Thursday, September 28, 2017


Yale Center for British Art
Plate 62
Damon writes in A Blake Dictionary that "Giants symbolize the great primeval powers within us..." the totality of which is symbolized by the giant Albion who is represented by all of Britain. More expansively Albion includes all of mankind in one body.

In this passage in Milton we read of Albion as a giant body stretching over the British landscape. He is attempting to rise from his dreadful sleep on the Couch of Death. The anguish he experienced is portrayed in the face of Albion on plate 62 of Jerusalem. Blake includes a small figure between Albion's feet to indicate the scale of the forces incorporated in Albion - his symbol of Man.
Milton, Plate 39 [44] (E 140)
"Awake Albion awake! reclaim thy Reasoning Spectre. Subdue        

Him to the Divine Mercy, Cast him down into the Lake
Of Los, that ever burneth with fire, ever & ever Amen!
Let the Four Zoa's awake from Slumbers of Six Thousand Years

Then loud the Furnaces of Los were heard! & seen as Seven heavens
Stretching from south to north over the mountains of Albion"     

Milton, Plate 39 [44]
"Then Albion rose up in the Night of Beulah on his Couch
Of dread repose seen by the visionary eye; his face is toward
The east, toward Jerusalems Gates: groaning he sat above
His rocks. London & Bath & Legions & Edinburgh                   
Are the four pillars of his Throne; his left foot near London
Covers the shades of Tyburn: his instep from Windsor
To Primrose Hill stretching to Highgate & Holloway
London is between his knees: its basements fourfold 
His right foot stretches to the sea on Dover cliffs, his heel  
On Canterburys ruins; his right hand covers lofty Wales
His left Scotland; his bosom girt with gold involves
York, Edinburgh, Durham & Carlisle & on the front
Bath, Oxford, Cambridge Norwich; his right elbow
Leans on the Rocks of Erins Land, Ireland ancient nation[,]      
His head bends over London: he sees his embodied Spectre
Trembling before him with exceeding great trembling & fear
He views Jerusalem & Babylon, his tears flow down
He movd his right foot to Cornwall, his left to the Rocks of Bognor
He strove to rise to walk into the Deep. but strength failing    
Forbad & down with dreadful groans he sunk upon his Couch
In moony Beulah. Los his strong Guard walks round beneath the Moon

Romans 12 
[4] For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 
[5] So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
[6] Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 
[7] Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 
[8] Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 First Corinthians 12 
[12] For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 
[13] For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

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