Thursday, September 12, 2019


Yale center for British Art
Plate 54
The wisdom integral to reason was distributed to the stars when Urizen fell. It became incorporated in the Starry Host which followed Urizen through the wilderness. In as much as man follows Urizen through the confusion of corporeality he is the Starry Host. It is interesting that two of the meanings of the word host may be applied to Blake's phrase. The multitude of humanity which concedes control of the mind to rationality are members of the Starry Host. But man must invite and allow Urizen to become his master; he must be a willing host to the dominance of Urizen. Man chooses to become the Starry Host.

Los, 'who is the Vehicular Form of strong Urthona', the source of intuition, imagination and integration, refused to concede. His first reaction was to oppose Urizen using the same fury which Urizen used. However, when in his anger he struck Enitharmon, he began a cascade of degradation which was not easy to reverse. 
Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 26, (E 44)
Song of Liberty

"15. Down rushd beating his wings in vain the jealous king: his
grey brow'd councellors, thunderous warriors, curl'd veterans,
among helms, and shields, and chariots horses, elephants:
banners, castles, slings and rocks,

16. Falling, rushing, ruining! buried in the ruins, on Urthona's
17. All night beneath the ruins, then their sullen flames faded
emerge round the gloomy king,
18. With thunder and fire: leading his starry hosts thro' the waste wilderness [PL 27] he promulgates his ten commands, glancing his beamy eyelids over the deep in dark dismay,"
waste wilderness [PL 27] he promulgates his ten commands,
glancing his beamy eyelids over the deep in dark dismay,"
America, Plate 8, (E 54)
"The terror answerd: I am Orc, wreath'd round the accursed tree:
The times are ended; shadows pass the morning gins to break;
The fiery joy, that Urizen perverted to ten commands,
What night he led the starry hosts thro' the wide wilderness:
That stony law I stamp to dust: and scatter religion abroad
To the four winds as a torn book, & none shall gather the leaves;"
Four Zoas, Night I, Page 12, (E 307)
"Sullen sat Los plotting Revenge. Silent he eye'd the Prince   
Of Light. Silent the prince of Light viewd Los. at length a brooded  
Smile broke from Urizen for Enitharmon brightend more & more
Sullen he lowerd on Enitharmon but he smild on Los

Saying Thou art the Lord of Luvah into thine hands I give
The prince of Love the murderer    his soul is in thine hands
Pity not Vala for she pitied not the Eternal Man                 
Nor pity thou the cries of Luvah. Lo these starry hosts
They are thy servants if thou wilt obey my awful Law     

Los answerd furious art thou one of those who when most complacent
Mean mischief most. If you are such Lo! I am also such
One must be master. try thy Arts I also will try mine        
For I percieve Thou hast Abundance which I claim as mine

Urizen startled stood but not Long soon he cried
Obey my voice young Demon I am God from Eternity to Eternity

Thus Urizen spoke collected in himself in awful pride

Art thou a visionary of Jesus the soft delusion of Eternity   
Lo I am God the terrible destroyer & not the Saviour
Why should the Divine Vision compell the sons of Eden
to forego each his own delight to war against his Spectre 
The Spectre is the Man the rest is only delusion & fancy

So spoke the Prince of Light & sat beside the Seat of Los        
Upon the sandy shore rested his chariot of fire
Ten thousand thousand were his hosts of spirits on the wind:
Ten thousand thousand glittering Chariots shining in the sky:
They pour upon the golden shore beside the silent ocean.
Rejoicing in the Victory & the heavens were filld with blood  

The Earth spread forth her table wide. the Night a silver cup
Fill'd with the wine of anguish waited at the golden feast
But the bright Sun was not as yet; he filling all the expanse
Slept as a bird in the blue shell that soon shall burst away

Los saw the wound of his blow he saw he pitied he wept  
Los now repented that he had smitten Enitharmon he felt love
Arise in all his Veins he threw his arms around her loins
To heal the wound of his smiting

They eat the fleshly bread, they drank the nervous wine"  

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