Page:The letters of William Blake (1906).djvu/175

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Tho' dead, they appear upon my path,
Notwithstanding my terrible wrath:
They beg, they entreat, they drop their tears,
Fill'd full of hopes, fill'd full of fears—
With a thousand Angels upon the Wind,
Pouring disconsolate from behind
To drive them off, & before my way
A frowning Thistle[1] implores my stay.
What to others a trifle appears
Fills me full of smiles or tears;
For double the vision my eyes do see,
And a double vision[2] is always with me.
With my inward eye, 'tis an old Man grey;
With my outward, a Thistle across my way.
"If thou goest back," the thistle said,
"Thou art to endless woe betray'd;
For here does Theotormon[3] lower.
And here is Enitharmon's[4] bower;

  1. cp. Milton, p. 24, ll. 26, 27: "The indignant Thistle, whose bitterness is bred in his milk, | Who feeds on the contempt of his neighbours."
  2. cp. "The Everlasting Gospel" (The Poetical Works of William Blake, ed. John Sampson, 1905: pp. 254-5, ll. 101-104): "This life's Five Windows of the Soul | Distorts the Heavens from Pole to Pole, I And leads you to Believe a Lie ( When you see with, not through, the Eye."
  3. Theotormon, together with Rintrah, Palamahon, and Bromion, were "the Four Sons of Jerusalem that never were Generated" (Jerusalem, p. 71, l. 51), that is to say, never descended to corporeal existence. They remain in the Visionary World, and so are the children of Prophecy, or of Los, who is the Spirit of Prophecy. They are the guardians of the spiritual life, and labour at the furnaces of Los, continually building the great City of Art, called Golgonooza, where "the stars are created & the seeds of all things planted" (Milton, p. 24, l. 53). (cp. also, Visions of the Daughters of Albion, passim; Milton, p. 23, l. 12 and passim; Jerusalem, p. 16, l. 8; p. 72, l. 11; p. 73, l. 5; Vala, book viii. l. 352.)
  4. Enitharmon is the Emanation and wife of Los: and where he appears under the aspect of Time, she is Space (cp. Milton, p. 23, l. 68).