Page:A Literary Pilgrim in England.djvu/28

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A LITERARY PILGRIM IN ENGLAND

that he produced the "Gates of Paradise," "America," "Visions of the Daughters of Albion," "Europe: a Prophecy," the "Book of Urizen," the "Song of Los," "Ahania," the "Four Zoas," and the plates for Stedman's "Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam," and for Young's "Night Thoughts." And here he saw the vision of the "Ancient of Days" and his one ghost:

"When talking on the subject of ghosts, he was wont to say they did not appear much to imaginativeimen, but only to common minds, who did not see the finer spirits. A ghost was a thing seen by the gross bodily eye, a vision by the mental. 'Did you ever see a ghost?' asked a friend. 'Never but once,' was the reply. And it befel thus. Standing one evening at the garden-doorin Lambeth, and chancing to look up, he saw a horrible grim figure, 'scaly, speckled, very awful,' stalking downstairs towards him. More frightened than ever before or after, he took to his heels and ran out of the house."

In September, 1800, Blake and his wife and sister were at Felpham, near Bognor, neighbours of William Hayley. Flaxman had introduced him to this man, Cowper's friend and biographer, and a poet whom people visiting Bognor went out of their way to see, "as if he had been a Wordsworth." Blake was to illustrate his ballads and the additional letters to his life of Cowper, and to engrave Maria Flaxman's designs for his "Triumphs of Temper." What is more important, Blake here conceived, and possibly wrote, his "Milton" and "Jerusalem," and certain shorter poems. He had at first high spirits at Felpham. Being now away from all his friends, he wrote a few letters; but it would be