University of Adelaide The Grave - Page 9 Fuseli's arrangement Blake's Watercolor
The Grave - Page 9
Fuseli - IX. THE SKELETON RE-ANIMATED.
"When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumb'ring dust, Not unattentive to the call, awakes";
while the world in flames typifies the renovation of all things, the end of Time, and the beginning of Eternity.
Book - 9 The Day of Judgment
When time ends the trumpet sounds, calling to life the dry bones which occupy the graves. Blake called upon many metaphors to represent the states of consciousness through which man passes. Man could live with consciousness of the Eternal throughout his life on earth but instead he is 'asleep', or he 'lives within the cave' of his own mind, or he mistakes the 'garment for the man', or he lives within a prison chained by the 'mind-forg'd manacles'. In the picture for page 9 of The Grave the vestiges of human life have been reduced to the dry bones of a skeleton.
The trumpet sounds to announce the possibility of abandoning the traps which man has created for himself to avoid an expanded consciousness which to him is unknown, undefined, uncomfortable, and unending. Eternity does not begin when a man dies to mortal life. For an individual it begins when he becomes able to behold a dimension to which he has been blind. Then the 'dry bones' will be reassembled, clothed in a spiritual mind and body, and made fit for a new life outside of present limitations.
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 558)
"Hell is opend beneath her Seat on the Left hand. beneath her feet is a flaming Cavern in which is seen the Great Red Dragon with Seven heads & ten Horns he has Satans book of Accusations lying on the rock open before him he is bound in chains by Two strong demons they are Gog & Magog who have been compelld to subdue their Master Ezekiel
with their Hammer & Tongs about to new Create the Seven Headed Kingdoms. The Graves beneath are opend & the Dead awake & obey the call of the Trumpet those on the Right hand awake in joy those on the Left in Horror. beneath the Dragons Cavern a Skeleton begins to Animate starting into life at the Trumpets sound while the Wicked contend with each other on the brink of perdition." America, Plate 6, (E 53) "The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations; The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrapped up; The bones of death, the cov'ring clay, the sinews shrunk & dry'd. Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing! awakening! Spring like redeemed captives when their bonds & bars are burst;" Song of Los, Plate 7, (E 69) "Then the thunders of Urizen bellow'd aloud From his woven darkness above. Orc raging in European darkness Arose like a pillar of fire above the Alps Like a serpent of fiery flame! The sullen Earth Shrunk! Forth from the dead dust rattling bones to bones Join: shaking convuls'd the shivring clay breathes And all flesh naked stands: Fathers and Friends; Mothers & Infants; Kings & Warriors: The Grave shrieks with delight, & shakes Her hollow womb, & clasps the solid stem: Her bosom swells with wild desire: And milk & blood & glandous wine In rivers rush & shout & dance, On mountain, dale and plain. The SONG of LOS is Ended. Urizen Wept." Milton, Plate, 19 , (E 112) "Silent they met, and silent strove among the streams, of Arnon Even to Mahanaim, when with cold hand Urizen stoop'd down And took up water from the river Jordan: pouring on To Miltons brain the icy fluid from his broad cold palm. But Milton took of the red clay of Succoth, moulding it with care Between his palms: and filling up the furrows of many years Beginning at the feet of Urizen, and on the bones Creating new flesh on the Demon cold, and building him, As with new clay a Human form in the Valley of Beth Peor." Four Zoas, Night III, Page 44 (E 329) "But from the Dolorous Groan one like a shadow of smoke appeard And human bones rattling together in the smoke & stamping The nether Abyss & gnasshing in fierce despair. panting in sobs Thick short incessant bursting sobbing. deep despairing stamping struggling Struggling to utter the voice of Man struggling to take the features of Man. Struggling To take the limbs of Man at length emerging from the smoke Of Urizen dashed in pieces from his precipitant fall" Four Zoas, Night 7, PAGE 73, (E 350) "And laughter sat beneath the Oaks & innocence sported round Upon the green plains & sweet friendship met in palaces And books & instruments of song & pictures of delight Where are they whelmd beneath these ruins in horrible destruction And if Eternal falling I repose on the dark bosom Of winds & waters or thence fall into a Void where air Is not down falling thro immensity ever & ever I lose my powers weakend every revolution till a death Shuts up my powers then a seed in the vast womb of darkness I dwell in dim oblivion. brooding over me the Enormous worlds Reorganize me shooting forth in bones & flesh & blood I am regenerated to fall or rise at will or to remain A labourer of ages a dire discontent a living woe Wandring in vain. Here will I fix my foot & here rebuild Here Mountains of Brass promise much riches in their dreadful bosoms So he began to dig form[ing] of gold silver & iron And brass vast instruments to measure out the immense & fix The whole into another world better suited to obey His will where none should dare oppose his will himself being King Of All & all futurity be bound in his vast chain" Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 122, (E 391) "Where shall we take our stand to view the infinite & unbounded Or where are human feet for Lo our eyes are in the heavens He ceasd for rivn link from link the bursting Universe explodes All things reversd flew from their centers rattling bones To bones join, shaking convulsd the shivering clay breathes Each speck of dust to the Earths center nestles round & round In pangs of an Eternal Birth in torment & awe & fear All spirits deceasd let loose from reptile prisons come in shoals Wild furies from the tygers brain & from the lions Eyes And from the ox & ass come moping terrors. from the Eagle And raven numerous as the leaves of Autumn every species Flock to the trumpet muttring over the sides of the grave & crying In the fierce wind round heaving rocks & mountains filld with groans On rifted rocks suspended in the air by inward fires Many a woful company & many on clouds & waters Fathers & friends Mothers & Infants Kings & Warriors Priests & chaind Captives met together in a horrible fear And every one of the dead appears as he had livd before" Poetical Sketches, Contemplation, (E 442) "Like a triumph, season follows season, while the airy music fills the world with joyful sounds." I answered, "Heavenly goddess! I am wrapped in mortality, my flesh is a prison, my bones the bars of death, Misery builds over our cottage roofs, and Discontent runs like a brook. Even in childhood, Sorrow slept with me in my cradle; he followed me up and down in the house when I grew up; he was my school-fellow: thus he was in my steps and in my play, till he became to me as my brother. I walked through dreary places with him, and in church-yards; and I oft found myself sitting by Sorrow on a tomb-stone!"
 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD
 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.