Page:Facsimile of the original outlines before colouring of The songs of innocence and of experience executed by William Blake.djvu/17

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xi

teaching by the mother is a very rare incident in Blake's work. But the Innocent Mother, like all innocence, has her own wisdom. She is the contrary of Rahab, of whom so much is told in "Vala" and "Jerusalem." The picture has its counterpart in "America," page 14.

"Night" is the night of Nature, the period of our eternal lives when the lions of selfish passion have most power over the lambs of innocent passion, before the "new worlds" which these "mild spirits" shall inherit change the furious spirits from evil strength to strength without evil. The doctrine is the reverse of the preaching of asceticism or of Puritanism. The change in the "new worlds" does not merely regenerate the lion. It justifies him in having been first generated. Each "world" is a mood, one of those personal "states" into which the soul enters as it goes on its eternal voyage. In this poem, the sun descending in the West, and the golden tears of the re-born lion, are related to the mystic and mythic system of all the later books; as a comparison with "Vala," Night VI., 1. 258, "Europe," pages 3 and 4, and other places will show. During this "night" when the lions and tigers "animal forms of wisdom" ("Vala," Night IX., 701, 830) "rush dreadful," Luvah in the myth assumes Urizen's world. The lion is afterwards called Rintrah, a portion of Urizen and of Luvah. The subject can only be traced when all the stories of the Zoas are considered. Then the harmony of these symbols with the expression "world" and other terms in the song will be seen in full symbolic value. The Zoas are explained, and their stories traced out and collected in the edition of the "Works" already referred to.

The "Divine Image " is a kind of sequel to the "Little Boy Found." When he was "lost" he merely pursued a vapour, which is shown in the picture as a vague little figure, just shapely enough to be seen as head-downwards,—an attitude afterwards explained in the Prophetic Books, and expressive of the state of man when following reason only. It is, however, a light of a kind, though not of the sufficient kind. God, though pictured here as the Angel of Pity, appears only "like his father," to the little boy, who becomes "found" in the act of perceiving the Divine Image. The last lines of the "Auguries of Innocence" (see Works,—Vol. III., p. 79) partly explain this from the visionary point of view.

"We are led to believe a lie
When we see with not through the eye,
Which was born in a night, to perish in a night
When the soul slept in beams of light.
God appears and God is light
To those poor souls who dwell in night,
But doth a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day."

In the last line of the first Holy Thursday, "Pity" is seen as "an angel,"—

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