Thursday, March 08, 2018


Fitzwilliam Museum
University of Cambridge
Print of Plate 51
Hyle and Hand don't work openly but underground through deception and secrecy. They masquerade as beneficial attitudes while they intentionally undermine Albion's integrity. Hand is harsh and judgmental in destroying the productive work of others. Hyle praises and supports materiality while preventing the imaginative creativity.
Blake looked within his own experience to people his imaginative poetry. He saw Albion's inner harsh judge, whom he named Hand, in the Hunt brothers, who published criticism of his work which they viewed from a purely material perspective. When the man in whom Blake thought he had found a spiritual brother turned out to be incapable of understanding his calling to write visionary poetry, he found an example for the character Hyle.
The process which Blake considered to be the method of annihilating error was illustrated in the relationship between Blake and Hayley. Blake soon discerned after moving to Felpham to work alongside Hayley that his benefactor wanted to direct him toward earning a living by relatively trivial endeavors. Blake appreciated that Hayley's intentions were good: he wanted Blake to learn to support himself and his wife by pleasing patrons and following Hayley's interests and activities. After Blake discerned what Hayley's kind intentions were, he attempted to conform to Hayley's expectations while continuing in a limited way his visionary pursuits. It took an overt argument between the two men for Blake to see that Hayley was actively opposed to the expressions of imagination because they negated a purely material outlook. The error of allowing himself to be controlled by the mild methods of Hayley became evident to Blake and he began to sever his relationship with Hayley.   
Hyle takes on two characteristics related to Blake's experience with Hayley: that of working to replace the spiritual with the material, and that of using the mild emotions to prevent Albion's return to wholeness. The attempt to convert Hyle into an 'infant love' only resulted in producing a 'winding worm.'

Milton, Plate 19 [21], (E 113) 
"Where is the Lamb of God? where is the promise of his coming?    
Her shadowy Sisters form the bones, even the bones of Horeb:
Around the marrow! and the orbed scull around the brain!
His Images are born for War! for Sacrifice to Tirzah!
To Natural Religion! to Tirzah the Daughter of Rahab the Holy!
She ties the knot of nervous fibres, into a white brain!        
She ties the knot of bloody veins, into a red hot heart!
Within her bosom Albion lies embalmd, never to awake
Hand is become a rock! Sinai & Horeb, is Hyle & Coban:  
Scofield is bound in iron armour before Reubens Gate!
She ties the knot of milky seed into two lovely Heavens,         
Plate 20 [22]
Two yet but one: each in the other sweet reflected! these
Are our Three Heavens beneath the shades of Beulah, land of rest!
Come then to Ephraim & Manasseh O beloved-one!
Come to my ivory palaces O beloved of thy mother!
And let us bind thee in the bands of War & be thou King          
Of Canaan and reign in Hazor where the Twelve Tribes meet.

So spoke they as in one voice! Silent Milton stood before
The darkend Urizen; as the sculptor silent stands before
His forming image; he walks round it patient labouring."

Milton, Plate 23 [25], (E 118)
"Albion turns upon his Couch
He listens to the sounds of War, astonishd and confounded:
He weeps into the Atlantic deep, yet still in dismal dreams
Unwakend! and the Covering Cherub advances from the East:        
How long shall we lay dead in the Street of the great City
How long beneath the Covering Cherub give our Emanations
Milton will utterly consume us & thee our beloved Father
He hath enterd into the Covering Cherub, becoming one with
Albions dread Sons, Hand, Hyle & Coban surround him as           
A girdle; Gwendolen & Conwenna as a garment woven
Of War & Religion; 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!"   

Jerusalem, Plate 8, (E 151)
"but now I am living; unless
Thou abstain ravening I will create an eternal Hell for thee.
Take thou this Hammer & in patience heave the thundering Bellowse
Take thou these Tongs: strike thou alternate with me: labour obedient                                                   t
Hand & Hyle & Koban: Skofeld, Kox  &  Kotope, labour mightily
In the Wars of Babel & Shinar, all their Emanations were
Condensd. Hand has absorbd all his Brethren in his might
All the infant Loves & Graces were lost, for the mighty Hand
Plate 9
Condens'd his Emanations into hard opake substances;
And his infant thoughts & desires, into cold, dark, cliffs of death."

Jerusalem, Plate 9, (E 152)
"Every Emanative joy forbidden as a Crime:
And the Emanations buried alive in the earth with pomp of religion:          
Inspiration deny'd; Genius forbidden by laws of punishment:
I saw terrified; I took the sighs & tears, & bitter groans:
I lifted them into my Furnaces; to form the spiritual sword.
That lays open the hidden heart: I drew forth the pang
Of sorrow red hot: I workd it on my resolute anvil:              
I heated it in the flames of Hand, & Hyle, & Coban
Nine times; Gwendolen & Cambel & Gwineverra
Are melted into the gold, the silver, the liquid ruby,
The crysolite, the topaz, the jacinth, & every precious stone,
Loud roar my Furnaces and loud my hammer is heard:               
I labour day and night, I behold the soft affections
Condense beneath my hammer into forms of cruelty
But still I labour in hope, tho' still my tears flow down.
That he who will not defend Truth, may be compelld to defend
A Lie: that he may be snared and caught and snared and taken     
That Enthusiasm and Life may not cease: arise Spectre arise!

