Joseph of Arimathea preaching to the inhabitants of Britain
The Perfect Unity of Homer's poetry included the bad with the good. It was not about morality but about intrinsic character. Blake considered bad and good to be contraries whose differences would be reconciled when error was annihilated. The substance of poetry is furnished not by the Reasoning Abstract but by the Imagination which has access to the Holy Spirit - connecting the image of God within each with the one whose in whose image man is made.
ON HOMERS POETRY, (E 269)
"Every Poem must necessarily be a perfect Unity, but why Homers is
peculiarly so, I cannot tell: he has told the story of Bellerophon & omitted the judgment of Paris which is not only a part, but a principal part of Homers subject But when a Work has Unity it is as much in a Part as in the Whole. the Torso is as much a Unity as the Laocoon As Unity is the cloke of folly so Goodness is the cloke of knavery Those who will have Unity exclusively in Homer come out with a Moral like a sting in the tail: Aristotle says Characters are either Good or Bad: now Goodness or Badness has nothing to do with Character. an Apple tree a Pear tree a Horse a Lion, are Characters but a Good Apple tree or a Bad, is an Apple tree still: a Horse is not more a Lion for being a Bad Horse. that is its Character; its Goodness or Badness is another consideration. It is the same with the Moral of a whole Poem as with the Moral Goodness of its parts Unity & Morality, are secondary considerations & belong to Philosophy & not to Poetry, to Exception & not to Rule, to Accident & not to Substance. the Ancients calld it eating of the tree of good & evil. The Classics, it is the Classics! & not Goths nor Monks, that Desolate Europe with Wars. ON VIRGIL Sacred Truth has pronounced that Greece & Rome as Babylon & Egypt: so far from being parents of Arts & Sciences as they pretend: were destroyers of all Art. Homer Virgil & Ovid confirm this opinion & make us reverence The Word of God, the only light of antiquity that remains unperverted by War. Virgil in the Eneid Book VI. line 848 says Let others study Art: Rome has somewhat better to do, namely War & Dominion Rome & Greece swept Art into their maw & destroyd it a Warlike State never can produce Art. It will Rob & Plunder & accumulate into one place, & Translate & Copy & Buy & Sell & Criticise, but not Make. Mathematic Form is Eternal in the Reasoning Memory. Living Form is Eternal Existence. Grecian is Mathematic Form Gothic is Living Form" Descriptive Catalogue, (E 544) "The human mind cannot go beyond the gift of God, the Holy Ghost. To suppose that Art can go beyond the finest specimens of Art that are now in the world, is not knowing what Art is; it is being blind to the gifts of the spirit." Vision of last Judgment, (E 554) "The Last Judgment when all those are Cast away who trouble Religion with Questions concerning Good & Evil or Eating of the Tree of those Knowledges or Reasonings which hinder the Vision of God turning all into a Consuming fire
Imaginative Art & Science & all Intellectual Gifts all the Gifts of the Holy Ghost are [despisd] lookd upon as of no use & only Contention remains to Man then the Last Judgment begins & its Vision is seen by the [Imaginative Eye] of Every one according to the situation he holds" Milton, Plate 25 , (E 122) "And you shall Reap the whole Earth, from Pole to Pole! from Sea to Sea Begining at Jerusalems Inner Court, Lambeth ruin'd and given To the detestable Gods of Priam, to Apollo: and at the Asylum Given to Hercules, who labour in Tirzahs Looms for bread Who set Pleasure against Duty: who Create Olympic crowns To make Learning a burden & the Work of the Holy Spirit: Strife." Jerusalem, Plate 74 (E 229) "The Spectre is the Reasoning Power in Man; & when separated From Imagination, and closing itself as in steel, in a Ratio Of the Things of Memory. It thence frames Laws & Moralities To destroy Imagination! the Divine Body, by Martyrdoms & Wars Teach me O Holy Spirit the Testimony of Jesus! let me Comprehend wonderous things out of the Divine Law" .