TEXT AND DESIGN IN BLAKE'S DEVELOPING MYTH by MARNEY JEAN MCLAUGHLIN WARD B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 196? A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December, 1973 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r equ i r emen t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I ag ree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y pu rposes may be g r an t ed by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s unde r s tood tha t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i thou t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f fc/'i/(r?HS ff The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia Vancouver 8, Canada S. V. Stevenson ABSTRACT The uniqueness of Blake's engraved or illuminated books derives from t h e i r e f f e c t i v e union of poetry and painting, calligraphy and drawing. Blake created his com-posite art form because, consisting as i t does of the con-t r a r i e s of text and design, i t enabled him to present two perspectives simultaneously. Depending upon the divergence of the perspectives, the interaction of poem and picture ranges from embellishment to s a t i r e . This d i s s e r t a t i o n examines the interrelationships of text and design i n Songs of Innocence and of Experience, The Book of Urizen, and Jerusalem, representing the early, middle, and late stages of Blake's myth, respectively. In Songs of Innocence, text and design tend to be synergetic, r e i n f o r c i n g one another to e s t a b l i s h the harmony and i n t e g r i t y t y p i c a l of Innocence. In Songs of Experience, there is a tension between the two art forms, r e f l e c t i n g the uncertainties of the fragmented state of Experience. Be-cause of the l o g i c a l structure of language and the spontane-ous appeal of design, the text usually presents the experi-enced v i s i o n and the i l l u s t r a t i o n an innocent overview. The Book of Urizen and Jerusalem, being narrative i n nature, demand a continuous, l i n e a r movement of the text. The de-signs of these works counteract this progression, acting as epiphanic moments, or eternal spots of time. The designs also function s t r u c t u r a l l y , suggesting the mirror symmetry o f Urizen, and presenting, in the chapter frontispieces of Jerusalem, the characters that w i l l act as blocking forces for each chapter. In the prophecies, the interactions of text and design may extend to widely separated plates, and thus help unify the work. As Blake's myth develops, the motifs presented i n both art forms evolve from the pastoral and a n t i - p a s t o r a l imagery of the Songs, to the elemental environments and the giant human forms of Urizen, to the complete mythological universe of Jerusalem. This d i s s e r t a t i o n follows a number of c r u c i a l motifs (such as trees, vines, serpents, "tygers," l i o n s , sheep, the four elements, the c i r c l e , wings, clothing, v e i l s , the c i t y , the ark, the p r i e s t fUrizen] and the proph-et [Los]) as they occur i n the three works. F i n a l l y , i t gives a broad interpretation of each work, based on a study of the composite art form, plus a detailed analysis of sev-e r a l Songs, and of selected designs and passages of text from the l a t e r works. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page I. INTRODUCTION! BLAKE'S COMPOSITE ART FORM . . . . 1 II. INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE i THE TWO CONTRARY STATES OF THE HUMAN SOUL 35 III. SONGS OF INNOCENCE 80 IV. SONGS OF EXPERIENCE 11? V. THE BOOK OF URIZEN; THEME AND STRUCTURE . . . . 184 VI. THE BOOK OF URIZENt MOTIFS 215 VII. THE STRUCTURE OF JERUSALEM 248 VIII. MOTIFS IN JERUSALEM 316 A SELECTED AND PARTIALLY ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . 376 v LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS TO BLAKE'S WORKS AL "Annotations to Lavater's Aphorisms on Man" FZ The Four Zoas ( e a r l i e r t i t l e i Vala) J Jerusalem M Milton MHH The Marriage of Heaven and He 11 N For a "Night" of FZ SE Songs of Experience SI Songs of Innocence T T i r i e l U The Book of Urizen VLJ A Vision of the Last Judgement vi ACKNOWLEDGE NT F i r s t of a l l I would like to thank Martin K. Nurmi, whose graduate seminar on Blake f i r s t f i r e d my interest i n the major prophecies. My committee has been most h e l p f u l , e s p e c i a l l y Warren Stevenson and Peter Taylor, and also Brad Co l l i n s of the Fine Arts Department. My t y p i s t , Sharon But-l e r , has been a blessing. Thanks are also due to the f o l -lowing members of the English Department at the University of Western Ontario, for t h e i r assistance i n f i n a l revisions and the preparation of my Bibliography: E. J. Devereux, P. D. Fleck, J. M. Good, D. H. Hensley, A. K. Hieatt, R. J. Shroyer, T. E. Tausky, G. D. and N. W i l l i s , and R. G. Wood-man. F i n a l l y , s pecial thanks go to my parents, for t h e i r moral and p r a c t i c a l support a l l my years as a student; and to John, for his many hours of painstaking proofreading, his thoughtful advice, and his psychological sustenance. v i i D E D I C A T E D TO JOHN who understands that: "To create a l i t t l e flower i s the labour of ages." v i i i CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION: BLAKE'S COMPOSITE ART FORM "In the illuminated books, image and syntax are one." So says Robert N. Essick i n a b r i l l i a n t a r t i c l e on the devel-opment of Blake's engraving technique.