Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/168

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154
AMERICA.

drop, not of rain, but of blood. The phrase,—"a bow like that of night, when pestilence is shot from heaven"—in the description of her weapons, further points to the merely instinctive and corporeal functions which she exercised when bringing food to Orc. Pestilence is another symbol for last, companion to idleness, and source of the "gems and gold" with which the "wild snake" adorns himself—and of the "poison of a smile" (see "Marriage of Heaven and Hell"—"Song of Liberty," and "Thel," Chapter IV.). No effort, because no mental effort, is needed for the exercise of those bodily functions that are one day to be the stepping-stone from which mind, the real vigour, shall rise up.

Ore, speaking to her, told how even while chained by Time, her abhorred and stern father, his spirit still was to be seen in elemental forms. In air, as the eagle that screamed. The scream is the symbol of passion. On mountains, which are the garments of volcanic fire, he was seen as the lion. In water as the whale. In these three regions he was the strongest inhabitant because only in spirit he could go into them. Bodily he is yet bound to earth; and as a worm feebly, because not yet mature, he folds his influence round the pillars,—the limbs,—of Urthona, and in the Canadian wilds, or most Westerly or maternally instinctive region,—that is, on the cloud-covered loins of the shadowy female herself.

But, the time being come, he takes total possession even of the westerly region. The cloud,—the blood-covering,—no longer weighs on enthusiasm. And the offspring of this marriage is a smile. The two forces now see each other as they are. The instinctive cries to the enthusiastic that she will not let him go. Through corporeal means he entered into her nature. This is the symbol of the Incarnation itself. In her dark heart, whence the cloud of blood came, he was thus able to establish the dwelling-place of his image. Africa, "heart shaped," is the symbol. Yet the body shall die. The image of God in descending to the earth descended to his