Sunday August. 1807

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Blake manuscript - Notebook - page 088
Blake manuscript - Notebook - page 089

1st reading:[1][edit]

South Molton Street. Sunday, August 1807

My Wife was told by a Spirit to look for her fortune by opening by chance a book which she had in her hand; it was Bysshe's Art of Poetry. She open'd the following:

I saw 'em kindle with Desire
While with soft sighs they blew the fire,
Saw the approaches of their joy,
He growing more fierce & she less coy
Saw how they mingled melting rays,
Exchanging Love a thousand ways.
Kind was the force on every side,
Her new desire she could not hide, }
Nor would the shepherd be denied.
The blessed minute he pursud
Till she transported in his arms
Yields to the Conqueror all her charms.
His panting breast to hers now join'd
They feast on raptures unconfin'd
Vast & luxuriant, such as prove
The immortality of Love
For who but a Divinity
Could mingle souls to that degree }
And melt them into Extasy.
Now like the Phoenix both expire,
While from the ashes of their fire }
Spring up a new & soft desire
Like charmers thrice they did invoke
The God & thrice new Vigor took.
                               Behn

I was so well pleased with her Luck that I thought I would try my Own & opend the following

As when the winds their airy quarrel try,
Justling from every quarter of the Sky,
This way & that the Mountain oak they bear
His boughs they shatter & his branches tear,
With leaves & falling mast they spread the Ground,
The hollow Valleys Eccho to the Sound.
Unmov'd the royal plant their fury mocks,
Or shaken clings more closely to the rocks,
For as he shoots his lowring head on high
So deep in earth his fix'd foundations lie
                                     Driden's Virgil

________________________________________

2nd reading:[2][edit]

[Fortunes in Bysshe]

<South Molton Street>

Sunday August. 1807 My Wife was told by a Spirit to look for her fortune by opening by chance a book which she had in her hand it was Bysshes Art of Poetry. She opend the following
I saw 'em kindle with Desire
While with soft sighs they blew the fire
Saw the approaches of their joy
He growing more fierce & she less coy
Saw how they mingled melting rays
Exchanging Love a thousand ways
Kind was the force on every side
Her new desire she could not hide }
Her new desire she could not hide
The blessed minute he pursud
Till she transported in his arms
Yields to the Conqueror all her charms
His panting breast to hers now joind
They feast on raptures unconfind
Vast & luxuriant such as prove
The immortality of Love
For who but a Divinity
Could mingle souls to that degree }
And melt them into Extasy
Now like the Phoenix both expire
While from the ashes of their fire }
Spring up a new & soft desire
Like charmers thrice they did invoke
The God & thrice new Vigor took
                               BEHN

I was so well pleased with her Luck that I thought I would try my Own & opend the following [ page 89 ]

As when the winds their airy quarrel try
Justling from every quarter of the Sky
This way & that the Mountain oak they bear
His boughs they shatter & his branches tear
With leaves & falling mast they spread the Ground
The hollow Valleys Eccho [the] to the Sound
Unmovd the royal plant their fury mocks
Or shaken clings more closely to the rocks
For as he shoots his lowring head on high
So deep in earth his fixd foundations lie
                                     DRYDENS VIRGIL

________________________________________

  1. "Blake Complete Writings", ed. Geoffrey Keynes, pub. OUP 1966/85, p. 440-41.
  2. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 696.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.