Page:Life of William Blake, Gilchrist.djvu/278

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CHAPTER XXI.

THE JERUSALEM AND MILTON. 1804. [ÆT. 47.]

In two letters to Mr. Butts (p. 185-7) Blake had alluded to a 'long poem' descriptive of the 'spiritual acts of his three years' slumber on the banks of Ocean.' This was entitled Jerusalem; the Emanation of thie Giant Albion, 1804, Printed by W.Blake, South Molton Street; it is a large quarto volume of a hundred engraved pages, writing and design; only one side of each leaf being engraved. Most copies are printed with plain black and white, some with blue ink, some red; a few are tinted. For a tinted copy the price was twenty guineas.

The Jerusalem is prefaced by an 'Address' to the public, in a style to which the public is little accustomed:—

alt-text=a title "To the Public" on a hill-shaped outline, the words "Sheep." and Goats." appear on either side.

After my three years slumber on the banks of Ocean, I again display my giant forms to the public: my former giants and fairies having received the highest reward possible; the ... and ... of those with whom to be connected is to be ... I cannot doubt that this more consolidated and extended work will be ... as kindly received ... &c. * * * Reader, what you do not approve, &c. ... me for this energetic exertion of my talents.

Although the Jerusalem was conceived, and in great part written at Felpham, it was finished in London whilst the work of engraving for Hayley was still going on. At page 38 we find:—