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Monday, March 1, 2010


I haven't found any definitive information on what caused Blake such anguish that he gouged out the words of love and friendship, and the Greek quotation from Matthew 28 on the engraved copper Plate 3 of Jerusalem. Although it is obvious when looking at the plate that lines have been aggressively removed, there isn't much mention of it. Erdman reconstructed the lines and the are included in The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake edited by David V. Erdman. Deletions are seen below in italics.

Jerusalem, Plate 3, (E 145)
"SHEEP....................................................... GOATS

To the Public
After my three years slumber on the banks of the Ocean, I
again display my Giant forms to the Public: My former Giants &
Fairies having reciev'd the highest reward possible: the
[love] and [friendship] of those with whom to
be connected, is to be [blessed]: I cannot doubt that
this more consolidated & extended Work, will be as kindly
The Enthusiasm of the following Poem, the Author hopes
[no Reader will think presumptuousness or arroganc[e] when he
is reminded that the Ancients acknowledge their love to their
Deities, to the full as Enthusiastically as I have who
Acknowledge mine for my Saviour and Lord, for they were wholly
absorb'd in their Gods.] I also hope the Reader will
be with me, wholly One in Jesus our Lord, who is the God [of
Fire] and Lord [of Love] to whom the Ancients
look'd and saw his day afar off, with trembling & amazement.
The Spirit of Jesus is continual forgiveness of Sin: he who
waits to be righteous before he enters into the Saviours kingdom,
the Divine Body; will never enter there. I am perhaps the most
sinful of men! I pretend not to holiness! yet I pretend to love,
to see, to converse with daily, as man with man, & the more to
have an interest in the Friend of Sinners. Therefore
[Dear] Reader, [forgive] what you do not
approve, & [love] me for this energetic exertion of my

Reader! [lover] of books! [lover] of
And of that God from whom [all books are given,]
Who in mysterious Sinais awful cave
To Man the wond'rous art of writing gave,
Again he speaks in thunder and in fire!
Thunder of Thought, & flames of fierce desire:
Even from the depths of Hell his voice I hear,
Within the unfathomd caverns of my Ear.
Therefore I print; nor vain my types shall be:
Heaven, Earth & Hell, henceforth shall live in harmony

Of the Measure, in which
the following Poem is written

We who dwell on Earth can do nothing of ourselves, every
thing is conducted by Spirits, no less than Digestion or Sleep."
[to Note the last words of Jesus, E*do*O*n *mo*i
p*a*s*a *e*zo*u*s*i*a *e*n o*u*r*a*n*o k*a*i *e*p*i *g*e*s
[(Matthew 28.18, the first words of Jesus' final address to his disciples: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth").]

The missing lines came to my attention when I came across this article about the anguish artists experience in conjunction with producing their work and the reception of it. It is a powerful statement from the heart.

Jerusalem Blake

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