Jerusalem. The Emanation of the Giant Albion/Plate 22

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Written and etched 1804-1820. Source: Blake: The Complete Poetry & Prose (David. V. Erdman) In the internet: www.blakearchive.org


PLATE 22



Jerusalem The Emanation of The Giant Albion, copy E, object 22 (Bentley 22, Erdman 22, Keynes 22)

Albion thy fear has made me tremble; thy terrors have surrounded me
Thy Sons have naild me on the Gates piercing my hands & feet:
Till Skofields Nimrod the mighty Huntsman Jehovah came,
With Cush his Son & took me down. He in a golden Ark,
5 Bears me before his Armies tho my shadow hovers here
The flesh of multitudes fed & nouris[h]d me in my childhood
My morn & evening food were prepard in Battles of Men
Great is the cry of the Hounds of Nimrod along the Valley
Of Vision, they scent the odor of War in the Valley of Vision.
10 All Love is lost! terror succeeds & Hatred instead of Love[1]
And stern demands of Right & Duty instead of Liberty
Once thou wast to me the loveliest Son of heaven; but now
Where shall I hide from thy dread countenance & searching eyes
I have looked into the secret Soul of him I loved
15 And in the dark recesses found Sin & can never return.

Albion again utterd his voice beneath the silent Moon

I brought Love into light of day to pride in chaste beauty
I brought Love into light & fancied Innocence is no more

Then spoke Jerusalem O Albion! my Father Albion
20 Why wilt thou number every little fibre of my Soul
Spreading them out before the Sun like stalks of flax to dry?
The Infant Joy is beautiful, but its anatomy
Horrible ghast & deadly! nought shalt thou find in it
But dark despair & everlasting brooding melancholy!

25 Then Albion turnd his face toward Jerusalem & spoke

Hide thou Jerusalem in impalpable voidness, not to be
Touchd by the hand nor seen with the eye: O Jerusalem
Would thou wert not & that thy place might never be found
But come O Vala with knife & cup: drain my blood
30 To the last drop! then hide me in thy Scarlet Tabernacle
For I see Luvah whom I slew. I behold him in my Spectre
As I behold Jerusalem in thee O Vala dark and cold

Jerusalem then stretchd her hand toward the Moon & spoke

Why should Punishment Weave the Veil with Iron Wheels of War
35 When Forgiveness might it Weave with Wings of Cherubim

Loud groand Albion from mountain to mountain & replied




Two separate figures that have been explained differently: as Spectre & Emanation, as Vala & Albion, as Vala & Jerusalem and as Leda & the swan.
The wheels and angels, illustrating lines 34-35.

Notes

  1. 22:10 Hatred] mended from Ratred