^ And so most c r i t i c s would now agree. But wide acceptance of the need to study Blake's poems as he printed them, with engraved designs that were subsequently, i n d i v i d u a l l y , and variously water-coloured, has only been established i n the l a t t e r h a l f of this century. Pioneers such as Joseph Wicksteed and S.'Foster Damon pub-lished works i n the 1 9 1 0 's and 1920's with commentaries on the designs, but most l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s before the 1 9 5 0 's either completely ignored the artwork or made only passing reference to i t . Fine Arts c r i t i c s tended to r e s t r i c t t h e i r study to the separate plates or paintings, or to take an i l l u s t r a t i o n out of i t s context i n an illuminated book. The separation of d i s c i p l i n e s was firmly rooted i n the conscious-ness of early twentieth century scholars. In the 1950's the s i t u a t i o n began to change with the publication of two excellent books on Blake's a r t , by Anthony Blunt and George Wingfield Digby, and a now famous a r t i c l e by Northrop Frye. 2 Then came Jean H. Hagstrum's book on the unique dual art form of the illuminated verse,3 to firmly e s t a b l i s h a new era of Blake c r i t i c i s m . This new c r i t i c a l 1 2 approach has flourished i n the 1960's and 1970's, producing countless a r t i c l e s on Blake's composite art form, and on the symbols and motifs developed therein.^ P a r t i c u l a r l y , the designs have proved of enormous significance i n f u l l y under-standing the middle and l a t e r prophecies, which had once been considered impossible to decipher, or at any rate, not worth the bother. As David V. Erdman states i n the preface to a book which i s i n i t s e l f a landmark of the current c r i t -i c a l approach, i t i s this new awareness of Blake's o r i g i n a l art form that "provides the excitement running through the contemporary discovery of Blake."5 My d i s s e r t a t i o n was conceived and nourished i n t h i s f e r t i l e atmosphere of c r i t i c a l excitement. The union of image and syntax which Essick proclaims i s indeed "a consum-mation devoutly to be wished," for i t transforms perception into conception, v i s i o n into creation. In this d i s s e r t a t i o n , I propose to study some of the various manifestations of this central union between imaginative v i s i o n and "the Holy Word." My aim i s fourfold. F i r s t of a l l , I hope to contrib-ute to the t o t a l structure of Blake c r i t i c i s m , an elaborate and growing palace of wisdom which may someday contain a l l the minute par t i c u l a r s of Blake's work. At this point, the very substantial foundations l a i d by such giants as Northrop Frye, Harold Bloom, David Erdman, S. Foster Damon and others, have provided the framework of the Albion myth, a story of 3 Paradise and F a l l , of Creation and Redemption. But t h i s structure can never be completed u n t i l the study of Blake's designs i s incorporated into i t . This d i s s e r t a t i o n attempts to add some new insights into Blake's t o t a l myth, by examin-ing not only the text but also the designs, and by attempt-ing to fuse the two. It should be noted, moreover, that I assume on the part of the reader a f a m i l i a r i t y with Blake's basic myth, es p e c i a l l y i n the chapters on Jerusalem. Secondly, I wish to follow Blake's development as an a r t i s t - w r i t e r , from the f i r s t illuminated books, the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, through one of the f i r s t minor prophecies, The Book of Urizen, to the f i n a l i l l u m i -nated book, Jerusalem. I s h a l l examine the major motifs of each work, noting any modifications which may take place concerning a p a r t i c u l a r motif, from one work to another, as well as the d i f f e r e n t types of motifs which predominate i n each p a r t i c u l a r work. For example, the Songs of Innocence are characterized i n both text and design by pastoral and spring-summer motifs, which are perverted to antipastoral and f a l l - w i n t e r motifs i n Songs of Experience. The Book of Urizen i s characterized by primitive, abstract forms, such as geometric c i r c l e s and tri a n g l e s ; by the four elements of earth, a i r , f i r e and water; and by the dominance of the mas-sive, nude human form. Jerusalem i s characterized by more t i g h t l y controlled symbolic motifs, with s p e c i f i c d e t a i l s (such as type and number of wings) being e s s e n t i a l to a proper understanding of the designs. Again the human form is the e s s e n t i a l form and vehicle of expression. As well as changing his kinds of imagery, Blake also changes any given image as his myth and his art form progress. I w i l l follow a series of motifs from Songs of Innocence through to Jeru-salem, concentrating on trees, flowers and vines; animals, e s p e c i a l l y the serpent; the four elements; the human form, es p e c i a l l y the c h i l d i n the early works; clothing versus nakedness; wings; the c i r c l e , e s p e c i a l l y as the sun or globe of f i r e ; the c i t y , e s p e c i a l l y Golgonooza; the church, espe-c i a l l y the gothic versus the c l a s s i c a l ; and the weaving of webs, v e i l s and material. Obviously, some of these motifs drop out and others emerge part way through Blake's career, as suggested above. The development of imagery may be i l l u s t r a t e d here by following the p a r t i c u l a r motif of the vine-serpent. In Songs of Innocence the vine i s a part of the pastoral t r a d i -t i o n , usually entwined with another vine or tree, to symbol-ize a state of harmony, love and mutual understanding. In Songs of Experience the vine may become debased, eith e r to a s o l i t a r y and frustrated vine, or to a t i g h t l y coiled one that threatens the l i f e of whatever i t e n c i r c l e s . Or, more importantly, i t may metamorphose into a serpent who e n c i r c l e s the tree. In The Book of Urizen there are no vines i n the main designs,^ and except for the Title-page no trees, but the serpent has become a very important symbol of entanglement 5 and repression, c o i l i n g not around trees but around the human form. In Jerusalem, the serpent becomes crested and s p e c i f i -c a l l y associated with the Covering Cherub, a monstrous form that conceals and perverts the truth of whatever i t covers, as the Christian churches conceal and pervert (according to Blake) the true r e l i g i o n of Jesus. Yet the Covering Cherub has a positive side to i t as well, for i t does act as pro-tecti o n for a body of truth, however much i t