|Illustration to Milton's L'Allegro and Il Penseroso|
Night Startled by the Lark
As Blake saw it, the Immortals who lived in Eternity took the initiative of reaching down to him and entering the world of mortality. They sent a messenger in the form of a mighty angel, but on earth the appearance was that of a Lark:
Milton, Plate 31 , (E 130) "The Lark sitting upon his earthy bed: just as the morn Appears; listens silent; then springing from the waving Corn-field! loud He leads the Choir of Day! trill, trill, trill, trill, Mounting upon the wings of light into the Great Expanse: Reecchoing against the lovely blue & shining heavenly Shell: His little throat labours with inspiration; every feather On throat & breast & wings vibrates with the effluence Divine All Nature listens silent to him & the awful Sun Stands still upon the Mountain looking on this little Bird"The arrival of Ololon in Blake's cottage garden at Felpham was announced by the voice of the lark. She appeared not in time and space but in a flash of illumination like lightening. Blake was describing a vision in which Ololon assumed the appearance of a prepubescent child. She was innocent - unmarred by the demands or wounds which the world inflicts. She would become a vehicle for reconciliation.
Milton 36 , (E 136)
"Thus are the Messengers dispatchd till they reach the Earth again In the East Gate of Golgonooza, & the Twenty-eighth bright Lark met the Female Ololon descending into my Garden Thus it appears to Mortal eyes & those of the Ulro Heavens But not thus to Immortals, the Lark is a mighty, Angel. For Ololon step'd into the Polypus within the Mundane Shell They could not step into Vegetable Worlds without becoming The enemies of Humanity except in a Female Form And as One Female, Ololon and all its mighty Hosts Appear'd: a Virgin of twelve years nor time nor space was To the perception of the Virgin Ololon but as the Flash of lightning but more quick the Virgin in my Garden Before my Cottage stood for the Satanic Space is delusion For when Los joind with me he took me in his firy whirlwind My Vegetated portion was hurried from Lambeths shades He set me down in Felphams Vale & prepard a beautiful Cottage for me that in three years I might write all these Visions To display Natures cruel holiness: the deceits of Natural Religion"