Page:The Library, volume 5, series 3.djvu/266

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254
AN EARLY APPRECIATION

[Crabb Robinson's beautiful and probable interpretation is original, and as it appears not to have been noticed by later writers is a real contribution to the understanding of Blake's work.]

Besides these songs two other works of Blake's Poetry and Painting have come under our notice, of which, however, we must confess our inability to give a sufficient account. These are two quarto volumes which appeared in 1794, printed and adorned like the Songs, under the titles of Europe, a Prophecy, and America, a Prophecy.[1]

The very 'Prophecies of Bakis' are not obscurer. 'America' appears in part to give a poetical account of the Revolution, since it contains the names of several party leaders. The actors in it are a species of guardian angels. We give only a short example, nor can we decide whether it is intended to be in prose or verse.

On these vast shady hills between America's and Albion's shore,

Now barred out by the Atlantic Sea: called Atlantean hills,

Because from their bright summits you may pass to the golden world,

An ancient palace, archetype of mighty empiries,

Rears its immortal summit, built in the forests of God,

By Ariston the King of Heaven for his stolen bride.

The obscurity of these lines in such a poem by such a man will be willingly overlooked.

'Europe' is a similar mysterious and incomprehensible rhapsody, which probably contains the

  1. 'America' in point of fact appeared in 1793.