may seek to de-stroy that truth, and i t w i l l be cast off eventually, as the clothes that cover our bodies w i l l be cast off when there i s no further need of them. The vine also reappears i n other forms i n Jerusalem, p a r t i c u l a r l y as the fib r e s which vegetate the human form, or weave for i t a f a l l e n body. These fibres are associated with the v e i l of Vala; the spinning and weaving of Enitharmon, Tirzah, and the daughters of Albion; and the enrooting of the sonsi three manifestations of generation into the f a l l e n world, a l l of which relate to the r e s t r i c t i n g serpents of The Book of Urizen. The vine-serpent motif thus progresses from the positive aspect of i t s natural form, to the nega-tive aspect of i t s natural form, to the related but much richer symbol of the serpent, with i t s many t r a d i t i o n a l con-notations, to a s p e c i f i c significance of that symbol, the crested serpent as Covering Cherub, and to a further re-creation of the o r i g i n a l symbol, the vine as a function of the l i m i t i n g or vegetating of man. The motif becomes not 6 only Increasingly complex, but increasingly well defined, or p a r t i c u l a r . For "General Knowledge i s Remote Knowledge; i t i s i n P articulars that Wisdom consists & Happiness too."'' My t h i r d aim i s to study the d i f f e r e n t ways i n which the text and the designs i n t e r r e l a t e . This I w i l l do at some length i n this chapter, and again as I discuss each individual work, since to some extent the manner of the re-lationship i s determined by the nature of the work i t s e l f . For example, i n Songs of Innocence, where both theme and mood are ones of harmony, the text and designs reinforce the theme and mood by r e i n f o r c i n g each other. Poem and picture are synergetic: restating one another, adding variations and elaborations, providing a much richer and more ef f e c t i v e t o t a l i t y . In Songs of Experience, the theme i s one of l o s t i d e n t i t y and repression of energy, and the mood one of frus-t r a t i o n , anxiety, or h o s t i l i t y . Here, the text and designs often p u l l against each other, creating c r u c i a l tensions and ambiguities. Eecause a remnant of the v i s i o n of Innocence may be l o s t somewhere in the confused mind of a person i n Experience, the design often picks up and illuminates t h i s moment of truth, distinguishing i t from the f a l l e n view the text usually presents. The important matter of perspective and irony w i l l be discussed i n more d e t a i l l a t e r i n this chapter. Fourthly and f i n a l l y , I hope to provide a new i n t e r -pretation of each of the three works I discuss . The o r i g i n a l i t y 7 w i l l be due mainly to the fact that I intend to incorporate the designs, as much as possible, into the structure and meaning of the works. Although I w i l l not be able to discuss every Song or every plate of the three works i n d e t a i l , I intend to give a s t r u c t u r a l and thematic overview of each work i n one chapter, and then i n a second take a more de-t a i l e d look at chosen motifs i n s p e c i f i c designs and pas-sages of text. The motifs w i l l of course be selected to relate as much as possible to those discussed i n other works, to enable me to work simultaneously on a l l four aspects of my thesis. For the remainder of this chapter I w i l l be discussing the following points. F i r s t , I w i l l look b r i e f l y at Blake's engraving technique i n the illuminated books. Second, I w i l l examine the inherent differences between text and design. Third, I w i l l attempt to distinguish the various kinds of interaction between these two media. F i n a l l y , a study of "The Tyger" as an example of one kind of int e r a c t i o n , and an affirmation of the importance of the design i n ascertaining the meaning of the whole, w i l l serve as a " p a r t i c u l a r " cor-roboration of the rather general c r i t i c a l theories advanced i n this chapter. In order to t r u l y unite text and design into a new art form, Blake had to develop a new method of p r i n t i n g , one which would give him complete control of both the written word and the etched or drawn picture. Blake's p r i n t i n g 8 process has been described at some length i n the Keynes and Wolf Census,8 where i t i s pointed out that the technique should properly be c a l l e d r e l i e f etching or reverse i n t a g l i o , not en-graving. Blake himself c a l l e d the process "Illuminated P r i n t i n g , " and i n 1793 w a s conf ident i t would win him deserved fame. " I f a method of Printing which combines the Painterand the Poet i s a phenomenon worthy of public attention, provided that i t ex-ceeds i n elegance a l l former methods, the Author i s sure of his reward."9 Unfortunately, the public, v i a the c r i t i c s and art academicians, were not convinced of i t s elegance. In The Art of the Print, E a r l G. Mueller describes Blake's process as follows« He could not be s a t i s f i e d with normal methods of production but was consumed with the desire to be the sole creator-producer of an a r t i s t i c t o t a l i t y consisting of poetry, c a l -ligraphy, drawing, painting, and publishing. To t h i s end he evolved a system of creating a single plate which contained both text and i l l u s t r a t i o n in the manner of the block books of the f i f t e e n t h century. The technical method ( " r e l i e f -etching") was, however, completely unique . . . . It was a kind of etching in reverse which l e f t the l e t t e r i n g and the lines of the drawing raised i n r e l i e f on the plate. The "ground" became his drawing and l e t t e r i n g material on the otherwise bare copper. Because he was unwilling to entrust the text to the impersonality of printer's type, he inscribed the poetry c a l l i g r a p h i c a l l y on each plate. These were often printed i n color, usually yellow, and, with the help of his wife, many of the pages were finished a f t e r the p r i n t i n g by hand-tinting in watercolor. He described these as his " i l -luminated" books because they possessed a unique qua l i t y s i m i l a r to medieval, illuminated manuscripts.