Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/28

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14
SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE.

sexually passionate) storm of night is the whirlwind of the North, — reverse of that of the South, from which God spoke) to Job, — and the worm is the chain of jealousy.

"The Fly" has always been popular because so easy understand, but the lines

"Art not thou
A man, like me?"

have usually been overlooked. The fly also is an "animal form of wisdom," and is a man, since " every truth is a man. " That the fly has its rich array, and man his human beauty from thought, which is life ; but that man may close his inner gates by error, while the fly may not, are ideas whose recognition is needed to complete our perception of Blake's thought. He gives them himself in a few impulsive lines that enter suddenly, as though on quick small wings, into a symbolic story where they would be least looked for (" Milton," p. 18, 1. 20)

" The Angel " is no stranger to literature. He is innocence in the sense of childish ignorance of evil. But Blake's use of this image is his own. The maiden queen, the body, a portion of mind that is female as distinct from the intellect, whether in man or woman, hides its heart's delight from, its own simplicity till childhood is over. So the simplicity flies. Morn, the young imagination, blushes. But jealous fears take the weapons of Urizen, and in return find that they have deceived the poor mortal, who is a prisoner in his own armour, till innocence that should have saved him from the folly of modesty only returns to find him in the helpless purity of senility.

The "Tiger" is, of course, the tiger of wrath, wiser in his own way than the horse of instruction, but always, like the roaring of lions and the destructive sword, so terrible as to be a " portion of eternity too great for the eye of man."

The " Pretty Rose Tree" explains the worm in the "Sick Rose."

The "Sunflower" shows love, as the guide to imagination, or eternity.