Enion, the Emanation of Tharmas, ages rapidly after the birth of her two children, Los and Enitharmon, Time and Space. She flees from Tharmas who represents the body and the energy supply of generation. Although Damon associates her with the Earth Mother, it is not she who populates the world but Los and Enitharman.
She does have the heart of a mother for she, more than any other character, feels the suffering of the natural world which lives on death. Feeling responsible for the suffering which manifests in Nature she wanders bent and blind and assumes the pain all around her. Her blindness may represent her inability to see beyond the natural world to the purpose it serves. Enion is given some of the most beautiful of Blake's poetry as she laments both the misfortunes of the created world, and the expected loss of the outer existence.
Enion seems to represent the world as appearances, as would be appropriate as the mother of Time and Space, (who create the conditions necessary for the production of matter.) In her final lament, she recognizes that appearance (the material world) is fading and she rejoices in being the 'dark consumer.' The Immortal Body which has been expressed through these visible forms will be gathered once again into the Eternal visage. Seeing that the Mortal is to be absorbed back into Immortality, she rejoices in hope.
Annunciation to the Shepherds
Four of her Laments can be found in The Four Zoas:
Page 17-18 (E 310) Night the First, Line1
Page 35-36 (E 324) Night the Second, Line 1
Page 45 (E 329) Night the Third, Line 2 ff
Page 113-4 (E 383) Night the Eighth, Line 13
Percival sums up her role in Circle of Destiny, page 44:
"In the grave Enion learns that the 'time of love' returns, and sees man gathering up the scattered portions of his immortal body. She is here the mouthpiece for Blake's belief that the function of the mortal body is the return of the immortal. Having borne the burden or corporeality, Enion learns its purpose. Life cannot be quenched; it springs eternal. But error must be destroyed, and as death, the 'dark consumer,' Enion is happy in her function."
Four Zoas Night 8 (E383)
"Behold the time approaches fast that thou shalt be as a thing
Forgotten when one speaks of thee he will not be believd
When the man gently fades away in his immortality
- 384 -
When the mortal disappears in improved knowledge cast away
The former things so shall the Mortal gently fade away
And so become invisible to those who still remain
Listen I will tell thee what is done in the caverns of the grave"