Page:Life of William Blake, Pictor ignotus (Volume 1).djvu/331

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286 Lr. OF W".,.TAM Around TIi,n His angels shr{nl away in horror; for now the fires which clothe themrathe very fires of God--are compressed in the h,nd Satan into a phial for the devoted head of Job hl,nelL Job is to be tried to the utmost; only his life is withheld from the tormentor. How this is wrought, and how Job's friends come to visit hl,n in his desolation, are the subjects which follow; and then, in the eighth design, Job at last up his voice, with arms uplifted too, among his croucli,g shuddering friends, and curses the day when he was bern. The next, again, is among the grandest of the series. Eliphaz the Te,nnlte is te.11ing Job of the thing which was secretly brought to him in the visions of the night; and above we are shown the matter of his words, the spirit which passed before his face; all blended in a wondrous partition of light, cloud, and mist of light. After thi. Job kneels up, and prays his reproachfitl friends to have pity on hm for the hand of God has touched hm_ And next--mest terrible of all-- we see embodied the accusations of torment which Job brings against his l[aker: a theme hard to dwell upon, and which needs to be viewed in the awful spirit in which Blake conceived it. But in the following subject there comes at last some sign of soothing change The sky, till now full of sunset and surging cloud, in which the stones of the ruined home looked as ff they were still burnin has here given birth to the large peaceful stars, and under them the young Elihu begins to speak: ' Lo! all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring forth his soul from the pit.' The expression of Job, as he sits with folded arms, beginning to be reconciled, is full of delicate familiar nature; while the look of the three ,,n,nerciful friends, in their turn reproved, has something in it almost humorous. And then the Lord answers Job out of the whirlwind, dreadful in its resistless force, but full also of awakening life, and rich with lovely clingLug spray. Under its influence, Job and his wife kneel and listen, with faces to which the blessing of thnnlfulness has nlmost returned. In the next subject it shLues forth fully present again, for now God Himself is spealing of