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quotation for a quiet day

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  • louise
    In *Milton*, Jerusalem is Liberty, without mystical implications. She is now Albion s Emanation (2:15). Blake laid her foundations in Lambeth (6:15; 25:48,54;
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2004
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      In *Milton*, Jerusalem is Liberty, without mystical implications.
      She is now Albion's Emanation (2:15). Blake laid her foundations in
      Lambeth (6:15; 25:48,54; 35:10), but she is now in ruins, and has
      been forced to become a harlot (22:47; 33:21). She is also bound in
      the dens of Babylon (38:27). Her children are condemned as
      Reprobates (22:47). Her enemies are Satan (11:1; 12:27), Rahab and
      Tirzah (22:47), and the doubters (41:21). But the time is coming
      when Jerusalem shall return and overspread all nations (6:18;
      25:55). The rising Albion faces towards the east, towards
      Jerusalem's Gates (39:34). And Blake himself, in the introductory
      poem, arms himself to build Jerusalem in England's green and
      pleasant land.

      This is just one paragraph of a lengthy entry on JERUSALEM, from
      'A Blake Dictionary: The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake',
      by S. Foster Damon, Thames & Hudson Ltd., 1979 reprint.

      I'm very tired, actually: the form of heat here is very sapping,
      though the thermometer only reads 74F. If I skip a paragraph, we
      come to this:

      Jerusalem, rejected, divides into two aspects. Her "form" or
      central identity remains in Beulah, "shut within [Albion's]
      bosom "(19:29), and takes refuge with Beulah's daughters (5:49,55;
      14:33; 60:40), who hide her (41:14). Outwardly, she is reduced to
      an inoperative theory, "scatter'd abroad like a cloud of smoke thro'
      non-entity" (5:13). This pillar of smoke, or "folding cloud"
      (81:14), rises from Los's furnaces (5:50). In it she is drawn
      eastward (5:48; 14:31) by maternal anguish (5:47; 14:32; 48:18) for
      the fate of her children (5:65) and revolves towards the Starry
      Wheels of Abstract Philosophy, which is Entuthon Benython (5:52-58;
      12:43; 14:34). Vala is with her in the cloud, weeping and wandering
      upon the mountains (5:48, 60) of abstract thought. So Los beholds
      Jerusalem early in the poem; so also Blake, for she took refuge at
      Lambeth (41:11), where Albion fell (20:1).

      In Plate 2 of the long poem *Milton, Blake has a little rant against
      the Classics, then ventures into one of his most famous poetic works:

      And did those feet in ancient time
      Walk upon Englands mountains green:
      And was the holy Lamb of God
      On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

      And did the Countenance Divine
      Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
      And was Jerusalem builded here,
      Among these dark Satanic Mills?

      Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
      Bring me my Arrows of desire:
      bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold:
      Bring me my Chariot of Fire!

      I will not cease from Mental Fight,
      Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
      Till we have built Jerusalem,
      In Englands green & pleasant Land.

      'Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets.'
      Numbers XI Ch 29 v.

      For the theologically minded, I recommend:

      For simpler types, I suggest that Jesus walked, wherever he walked,
      as a human being, and a contemporary. Variations are real, but
      every man needs his teddy bear.

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