Four Zoas Manuscript
Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 104 (FIRST PORTION) (E 376) "Then sang the Sons of Eden round the Lamb of God & said
Glory Glory Glory to the holy Lamb of God
Who now beginneth to put off the dark Satanic body Now we behold redemption Now we know that life Eternal Depends alone upon the Universal hand & not in us Is aught but death In individual weakness sorrow & pain PAGE 113 (FIRST PORTION) We behold with wonder Enitharmons Looms & Los's Forges And the Spindles of Tirzah & Rahab and the Mills of Satan & Beelzeboul In Golgonooza Los's anvils stand & his Furnaces rage Ten thousand demons labour at the forges Creating Continually The times & spaces of Mortal Life the Sun the Moon the Stars In periods of Pulsative furor beating into wedges & bars Then drawing into wires the terrific Passions & Affections Of Spectrous dead. Thence to the Looms of Cathedron conveyd The Daughters of Enitharmon weave the ovarium & the integument In soft silk drawn from their own bowels in lascivious delight With songs of sweetest cadence to the turning spindle & reel Lulling the weeping spectres of the dead. Clothing their limbs With gifts & gold of Eden. Astonishd stupefied with delight The terrors put on their sweet clothing on the banks of Arnon Whence they plunge into the river of space for a period till The dread Sleep of Ulro is past. But Satan Og & Sihon Build Mills of resistless wheels to unwind the soft threads & reveal Naked of their clothing the poor spectres before the accusing heavens While Rahab & Tirzah far different mantles prepare webs of torture Mantles of despair girdles of bitter compunction shoes of indolence Veils of ignorance covering from head to feet with a cold web We look down into Ulro we behold the Wonders of the Grave Eastward of Golgonooza stands the Lake of Udan Adan In Entuthon Benithon a Lake not of Waters but of Spaces Perturbd black & deadly on its Islands & its Margins The Mills of Satan and Beelzeboul stand round the roots of Urizens tree For this Lake is formd from the tears & sighs & death sweat of the Victims Of Urizens laws. to irrigate the roots of the tree of Mystery They unweave the soft threads then they weave them anew in the forms Of dark death & despair & none from Eternity to Eternity could Escape But thou O Universal Humanity who is One Man blessed for Ever Recievest the Integuments woven Rahab beholds the Lamb of God She smites with her knife of flint She destroys her own work Times upon times thinking to destroy the Lamb blessed for Ever He puts off the clothing of blood he redeems the spectres from their bonds He awakes the sleepers in Ulro the Daughters of Beulah praise him They anoint his feet with ointment they wipe them with the hair of their head PAGE 105  (SECOND PORTION) But when Rahab had cut off the Mantle of Luvah from The Lamb of God it rolld apart, revealing to all in heaven And all on Earth the Temple & the Synagogue of Satan & Mystery Even Rahab in all her turpitude Rahab divided herself She stood before Los in her Pride among the Furnaces Dividing & uniting in Delusive feminine pomp questioning him He answerd her with tenderness & love not uninspird Los sat upon his anvil stock they sat beside the forge Los wipd the sweat from his red brow & thus began To the delusive female forms shining among his furnaces I am that shadowy Prophet who six thousand years ago Fell from my station in the Eternal bosom. I divided To multitude & my multitudes are children of Care & Labour O Rahab I behold thee I was once like thee a Son Of Pride and I also have piercd the Lamb of God in pride & wrath Hear me repeat my Generations that thou mayst also repent PAGE 104 (SECOND PORTION) We now behold the Ends of Beulah & we now behold Where Death Eternal is put off Eternally Assume the dark Satanic body in the Virgins womb O Lamb divin[e] it cannot thee annoy O pitying one Thy pity is from the foundation of the World & thy Redemption Begun Already in Eternity Come then O Lamb of God Come Lord Jesus come quickly So sang they in Eternity looking down into Beulah."
Blake included no illustration on this page. We are reminded here of the work of Enitharmon who wove on her looms the bodies that clothed the specters of the dead. But the benevolent work of Enitharmon was assailed by forces which tore down the delicate structures of innocence by exposing them to the harsh conditions of experience. Man's sojourn in the world of time and space related from the perspective of Eternity is the topic this passage. The Eternals observe the suffering of humanity knowing that their condition is temporary: that the suffering they endure will be shared by the Lamb of God who will put on the mantle of life and death.
There is no immediate transition as a result of the incarnation because the systems of oppression are ingrained in human minds. The presence of the Lamb exposes Rahab and Satan as delusions but they still must be dealt with. It takes Los - the Imagination, the Prophet, the Holy Spirit - to confront error in love in order to put it off Eternally.
In this context we may think of Rahab as the system of moral law externally, or as the Superego internally. Satan may be related to the Id as the source of energy and desire masquerading as the true man.
Yale Center for British Art Jerusalem Plate 100