|Yale Center for British Art|
Reading Milton Book One - the associations became rich and richer for me, more poignant and meaningful each time I read it. At the end of Plate 23 Los recollects the loss of his twelve sons - a parallel to the Orc myth. A lost son embodies the failure to maintain and transmit the gold of ones life, a failure of the harvest, which by faith we must see as a postponement of of the [final] harvest knowing that the Vision was not to be Effected without Care & Sorrows & Troubles of 6000 Years of self-denial and of bitter Contrition. Night 7:400
Los' sons are asking him why evil is allowed to flourish when the dark negativities could be eliminated by decisive action. Los' answer if that a process is taking place. Patience is required for Albion to recapitulate the stages of building the psyche. The services of both Rintrah (wrath) and Palamabron (pity) are needed in proceeding through the 'Seven Eyes of God' that they 'may have space for Redemption'.
God's loss of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was the original loss or failure which set mankind on the Journey of 6000 Years of Care & Sorrows & Troubles to reestablish the bonds of love and trust and mutual forgiveness between God and Man. Blake's vision was that all may know that we are in God's presence night & day and realize that God never turns his face away.
Milton, Plate 22 , (E 117) "Rintrah and Palamabron met us at the Gate of Golgonooza Clouded with discontent. & brooding in their minds terrible things They said. O Father most beloved! O merciful Parent! Pitying and permitting evil, tho strong & mighty to destroy. Whence is this Shadow terrible? wherefore dost thou refuse To throw him into the Furnaces! knowest thou not that he Will unchain Orc? & let loose Satan, Og, Sihon & Anak, Upon the Body of Albion? for this he is come! behold it written Upon his fibrous left Foot black! most dismal to our eyes The Shadowy Female shudders thro' heaven in torment inexpressible! And all the Daughters of Los prophetic wail: yet in deceit, They weave a new Religion from new Jealousy of Theotormon! Miltons Religion is the cause: there is no end to destruction!"
Milton, PLATE 23 , (E 118) ... let us descend & bring him chained To Bowlahoola O father most beloved! O mild Parent! Cruel in thy mildness, pitying and permitting evil Tho strong and mighty to destroy, O Los our beloved Father! Like the black storm, coming out of Chaos, beyond the stars: It issues thro the dark & intricate caves of the Mundane Shell Passing the planetary visions, & the well adorned Firmament The Sun rolls into Chaos & the Stars into the Desarts; And then the storms become visible, audible & terrible, Covering the light of day, & rolling down upon the mountains, Deluge all the country round. Such is a vision of Los; When Rintrah & Palamabron spake; and such his stormy face Appeard, as does the face of heaven, when coverd with thick storms Pitying and loving tho in frowns of terrible perturbation But Los dispersd the clouds even as the strong winds of Jehovah, And Los thus spoke. O noble Sons, be patient yet a little I have embracd the falling Death, he is become One with me O Sons we live not by wrath. by mercy alone we live! I recollect an old Prophecy in Eden recorded in gold; and oft Sung to the harp: That Milton of the land of Albion. Should up ascend forward from Felphams Vale & break the Chain Of jealousy from all its roots; be patient therefore O my Sons These lovely Females form sweet night and silence and secret Obscurities to bide from Satans Watch-Fiends. Human loves And graces; lest they write them in their Books, & in the Scroll Of mortal life, to condemn the accused: who at Satans Bar Tremble in Spectrous Bodies continually day and night While on the Earth they live in sorrowful Vegetations O when shall we tread our Wine-presses in heaven; and Reap Our wheat with shoutings of joy, and leave the Earth in peace Remember how Calvin and Luther in fury premature Sow'd War and stern division between Papists & Protestants Let it not be so now! O go not forth in Martyrdoms & Wars We were plac'd here by the Universal Brotherhood & Mercy With powers fitted to circumscribe this dark Satanic death And that the Seven Eyes of God may have space for Redemption. But how this is as yet we know not, and we cannot know; Till Albion is arisen; then patient wait a little while, Six Thousand years are passd away the end approaches fast; This mighty one is come from Eden, he is of the Elect, Who died from Earth & he is returnd before the Judgment. This thing Was never known that one of the holy dead should willing return Then patient wait a little while till the Last Vintage is over: Till we have quenchd the Sun of Salah in the Lake of Udan Adan O my dear Sons! leave not your Father, as your brethren left me[.] Twelve Sons successive fled away in that thousand years of sorrow" Four Zoas, Night 7, Page 87, (E 369) "When In the Deeps beneath I gatherd of this ruddy fruit It was by that I knew that I had Sinnd & then I knew That without a ransom I could not be savd from Eternal death That Life lives upon Death & by devouring appetite All things subsist on one another thenceforth in Despair I spend my glowing time but thou art strong & mighty To bear this Self conviction take then Eat thou also of The fruit & give me proof of life Eternal or I die Then Los plucked the fruit & Eat & sat down in Despair And must have given himself to death Eternal But Urthonas spectre in part mingling with him comforted him Being a medium between him & Enitharmon But This Union Was not to be Effected without Cares & Sorrows & Troubles Of six thousand Years of self denial and of bitter Contrition" Blake's Notebook, (E 481) "I am in Gods presence night & day And he never turns his face away"