Thus they contended among the Furnaces with groans & tears;
Groaning the Spectre heavd the bellows, obeying Los's frowns;
Till the Spaces of Erin were perfected in the furnaces
Of affliction, and Los drew them forth, compelling the harsh Spectre."         

Jerusalem, Plate 19, (E 164)
"His Giant beauty and perfection fallen into dust:
Till from within his witherd breast grown narrow with his woes:
The corn is turn'd to thistles & the apples into poison:         
The birds of song to murderous crows, his joys to bitter groans!
The voices of children in his tents, to cries of helpless infants!
And self-exiled from the face of light & shine of morning,
In the dark world a narrow house! he wanders up and down,
Seeking for rest and finding none! and hidden far within,       
His Eon weeping in the cold and desolated Earth.

All his Affections now appear withoutside: all his Sons,
Hand, Hyle & Coban, Guantok, Peachey, Brereton, Slayd & Hutton,
Scofeld, Kox, Kotope & Bowen; his Twelve Sons: Satanic Mill!
Who are the Spectres of the Twentyfour, each Double-form'd:"  

Jerusalem, Plate 42, (E 190)
"So Los spoke: then turn'd his face & wept for Albion.

Albion replied. Go! Hand & Hyle! sieze the abhorred friend: 
As you Have siezd the Twenty-four rebellious ingratitudes;
To atone for you, for spiritual death! Man lives by deaths of Men
Bring him to justice before heaven here upon London stone,     
Between Blackheath & Hounslow, between Norwood & Finchley
All that they have is mine: from my free genrous gift,
They now hold all they have: ingratitude to me!
To me their benefactor calls aloud for vengeance deep."

Jerusalem, Plate 74, (E 229)
"The Sons of Albion are Twelve: the Sons of Jerusalem Sixteen
I tell how Albions Sons by Harmonies of Concords & Discords
Opposed to Melody, and by Lights & Shades, opposed to Outline    
And by Abstraction opposed to the Visions of Imagination
By cruel Laws divided Sixteen into Twelve Divisions
How Hyle roofd Los in Albions Cliffs by the Affections rent
Asunder & opposed to Thought, to draw Jerusalems Sons
Into the Vortex of his Wheels. therefore Hyle is called Gog      
Age after age drawing them away towards Babylon
Babylon, the Rational Morality deluding to death the little ones
In strong temptations of stolen beauty;"

Jerusalem, Plate 82, (E 239)
"See Sisters Canaan is pleasant, Egypt is as the Garden of Eden:  
Babylon is our chief desire, Moab our bath in summer:
Let us lead the stems of this Tree let us plant it before Jerusalem
To judge the Friend of Sinners to death without the Veil:
To cut her off from America, to close up her secret Ark:
And the fury of Man exhaust in War! Woman permanent remain      

See how the fires of our loins point eastward to Babylon
Look. Hyle is become an infant Love: look! behold! see him lie!
Upon my bosom. look! here is the lovely wayward form
That gave me sweet delight by his torments beneath my Veil;
By the fruit of Albions Tree I have fed him with sweet milk    
By contentions of the mighty for Sacrifice of Captives;
Humanity the Great Delusion: is changd to War & Sacrifice:
I have naild his hands on Beth Rabbim & his [feet] on Heshbons Wall:
O that I could live in his sight: O that I could bind him to my arm.
So saying: She drew aside her Veil from Mam-Tor to Dovedale   
Discovering her own perfect beauty to the Daughters of Albion
And Hyle a winding Worm beneath [her Loom upon the scales.
Hyle was become a winding Worm:] & not a weeping Infant.
Trembling & pitying she screamd & fled upon the wind:
Hyle was a winding Worm and herself perfect in beauty:         
The desarts tremble at his wrath: they shrink themselves in fear."

Jerusalem, Plate 90, (E 250)
"So Los cried in the Valleys of Middlesex in the Spirit of Prophecy
While in Selfhood Hand & Hyle & Bowen & Skofeld appropriate    
The Divine Names: seeking to Vegetate the Divine Vision
In a corporeal & ever dying Vegetation & Corruption
Mingling with Luvah in One. they become One Great Satan

Loud scream the Daughters of Albion beneath the Tongs & Hammer
Dolorous are their lamentations in the burning Forge         
They drink Reuben & Benjamin as the iron drinks the fire
They are red hot with cruelty: raving along the Banks of Thames
And on Tyburns Brook among the howling Victims in loveliness
While Hand & Hyle condense the Little-ones & erect them into
A mighty Temple even to the stars: but they Vegetate         
Beneath Los's Hammer, that Life may not be blotted out."

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