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Saturday, January 2, 2010


Third Temptation of Christ

In addition to editing the Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, and producing The Illuminated Blake: William Blake's Complete Illuminated Works with a Plate by Plate Commentary, David V. Erdman, wrote Blake: Prophet Against Empire. On page 494 of this volume we read:
"Pleasant labors occupied Blake's final years - the printing and illumination of Jerusalem in two or three black and white copies and as many more colored ones; the recollection of the rural delights of Felpham in a series of woodcuts for a Virgilian Eclogue; the organization of the Book of Job into an emblematic epic; the illustration of Paradise Lost and of the Divine Comedy - though Blake found in Dante vanity and hate - and of Genesis and the apocalyptic Book of Enoch, not finished at his death. During his last two years Blake had the pleasure of a worshipful following among the younger painters Palmer, Calvert, Richmond, Walter, and Finch. These disciples took Blake into the countryside and learned from him to see through the eye, to see the pastures and cottages of Sussex and Kent as corners of Paradise."

Here in Jerusalem, Blake is using the images of his world to open our eyes to Eternal truth.

Jerusalem (E 170) PLATE 26:

PLATE 27,"To the Jews....
The fields from Islington to Marybone,
To Primrose Hill and Saint Johns Wood:
Were builded over with pillars of gold,
And there Jerusalems pillars stood.

Her Little-ones ran on the fields
The Lamb of God among them seen
And fair Jerusalem his Bride:
Among the little meadows green.

Pancrass & Kentish-town repose
Among her golden pillars high:
Among her golden arches which
Shine upon the starry sky.

The Jews-harp-house & the Green Man;
The Ponds where Boys to bathe delight:
The fields of Cows by Willans farm:
Shine in Jerusalems pleasant sight.

She walks upon our meadows green:
The Lamb of God walks by her side:
And every English Child is seen,
Children of Jesus & his Bride,...

The Divine Vision still was seen
Still was the Human Form, Divine
Weeping in weak & mortal clay
O Jesus still the Form was thine.

And thine the Human Face & thine
The Human Hands & Feet & Breath
Entering thro' the Gates of Birth
And passing thro' the Gates of Death

And O thou Lamb of God, whom I
Slew in my dark self-righteous pride:
Art thou return'd to Albions Land!
And is Jerusalem thy Bride?

Come to my arms & never more
Depart; but dwell for ever here:
Create my Spirit to thy Love:
Subdue my Spectre to thy Fear,

Spectre of Albion! warlike Fiend!
In clouds of blood & ruin roll'd:
I here reclaim thee as my own
My Selfhood! Satan! armd in gold...

A mans worst enemies are those
Of his own house & family;
And he who makes his law a curse,
By his own law shall surely die.

In my Exchanges every Land
Shall walk, & mine in every Land,
Mutual shall build Jerusalem:
Both heart in heart & hand in hand.

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