Friday, March 30, 2012

Receive  sacrifices and the delights of cruelty.
Trembling I sit day and night, my friends are astonish'd at me,
Yet they forgive my wanderings, I rest not from my great task!
To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal eyes of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought, into Eternity ever expanding,
the human Imagination.
O Saviour pour upon me thy spirit of meekness & love:
Annihilate the Selfhood in me, be thou all my life!
Guide thou my hand which trembles exceedingly upon the rock of ages.

We who dwell on Earth can do nothing of ourselves, every thing is conducted by Spirits, no less than digestion or sleep . . .
When this verse was first dictated to me I consider'd a monotonous cadence like that used by Milton & Shakspeare & all writers of english blank verse, derived from the modern bondage of rhyming, to be a necessary and  indispensable part of verse. But I soon found that in the mouth of a true orator such monotony was not only awkward, but as much a bondage as rhyme itself.
I therefore have produced a variety in every line, both of cadences & number of syllables.
Every word and every letter is studied and put into its fit place; the terrific numbers are reserved for the terrific parts, the mild & gentle, for the mild & gentle parts, and the prosaic, for inferior parts, all are necessary to each other.
Poetry fetter'd, fetters the human race. Nations are destroy'd, or flourish, in proportion as their poetry, painting and music, are destroy'd or flourish!
The primeval state of Man was Wisdom, Art, and Science.

Now I will speak my mind!  
Where is my Great Sin?
She is also thine.
I said: now is my grief at worst, incapable of being surpassed: but every moment it accumulates more & more.
It continues accumulating to eternity: the joys of God advance.
For he is Righteous: he is not a Being of Pity & Compassion,
He cannot feel distress: he feeds on Sacrifice & Offering: delighting in cries & tears & clothed in holiness & solitude;
But my griefs advance also, for ever & ever without end.
O that I could cease to be!
Despair! I am despair created to be the great example of horror & agony: also my prayer is vain.
I called for compassion: compassion mock'd,
Mercy & pity threw the grave stone over me & with lead and iron bound it over me for ever.
Life lives on my consuming: & the Almighty hath made me his contrary,
To be all evil, all reversed & for ever dead: knowing and seeing life, yet living not:
how can I then behold and not tremble; how can I be beheld & not abhorr'd?

Striving with Systems to deliver individuals from those Systems.
That whenever any Spectre began to devour the dead,
he might feel the pain as if a man gnaw'd his own tender nerves.
Man, a little grovelling root, outside of himself.
Negations are not contraries: contraries mutually exist: But negations exist not:
Exceptions & objections & unbeliefs  exist not: nor shall they ever be organized for ever & ever.
If thou separate from me, thou art a Negation:
a mere Reasoning & derogation from me, an objecting & cruel spite and malice & envy:
but my emanation, alas!
will become my contrary
O thou negation, I will continually compel thee to be invisible to any but whom I please,
& when and where & how I please and never, never!
Thou shalt be organized as a distorted & reversed reflexion in the Darkness and in the non entity:
nor shall that which is above
ever descend into thee.
Thou shalt be a non entity for ever.
And if any enter into thee, thou shalt be an unquenchable fire and he shall be a never dying Worm, mutually tormented by those that thou tormentest, a Hell & despair for ever & ever.

Tell Him: I will dash him into shivers, where & at what time I please.
To those I hate: I can hate as well as they!
From every one of the Four Regions of Human Majesty there is an outside spread without, & an outside spread within,
Beyond the outline of identity both ways, which meet in One:
An orbed void of doubt, despair, hunger & thirst & sorrow.
Three immense Wheels, turning upon one-another into non-entity, and their thunders hoarse appall the Dead, to murder their own souls, to build a Kingdom among the Dead.
No sons, no hateful peace & love, no soft complacencies with transgressors
meeting in brotherhood around the table or in the porch or garden.
No more the sinful delights of age and youth and boy and girl, and animal and herb, and river and mountain, and city & village, and house & family.

Wash'd by the water-wheels of Newton:
black the cloth in heavy wreathes folds over every Nation.
Cruel works of many Wheels I view, wheel without wheel,
with cogs tyrannic moving by compulsion each other,
not as those in Eden, which wheel within wheel in freedom revolve in harmony & peace.

Beneath the oak & palm, beneath the vine and fig-tree,  self-denial!
I see the four-fold Man, the humanity in deadly sleep and its fallen emanation.
I see the Past, Present & Future, existing all at once before me;
O divine Spirit sustain me on thy wings!
That I may awake.
Bacon & Newton sheath'd in dismal steel; their terrors hang like iron scourges.
Reasonings like vast Serpents infold around my limbs, bruising my minute articulations.
I turn my eyes to the schools & universities of Europe, and there behold the loom of Locke, whose woof rages dire.

Awkwardness arm'd in steel; Folly in a helmet of gold.
Weakness with horns & talons; ignorance with a rav'ning beak.
Every emanative joy forbidden as a crime; and the emanations buried alive in the earth with pomp of religion.
Inspiration deny'd; Genius forbidden by laws of punishment.
I took the sighs & tears & bitter groans. I lifted them into my furnaces, to form the spiritual sword that lays open the hidden heart.       

            blake 1820

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