^ 0 In other words, Blake wrote his words and drew his pictures in an acid-resistant medium, so that a f t e r b i t i n g the copper plate i n acid, the drawn lines remained raised. Blake's 9 method required much less pressure to p r i n t than ordinary-i n t a g l i o , hence involved less e f f o r t and wastage, and there-by insured his independence from commercial p r i n t e r s . Normally, the poetry would need to be written i n re-versed l e t t e r i n g upon the plate, i n order to come out cor-r e c t l y i n the p r i n t s . Blake was undoubtedly f a m i l i a r with reverse writing, which he would have learned as an appren-tice i n Basire's workshop. In Jerusalem he uses the concept for his own symbolic purposes, on occasion d e l i b e r a t e l y etching words or phrases so they come out backwards i n the printed version. But Ruthven Todd, theorizing that i t would have been extremely d i f f i c u l t to p r i n t a work as immense as Jerusalem by writing i t backwards, got together with Joan Miro to try to reconstruct an alternate means of p r i n t i n g , that would produce e f f e c t s s i m i l a r to those of Blake's printed works.^ They developed a technique whereby the text could be written normally, with varnish on a piece of paper coated with gum arabic. The writing could then be transferred to a copper plate simply by placing the paper against the copper and using a r o l l e r or an extra plate to apply considerable pressure. Before b i t i n g the plate i n acid, the transferred writing could be touched up, and de-signs could be added i n varnish. Both wr i t i n g and designs would be l e f t i n r e l i e f a f t e r the acid bath. Blake added variations to his technique, the most important of which he c a l l e d "Woodcut on Copper." Here the 10 whole plate was covered with an acid-resistant ground, which was then scraped off with a s p e c i a l needle wherever a white area or outline was needed. As Blake himself describes, i n his "Memoranda From the Note-Book," 1807, "instead of Etch-ing the blacks, Etch the whites & bite i t i n " (K bkO), Since the text could not be printed by t h i s technique, the entire area on which the text was to be etched was scraped free of ground, and the words written on as i n r e l i e f etch-ing, before the plate was b i t t e n i n acid. Consequently, the woodcut on copper method i s generally used on full-page or half-page designs, as i n the chapter frontispieces of Jeru-salem. The woodcut on copper method i s used i n combination with the e a r l i e r , r e l i e f etching technique, i n America, Eu-rope , Milton and Jerusalem. For example, plates 51 and 76 of Jerusalem are obviously the woodcut on copper method, the fine l i n e s being c l e a r l y drawn by needle, and the whites worked up as highlights against a black background, whereas plates 25 and 75 are c l e a r l y r e l i e f etching, with the dark li n e s and p r i n t i n g being drawn by brush against a white background. Blake used the woodcut on copper technique larg e l y to indicate obscurity, both because of the predomi-nance of black, and because of the fine cross-hatching, which Blake used to suggest fog or smoke. Since Robert Essick discusses Blake's use of t r a d i t i o n a l engraving tech-niques, his development of o r i g i n a l ones, and the manner i n 11 which he was able to f i t the e f f e c t s of each to his various purposes,-*-2 I w i l l consider the point no further here. That Blake's invention of illuminated p r i n t i n g pro-vided independence from publishers was r e a l l y only a bonus, a g r a t i f y i n g side e f f e c t . The main a t t r a c t i o n of the new technique was i t s union of two hitherto separate art forms, poetry and painting. These s i s t e r arts had a t r a d i t i o n of togetherness, from medieval illuminated manuscripts, through renaissance emblem books, to the eighteenth century a l l e g o r -i c a l paintings of Barry, Mortimer, and F u s e l i , as Jean H. Hagstrum well i l l u s t r a t e s . Yet even Hagstrum agrees that Blake "molded the s i s t e r a r t s , as they have never been be-fore or since, into a single body . . . an Art of Arts."^3 Blake's unique fusion of word and design acknowledges and i n fact i n t e n s i f i e s the p a r t i c u l a r attributes of each form; Blake does not seek to blot out d i s t i n c t i o n s but to c l a r i f y them. Each form i s handled so that i t s inherent strengths are maximized and i t s inherent lim i t a t i o n s made i r r e l e v a n t . ^ Language i s a highly abstract pattern of words with s p e c i f i c symbolic, s y n t a c t i c a l or r e f e r e n t i a l meaning. The p a r t i c u l a r words, the order i n which they appear, the sounds by which they are pronounced, the connotations b u i l t up through years of t r a d i t i o n a l usage and through personal ex-perience, a l l contribute to the meaning of the given words. In the English language, words are b u i l t up into sentences according to a predetermined though i n f i n i t e l y variable 12 s t r u c t u r a l order, which can he reduced to i t s most basic form of subject-verb-object. Further, the c r u c i a l verb part can be distinguished to indicate three tenses: past, pres-ent and future. Sentences are linked together to form larger units, generally paragraphs i f prose, or stanzas, i f poetry. In both poetry and prose, the sentence unit of the spoken word gives way, at least v i s u a l l y , to the unit of the written l i n e , a line conventionally agreed to t r a v e l from l e f t to r i g h t , i n a st r a i g h t , horizontal d i r e c t i o n . Now Blake was antipathetic to many of these inherent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of language, e s p e c i a l l y written language. For one thing, he considered three a demonic number, and f e l t that the three tenses to which language was limited were