Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/190

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


The arrangement of " Jerusalem " is the arrangement of a scrap-book, and its story is the stoiy of a paradox. Many visionary forms, many symbolic scenes, many occult names for human qualities are brought together, and after being engraved, are added to, explained, and interleaved with expanded passages, new visions, fresh systems of names. The story is that Man, called Albion, — for a reason hinted on p. 92, — sleeping, or falling under the delusions known as common sense, becomes the prey of death through seeking virtue in the restrictions of morality, not in the expansion of sympathy, and truth, in the comparisons and recollections of reason, not in the impulses of creative imagination. Thus he imputes righteousness and sin to Individuals and not to States, and distributes approval and disapproval, not forgiveness, which is the foundation of sympathy as sympathy is of love. In the end he awakes. He perceives his error. He loves ; he lives ; and through him love, which is also called Liberty, and Jerusalem, also enter into eternal life free from the accidents of time and the delusions of approval and disapproval.

The four chapters are divided into Creation, Redemption, Judgment, and Regeneration. They refer to states through which individuals pass.

"Jerusalem " is a name taken in what Blake held to be its true Biblical sense. She is a " city yet a woman," and is described both in the visionary and the poetic manner, the