Wednesday, October 21, 2015

MANTELS OF LIFE & DEATH [115]


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 115
Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 107 [115], (E 380) 
"And these are the Sons of Los & Enitharmon. Rintrah Palamabron 
Theotormon Bromion Antamon Ananton Ozoth Ohana
Sotha Mydon Ellayol Natho Gon Harhath Satan
Har Ochim Ijim Adam Reuben Simeon Levi Judah Dan Naphtali
Gad Asher Issachar Zebulun Joseph Benjamin David Solomon 
Paul Constantine Charlemaine Luther Milton
These are our daughters Ocalythron Elynittria Oothoon Leutha    
Elythiria Enanto Manathu Vorcyon Ethinthus Moab Midian
Adah Zillah Caina Naamah Tamar Rahab Tirzah Mary
And myriads more of Sons & Daughters to whom our love increasd 
To each according to the multiplication of their multitudes
But Satan accusd Palamabron before his brethren also he maddend 
The horses of palambrons harrow wherefore Rintrah & Palamabron
Cut him off from Golgonooza. But Enitharmon in tears
Wept over him Created him a Space closd with a tender moon 
And he rolld down beneath the fires of Orc a Globe immense
Crusted with snow in a dim void. here by the Arts of Urizen
He tempted many of the Sons & Daughters of Los to flee
Away from Me first Reuben fled then Simeon then Levi then Judah
Then Dan then Naphtali then Gad then Asher then Issachar 
Then Zebulun then Joseph then Benjamin twelve sons of Los
And this is the manner in which Satan became the Tempter

There is a State namd Satan learn distinct to know O Rahab   
The Difference between States & Individuals of those States
The State namd Satan never can be redeemd in all Eternity 
But when Luvah in Orc became a Serpent he des[c]ended into
That State calld Satan Enitharmon breathd forth on the Winds
Of Golgonooza her well beloved knowing he was Orc's human remains
She tenderly lovd him above all his brethren he grew up
In mothers tenderness The Enormous worlds rolling in Urizens power
Must have given Satan by these mild arts Dominion over all
Wherefore Palamabron being accusd by Satan to Los      
Calld down a Great Solemn assembly Rintrah in fury & fire
Defended Palamabron & rage filld the Universal Tent

Because Palamabron was good naturd Satan supposd he feard him 
And Satan not having the Science of Wrath but only of Pity
Was soon condemnd & wrath was left to wrath & Pity to Pity
Rintrah & Palamabron Cut sheer off from Golgonooza
Enitharmons Moony space & in it Satan & his companions
They rolld down a dim world Crusted with Snow deadly & dark 

Jerusalem pitying them wove them mantles of life & death
Times after times And those in Eden sent Lucifer for their Guard
Lucifer refusd to die for Satan & in pride he forsook his charge
Then they sent Molech Molech was impatient They sent
Molech impatient They Sent Elohim who created Adam
To die for Satan Adam refusd but was compelld to die
By Satans arts. Then the Eternals Sent Shaddai
Shaddai was angry Pachad descended Pachad was terrified
And then they Sent Jehovah who leprous stretchd his hand to Eternity
Then Jesus Came & Died willing beneath Tirzah & Rahab 
Thou art that Rahab Lo the Tomb what can we purpose more   

PAGE 108 [116] 
Lo Enitharmon terrible & beautiful in Eternal youth
Bow down before her you her children & set Jerusalem free

Rahab burning with pride & revenge departed from Los
Los dropd a tear at her departure but he wipd it away in hope
She went to Urizen in pride the Prince of Light beheld
Reveald before the face of heaven his secret holiness."    
Wiki Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
This is another instance in which Blake brings together various threads which are being woven into the fabric of his text. The long lists of sons and daughters of Los & Enitharmon derive primarily from the Old Testament and from history. Blake did not include individuals of particularly noble character but men and women who had moved forward the development of human history for good or ill.

Blake's next section is a recapitulation of the Bards song from Milton. Blake presents an explanation of the drawing away of many of Los's sons through the arts of Urizen. Satan's role as the Tempter is developed in this passage. Blake introduced states as opposed to individuals in those states. Then he listed the seven 'eyes' or states through which society developed as it acquired spiritual consciousness.

This statement is given to Rahab by the Eternals attempting to gain the release of Jerusalem by explaining how the present circumstances came about, but Rahab rebuffs Los and returns to Urizen.

For Blake the image of the suffering Christ offering himself for the salvation of mankind was sufficient to encompass the whole history of the world as it passed through stages of trying and failing, learning and forgetting, falling asleep and reawakening.  


In the manuscript for the Four Zoas, pages 111 and 115 have similar images. Both images are engraved, indicating that they were produced as finished products intended for inclusion in the project on which Blake was working - Illustrations for Young's Night Thoughts. The watercolors in the British Museum include a painting of the image used on page 111 in which Jesus' head is seen in profile. Of the 537 watercolors (now in the British Museum) which Blake painted to illustrate Night Thoughts, only those which were selected to be included in the first volume issued for publication were ever engraved. Apparently after Blake had engraved the image he was dissatisfied with the expression on the face of Jesus. It was worth the time and effort to him, to reengrave the image in order better to show Jesus expressing compassionate concern for the world he suffered to redeem. As was his practice he reused proofs from pages engraved for Night Thoughts to furnish paper for the composition of the Four Zoas. Thus we can compare two engraved versions of a single composition.

1 comment:

Larry Clayton said...

This is a wonderful post.