indications of f a l l e n time. The threefold nature of the structure of language would only tend to confirm i t s f a l l e n s i g n i f i c a n c e . Also, he did not li k e horizontal move-ment, preferring the v e r t i c a l movement of Gothic form; and he did not l i k e s traight l i n e s , preferring the freedom of curves and squiggles. Straight, horizontal l i n e s belong i n Experience, as the Title-page of Songs of Experience reveals. I n Jerusalem, the d i r e c t i o n of l e f t to r i g h t , or west to east, becomes the d i r e c t i o n of the adverse Wheel of Religion, a d i r e c t i o n which i s l i f e destroying. F i n a l l y , the r a t i o n a l , l o g i c a l , linear progression of written language, through words which are themselves combinations of abstract sounds or l e t t e r s , must have appeared to Blake a very a r b i t r a r y , 13 limited, and enslaving form of communication. Yet, poetry i s a r t , and the Word • i s the holy manifes-tation of God. The prophets taught t h e i r s p i r i t u a l wisdom through words, and the gospel of Jesus would have been l o s t to us without them. So language i s redemptive, no matter how mired in the necessities of Experience. Blake himself c a l l s English "the rough basement . . . the stubborn struc-ture of the Language" which Los builds i n order to redeem Albion, "who must else have been a Dumb despair" (J 40 [ 3 6 ] i 5 8 - 6 0 , K 6 6 8 ) . Language provided for Blake a structure f o r his myth where he could be s p e c i f i c and p a r t i c u l a r i n a manner not possible i n any other form. Because language i s r a t i o n a l and l i m i t i n g i t enabled Blake to present, i d e n t i f y , and explain his symbolic figures and structures, to t e l l us e x p l i c i t l y that Los i s the prophet who works the forge and keeps the divine imagination ali v e i n man. Language pins down concepts, and though such narrowing or contracting i s reminiscent of the F a l l , i t is also a reenactment of Blake's doctrine that error must be given form, before i t can be expelled. The very p a r t i c u l a r i t y of language i s both i t s l i m i t i n g and i t s redeeming feature. Design, on the other hand, is more immediate and sen-sual, less r a t i o n a l and abstract, than language. We envi-sion a design as a whole, a l l at once, as a s p a t i a l unity. The text must be digested temporally, reading l i n e s i n an ordered sequence u n t i l the whole is understood, but the 14 designs allow us to follow them as we w i l l . We are directed, c e r t a i n l y , by lines of thrust to draw our eyes outward, and s k i l l f u l use of colour and contrast and form. But these the a r t i s t manipulates according to his w i l l , not according to a r i g i d l e f t - r i g h t convention. The designs also have a more dir e c t impact because they present an image d i r e c t l y to the mind, whereas a word must be "translated" by the mind before i t can evoke the appropriate image. In this sense, a p i c -ture of a b i r d i s more p a r t i c u l a r than the word " b i r d , " be-cause from the word a dozen d i f f e r e n t people would envision a dozen d i f f e r e n t birds, but from the picture they would a l l see (hence envision) the same b i r d . Nevertheless, the designs are more ambiguous than the text i n expressing the significance of the object depicted. Hence absolute i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of figures and objects i n the designs i s often dependent upon a knowledge of the text. The designs do not possess the means to t e l l a s t o r y — t h e y lack the t i g h t l y controlled sequential order, the immense vocabulary to handle concepts of the mind. Designs cannot explain, they cannot reason and compare, but they can create, they can present enormous archetypes of human consciousness. Their power l i e s largely i n the fact that they contain with-i n them a great many explanations, a l l of which are eter-n a l l y v a l i d , though probably not a l l perceptible at any one time. The designs are universal not only because they tran-scend the l i m i t a t i o n of "foreign" languages, a l i m i t a t i o n 15 man has endured since the time of Babel, but also because they transcend the whole structure and purpose of any lan-guage. The text orders and controls a series of statements or insights or moments into some kind of s t r u c t u r a l t o t a l i t y , with some kind of beginning, middle, and end, but each de-sign presents a timeless moment of imagination, an ever-present which defies tenses, a moment Satan surely cannot f i n d . The designs, then, belong r i g h t l y to the realm of Innocence. Their spontaneous appeal, t h e i r i n f i n i t e capa-b i l i t i e s for the use of l i n e , moving i n any d i r e c t i o n and with any degree of curvature, t h e i r use of colour and l i g h t , and i n p a r t i c u l a r t h e i r a b i l i t y to depict form d i r e c t l y , e s p e c i a l l y the human form, a l l remind us that children who cannot read can yet respond to paintings. It i s not a proc-ess we are required to learn; i t i s an innate a b i l i t y . Blake was of course well aware of the i n t e l l e c t u a l appeal of the written word, as opposed to the natural or imagina-tive appeal (depending on your point of view) of the de-signs. Bentley, at any rate, has commented upon i t . "As he demonstrated i n the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Blake found i t easiest to depict innocence and to describe experience. Yet Blake created a dual art form because he wanted to combine the unique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of both text and de-sign, and to produce from that combination or union a new 16 form with new c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Each form remains v a l i d i n i t s own r i g h t yet each partakes of the new meaning of the combined form. This new meaning comes about as a r e s u l t of the interactions of one form upon the other. The range of these interactions i s immense, but