Night with this image of a final separation of Tharmas and Enion as they exit from Beulah into the world of mortality. Enion was able to see the destruction of the complete psyche in a world of nature which on longer reflected the innocence of Eden. Tharmas was able to see the same disintegration in the body which has become subject to the decay of death. Their combined vision of the total man as body and spirit had been a cohesive force which cemented each of the functions of the psyche into a harmonious unity. The chain reaction of the fall reached critical mass when they steped across the border of the edge of Beulah between the Palm tree and the Oak. Eden had been left for Beulah, now Tharmas and Enion abandon Beulah as well.

For a recap of the events which led to the exit from Beulah, read DRIVEN OUTWARD, which comments on Page 5.

Blake's illustration can be seen as the Eternal Saviour reaching down and laying in a manger a divine child. A faint sketch of a kneeling figure receives the child to her care.  

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