|Yale Center for British Art|
Blake created a visual image of the Giant Albion stretched over the geography of Great Britain. Satan, like a beast of prey, circled the sleeping giant. But it was not up to Albion or Satan or Los to initiate the next stage or redemption. They set the stage, but the action depended upon Milton and Urizen entering the drama in order to release Albion from his Deadly Sleep.
Blake's Beulah was not the place of activity but of rest and repose created for relief from the 'severe contentions of friendship' which occupy the the rational masculine mind in Eden. Albion did not have the strength to rise from 'his Couch In moony Beulah' before Milton resolved his issue of annihilating his selfhood. Albion would continue in 'selfish cold repose' until the passive feminine life of Beulah was no longer expressed in a separate female will.
Milton, Plate 39 , (E 140)
"Then loud the Furnaces of Los were heard! & seen as Seven heaven
Stretching from south to north over the mountains of Albion
Satan heard; trembling round his Body, he incircled it He trembled with exceeding great trembling & astonishment Howling in his Spectre round his Body hungring to devour But fearing for the pain for if he touches a Vital, His torment is unendurable: therefore he cannot devour: But howls round it as a lion round his prey continually Loud Satan thunderd, loud & dark upon mild Felphams Shore Coming in a Cloud with Trumpets & with Fiery Flame An awful Form eastward from midst of a bright Paved-work Of precious stones by Cherubim surrounded: so permitted (Lest he should fall apart in his Eternal Death) to imitate The Eternal Great Humanity Divine surrounded by His Cherubim & Seraphim in ever happy Eternity Beneath sat Chaos: Sin on his right hand Death on his left And Ancient Night spread over all the heavn his Mantle of Laws He trembled with exceeding great trembling & astonishment Then Albion rose up in the Night of Beulah on his Couch Of dread repose seen by the visionary eye; his face is toward The east, toward Jerusalems Gates: groaning he sat above His rocks. London & Bath & Legions & Edinburgh Are the four pillars of his Throne; his left foot near London Covers the shades of Tyburn: his instep from Windsor To Primrose Hill stretching to Highgate & Holloway London is between his knees: its basements fourfold His right foot stretches to the sea on Dover cliffs, his heel On Canterburys ruins; his right hand covers lofty Wales His left Scotland; his bosom girt with gold involves York, Edinburgh, Durham & Carlisle & on the front Bath, Oxford, Cambridge Norwich; his right elbow Leans on the Rocks of Erins Land, Ireland ancient nation, His head bends over London: he sees his embodied Spectre Trembling before him with exceeding great trembling & fear He views Jerusalem & Babylon, his tears flow down He movd his right foot to Cornwall, his left to the Rocks of Bognor He strove to rise to walk into the Deep. but strength failing Forbad & down with dreadful groans he sunk upon his Couch In moony Beulah. Los his strong Guard walks round beneath the Moon"