Illustrations to Milton's On the Morning of Christ's Nativity
Annunciation to Shepherds
In the second book of Milton Ololon followed Milton out of Eternity into the world of matter. She mistakenly thought that she had forced Milton to descend from Eden into our world of Generation. She elected to enter the lowest level of decay and be exposed to depravity.
In Eternity Blake's Ololon was not an individual but a multitude of spirits. She was striped of her retinue and becomes singular in order to experience the world of mortality. Before entering she looked through the Gates of the Dead and saw the world that mankind had created without the imaginative vision which he had lost in the Fall from Eden. She saw that she must fully participate in the society which had grown out of the failure to love and nurture and forgive, and which lay in stark brutality before her. She could not avoid passing the Polypus - the ugly, grasping manifestations of 'man's inhumanity to man.' But beyond the Polypus lay Golgonooza - the efforts that man makes to live by Eternal principles in spite of what he sees happening around him.
Milton, Plate 34 , (E 134)
"Seeing Miltons Shadow, some Daughters of Beulah trembling Returnd, but Ololon remaind before the Gates of the Dead And Ololon looked down into the Heavens of Ulro in fear They said. How are the Wars of Man which in Great Eternity Appear around, in the External Spheres of Visionary Life Here renderd Deadly within the Life & Interior Vision How are the Beasts & Birds & Fishes, & Plants & Minerals Here fixd into a frozen bulk subject to decay & death? Those Visions of Human Life & Shadows of Wisdom & Knowledge Plate 35  Are here frozen to unexpansive deadly destroying terrors. And War & Hunting: the Two Fountains of the River of Life Are become Fountains of bitter Death & of corroding Hell Till Brotherhood is changd into a Curse & a Flattery By Differences between Ideas, that Ideas themselves, (which are The Divine Members) may be slain in offerings for sin O dreadful Loom of Death! O piteous Female forms compelld To weave the Woof of Death, On Camberwell Tirzahs Courts Malahs on Blackheath, Rahab & Noah. dwell on Windsors heights Where once the Cherubs of Jerusalem spread to Lambeths Vale Milcahs Pillars shine from Harrow to Hampstead where Hoglah On Highgates heights magnificent Weaves over trembling Thames To Shooters Hill and thence to Blackheath the dark Woof! Loud Loud roll the Weights & Spindles over the whole Earth let down On all sides round to the Four Quarters of the World, eastward on Europe to Euphrates & Hindu, to Nile & back in Clouds Of Death across the Atlantic to America North & South So spake Ololon in reminiscence astonishd, but they Could not behold Golgonooza without passing the Polypus A wondrous journey not passable by Immortal feet, & none But the Divine Saviour can pass it without annihilation. For Golgonooza cannot be seen till having passd the Polypus It is viewed on all sides round by a Four-fold Vision Or till you become Mortal & Vegetable in Sexuality Then you behold its mighty Spires & Domes of ivory & gold"