within this range we can focus on a few of the more important kinds of i n t e r r e l a t i o n -ships. The most obvious rel a t i o n s h i p between the two art forms i s one of simple restatement, where the design i s a straightforward i l l u s t r a t i o n of the text, or the text a straightforward comment upon the design. Blake i s seldom content with such a relat i o n s h i p , however, for i t i s i n fact a combination of the two forms, rather than a union. Blake frequently goes one step beyond simple restatement, having text and design mutually support each other, while each form contributes something unique. One form w i l l thus elaborate upon the other, enriching i t without i n any way presenting a c o n f l i c t or contradiction. Songs of Innocence provides the best examples of this synergetic int e r a c t i o n , since many of the Songs have i l l u s t r a t i o n s which f i t the text f a i r l y c l o s e l y , yet contribute new and s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l s . A more complex kind of elaboration i s involved when the design i s not obviously related to the text, yet supports i t s theme or mood through motifs or suggestions of i t s own. As Joseph Wicksteed comments, "certain of his designs to his own 'Songs of Innocence' represent something apparently quite 17 remote from the ostensible subject of the song. They con-tai n , i n fact, suggestions of wider, underlying ideas, out of which the poem seems to spring like the flower from i t s tree. In Chapter Three we w i l l discuss "The Shepherd" and "The Blossom," two Songs involving simple and complex elaboration, respectively. The technique of elaboration is also used occasion-a l l y i n The Book of Urizen, as for example i n plate 7 [9l»^ where the design magnifies the opening lines "Los howl'd i n dismal stupor" (K 226). It i s also used, to a somewhat greater extent, i n Jerusalem, as on plates 21 and 15, which we w i l l discuss i n Chapters Seven and Eight. However, The Book of Urizen and Jerusalem, being works wherein the text is continuous throughout the plates, introduce a second important kind of interaction, s i m i l a r to the elaboration discussed above. Now, however, the designs often i l l u s t r a t e a passage of text on another plate. Sometimes, the s i g n i f -icant text occurs i n a nearby plate, as i n Urizen 23 T22l, where Urizen explores his dens as described beginning on plate 20. Other times, the text and design may be widely separated, as for example the Jerusalem 50 design, which relates to the text on plate 70. This kind of i n t e r a c t i o n serves to bind together the whole work, making a complexly interwoven unit out of what might otherwise be considered a poem with i l l u s t r a t i o n s . If the design has no obvious re-lationship to the text of the same plate, i t must either 18 be disregarded or seen as part of a larger unit b u i l t up of both poetry and picture. The awareness that a design on one plate relates to lines somewhere else binds those two plates together i n the imagination, and serves not only to unify the whole but also to juxtapose other motifs and events from the two plates. Thus, we find that not only does the text of Jerusalem 70 elaborate upon the design of plate 50, "but the design of plate 70 also elaborates upon the opening lines of plate 50, i l l u s t r a t i n g the enormous Druid structure which has taken over "the At l a n t i c Mountains," dwarfing the once "Giants" who "dwelt i n I n t e l l e c t " there. Since the designs are often archetypal, e s p e c i a l l y i n The Book of Urizen, one design may relate to a great many passages of text throughout the work, thus further binding the whole together and creating many more important juxta-positions. In fact, one of the reasons Blake altered his order of plates i n Urizen and Chapter Two of Jerusalem i s undoubtedly to maximize the s i g n i f i c a n t juxtapositions of action and of symbol, by i n s i s t i n g we r e a l i z e that a given plate "belongs" i n more than one place. As well as i l l u s t r a t i n g text i n other parts of the same work, Blake's designs often relate to lines from other works of his own, or even works of other writers, or the Bible. When this i s the case, Blake i s usually leading us to something s i g n i f i c a n t i n the other work* providing a clue. For example, the design on plate i i i of Visions of 19 the Daughters of Albion, "The Argument," shows a nude woman kissing a nude f a i r y , who has just arisen from a flower i n the foreground, while a be a u t i f u l pastel sunrise or sunset glows behind. The design i s a perfect elaboration of the rather well-known lines from the Note-Book of 1793• He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged l i f e destroy; But he who kisses the joy as i t f l i e s Lives in eternity's sun r i s e . (K 179) Although these lines were never engraved, they obviously express the essence of the Visions, and hence Blake i l l u s -trates them in this "Argument" plate, rather than d i r e c t l y i l l u s t r a t i n g the lines of the argument. Although I do not wish to pursue the Visions in any depth, this design does lead us to the second major kind of interaction, one of irony or d r a s t i c a l l y altered point of view. For the text of t h i s plate describes the harsh r e a l i t y of love in the f a l l e n world, whereas the design shows the b l i s s f u l r e a l -i t y of love in Eternity. As discussed e a r l i e r , the design pre-sents the innocent view, the text the experienced one. Be-cause Blake was very concerned with v i s i o n , with how one perceives r e a l i t y , he naturally used his double art form to pre-sent simultaneously two d i f f e r e n t views of the same subject. l n Songs of Experience , irony between text and design is used to create the tensions and in some cases even the un-certainty of Experience. The reader, facedwith two apparently 20 contradictory versions, suffers that mental confusion Blake i d e n t i f i e s with Experience. Yet Blake does not leave