Page:Life of William Blake, Gilchrist.djvu/282

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228
[1804.
LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE.

control of intellect and will, could have but one result. 'Scattered upon the void in incoherent despair,' to borrow his own too appropriate words, are our thoughts whilst the eyes wander, hopeless and dispirited, up and down the large closely-written pages. The following lines instance in brief the devout and earnest spirit in which Blake wrote, the high aims he set before him, and afford also a glimpse of the most strange and unhappy result,—dark oracles, words presenting endless obstacles to all but him who uttered them:—

Trembling I sit, day and night. My friends are astonisht at me:
Yet they forgive my wand'rings. I rest not from my great task:
To open the eternal worlds! To open the immortal eyes
Of man inwards; into the worlds of thought: into eternity
Ever expanding in the bosom of God, the human imagination.
O Saviour! pour upon me thy spirit of meekness and love.
Annihilate selfhood in me! Be thou all my life!
Guide thou my hand, which trembles exceedingly, upon the Rock of Ages!
While I write of the building of Golgonooza and of the terrors of Entuthon:
Of Hand and Hyle, and Coban; of Kwantok, Peachey, Brereton, Slayd, and Hutton:
Of the terrible sons and daughters of Albion and their generations.
Scofield, Kox, Kotope and Bowen revolve most mightily upon
The furnace of Los, before the eastern gate bending their fury.
They war to destroy the furnaces; to desolate Golgonooza,
And to devour, the sleeping humanity of Albion in rage and hunger.

There is an ominous sentence in one of the letters to Mr. Butts, where, speaking of the Jerusalem, he says, 'the persons
' and machinery entirely new to the inhabitants of earth (some
'of the persons excepted),' The italics are mine, and, alas! to what wisp-led flounderings of research might they not lure a reckless adventurer. The mixture of the unaccountable with the familiar in nomenclature which occurs towards the close of the preceding extract from the Jerusalem is puzzling enough in itself; but conjecture attains bewilderment when we realize that one of the names, 'Scofield' (spelt perhaps more properly Scholfield, but pronounced no doubt as above),