us hopelessly l o s t between the unreconciled aspects of his double art form. Instead, he i s t r a i n i n g our consciousness to be simultaneously aware of the contraries, so that we can progress beyond the limitations of each one, as Blake himself progresses beyond the i n d i v i d u a l l i m i t a t i o n s of painting and poetry. The i r o n i c interplay between text and design i s i n i t s e l f a manifestation of one of Blake's cen-t r a l doctrines, that "the Eye a l t e r i n g a l t e r s a l l " (K 426). To t h i s end Blake makes use of the double perspective which his dual art form makes possible, presenting i n one plate two ways of looking at r e a l i t y , thereby forcing the reader to expand his v i s i o n . Before moving on to other variations of this i r o n i c i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , as manifested i n The Book of Urizen and Jerusalem, I would l i k e to c l a r i f y this major type of i n t e r -action by studying one of the Songs of Experience where i t i s used to great e f f e c t . This song i s the famous poem "The Tyger" and i t s not-so-famous design. Here again the text presents an experienced v i s i o n , and the design an innocent one. The text presents a ferocious tyger,19 the design a rather gentle one. The tension t h i s d i s p a r i t y creates as we read through the poem, juxtaposing the tyger that the words create with the one the design flashes before our eyes, increases our anxiety as the speaker increases h i s . 21 When I say the text presents an experienced v i s i o n , I mean that the speaker of the poem i s not Blake hut someone trapped i n Experience. 2 0 Hence his poem i s f u l l of fear and doubt, t y p i f i e d by the thirteen question marks and the t h i r -teen unanswered and s c i e n t i f i c a l l y unanswerable questions. The speaker i s working himself up into a r a t i o n a l frenzy, for his attempt to replace his lost i n t u i t i v e f a i t h with l o g i c a l explanations i s only leading him deeper into the maze of the unknown. Cf course the poem must be compared to "The Lamb" of Songs of Innocence, where a s i m i l a r ques-ti o n i s simply asked and spontaneously and powerfully an-swered. Another in d i c a t i o n of the speaker's experienced nature i s the ambiguity of many of the phrases, which u l t i -mately provides the key to a new interpretation. The f i r s t ambiguity comes i n the f i r s t two l i n e s , where the burning tyger i s " i n the forests of the night." Cne interpretation i s that the tyger and the night are com-patible symbols, the former a part of the l a t t e r , a s p e c i f i c example of the terrors which lurk i n and are nurtured and protected by the dark forests of ignorance and e v i l . The archetypal significance of the forest, as a labyrinth where man loses his way, where trees shut out from him the l i g h t of e ternity or truth; and of the tyger as a ferocious beast of prey, symbolizing man's lowest animal i n s t i n c t s of cruelty and sexuality, support t h i s interpretation. However, there i s another interpretation, which involves seeing the tyger 22 as a d i f f e r e n t kind of beast, a d i f f e r e n t kind of symbol. And the design supports t h i s second interpretation. The tyger i s a f t e r a l l "burning bright," and heat and l i g h t are both opposed to the darkness and coldness of night. So the tyger need not be symbolically sympathetic with the night; he could rather be antipathetic to the night. He could be the f i e r y energy of revolution or apocalypse, consuming the forests of error that keep man l o s t i n Experience. At t h i s point we remember the striped nature of this p a r t i c u l a r beast, the orange and black suggesting apain the ambivalence of the tyger, who i s at once dark as night and b r i l l i a n t as f i r e . The i l l u s t r a t i o n of Copy Z s i g n i f i c a n t l y omits his black s t r i p e s , and shows him only as a golden cat. The remainder of stanza one and stanzas two, three, and four build up a powerful but somewhat dis j o i n t e d and confused picture of the creator struggling to put together i n his furnaces the form of the tyger. The confusion comes about largely because of the jumps between creator and crea-ture, for we move from the eyes of the tyger to the wings and hand of the creator, to the shoulder of the creator and then the sinews and heart of the tyger, to the hand of the creator and then the feet of (presumably) the tyger. The power i s derived largely from the short line with i t s four strong beats, the s c a r c i t y of unaccented s y l l a b l e s and " l i g h t " words l i k e prepositions, and the generous use of a l l i t e r a t i o n , harsh consonants, and long vowels or diphthongs, 2 3 l i k e the " a i " of "tyger." The c r u c i a l stanza i n the poem has long been recog-nized as stanza f i v e . Again, the action i s ambiguous. One interpretation of the stars throwing down t h e i r spears i s that they are engaging i n an act of aggression against the earth below. Now i n his early works Blake associates stars of "Starry Jealousy" with the f a l l e n reason of Urizen, Blake's tyrannical sky-god. (In Jerusalem they become the starry wheels connected with Ulro and the satanic spectre-sons of Albion.) Urizen i s antagonistic to man, "for he saw / That no fl e s h nor s p i r i t could keep / His iron laws one mo-ment" (Urizen, p i . 24, K 2 3 5 ) . So this action can reason-ably be interpreted as the manifestation of war by Urizen and his starry hosts. The tears would consistently be seen as Urizen's h y p o c r i t i c a l tears of p i t y , perhaps ra i n i n g down a flood of condemnation upon man. An a l l u s i o n to the flood of course reminds us that the God of the Old Testament was not pleased with his creation, but rather chose to destroy i t , suggesting quite strongly that the question of the next line should be answered No. Urizen-Jehovah did not smile his work to see. If he did make the tyger, "he goofed." His only recourse now i s punishment and destruction. Again, however, there is another interpretation. The throwing down of spears could be taken as an act of ca p i t u l a -tion, not aggression, an end rather than a beginning of war. The spears can be rejected, thrown away, rather than used 24 antag o n i s t i c a l l y . David Erdman points out that "Blake em-ploys the symbols which i n his p o l i t i c a l w riting s i g n i f y p i the day of repentance," noting the s i m i l a r i t y of stanza five to Sieyes's f o r e t e l l i n g of apocalyptic peace i n The French Revolution (lines 220-240, K 144-145): "Throw down thy sword and musket . . . . then the Priest in his thund-'rous cloud / Shall weep . . . / Shall say: 'No more I curse thee; but now I w i l l bless thee . . . . ' " Similar language is used i n Blake's Notebook poem "Morning" (K 421), where "The war of swords & spears / Melted by dewy tears / Exhales on high," freeing the Sun of a new day from the fears of night. According to this interpretation of the stanza, Urizen and his hosts have decided to make peace. The tears must then be seen as tears of true repentance and forgiveness for the war, i n which case they indicate the regeneration of Urizen. Of course, the suggestion of peace alludes to Jesus who was sent to reconcile man and God, and whose gospel preaches the forgiveness of sins. It also a l -ludes, i n the context of Blake's t o t a l myth, to the reunion of the four warring Zoas i n Albion, the r e b i r t h of the d i -vine humanity. In this context, the creator has been trans-formed, through a change i n our perception of him, from the tyrannical Urizen-Jehovah who curses and punishes to the merciful Jesus who loves and forgives. In this context, therefore, the creator does smile his work to see, for the creator has become Jesus. And Jesus i s , of course, He who 25 made the lamb, as the poem of that name t e l l s us. Since Blake also created both "The Lamb" and "The Tyger," the two poems together assert another central doctrine of Blake's, the i d e n t i t y of man and God, through the creative imagina-t i o n which i s the divine body of man. The l a s t stanza of course repeats the f i r s t , with one c r u c i a l change. The "could" of the l a s t line has been changed to "dare," a change not only of tone but also of tense. The f i r s t stanza speaks of an act of creation i n the past by someone very much apart from us, i n the "distant deeps or skies." The l a s t stanza i s a challenge for the present, reminding us that God i s within, that we are the creators, that we_ possess the immortal hand and eye with which to perceive the world anew and with which to re-create i t . We can be passive and r e f l e c t i v e like the speaker, whose i n t e l l e c t u a l impasse suggests that for him a l l the passageways are blocked, a l l the flow of energy suppressed. We can confine the tyger to the obscurity of the forest, equally f e a r f u l of what his energy might accomplish i f we dared to l e t him loose. Or we can be daring. We can free the f i e r y beast from the black shadows that the trees cast upon his back, the bars of the prison we make for him and therefore for ourselves. It is up to us to break the mind-forged manacles. Once we cease to see the tyger as an enemy, we cease to be disturbed by the " i r r e c o n c i l a b l e " design. In fa c t , 26 the design plays an important role i n forcing us to recon-sider the ambiguities of the text. Without the design, the speaker's tyger goes unchallenged. With i t , Blake forces us to be creative ourselves, to synthesize text and design and so escape the speaker's a n a l y t i c a l reasonings. The tyger of the design i s meek because he i s no more to be feared than the lamb. He i s simply another manifestation of ourselves, hence of our creator. Just as the lamb i s the loving-kind-ness of Jesus, so too i s the ty.<?er the creative energy of Jesus, an energy that becomes destructive only when i t i s repressed, as sexual energy denied gives way to war. Hence the innocent v i s i o n sees the tyger as a golden beast, no longer striped, emerging out of the dark forest, which i s represented by a single barren tree, and surrounded by a warm pink glow, which joins with a r i s i n g b i r d to promise the tyger (and us) a new beginning. The i r o n i c interplay of text and design has many variations. The design may refute an error i n the speaker's perception, providing a new way of looking at the same thing, as i n "The Tyger." Or i t may present a completely d i f f e r e n t subject, in which case i t w i l l not d i r e c t l y con-f l i c t with the poem, but w i l l undercut i t by suggesting a r e a l i t y the text does not consider. This kind of interac-tion p a r a l l e l s "elaboration," only i t i s " i r o n i c elabora-t i o n . " An example of this is "London," where the design develops the theme of the poem, degeneration of a c i t y , i n 27 human rather than a r c h i t e c t u r a l terms. In other words, i t elaborates upon the poem, yet at the same time i t inverts the meaning of the poem, by adding a t o t a l l y new redemptive note » the c h i l d i n green. In The Book of Urizen, the greater independence of the designs enables them to act both i r o n i c a l l y and sup-portive l y at once. Here, Blake i s again concerned with developing our perception, and hence endows many of the designs with an int e g r a l ambiguity that allows them to s h i f t from one context to another without loss of power. For example, the enormous figure of Urizen of plate 22 [ i l l commands both our p i t y and our fear. He i s at once chained, blind and old, yet s t i l l strong, massive and radiant. A l -though he has f a l l e n , he has not yet l o s t a l l his divine glow; hence our reaction to him i s as ambiguous as i t i s to Milton's Satan i n the opening books of Paradise Lost. Like Milton's Satan, Urizen i s the cause of our f a l l , but unlike Satan, Urizen i s also redeemable, a part of us we must ac-cept i n the t o t a l i t y of our regenerate form. Our reactions to the howling Los of plate 7 [9~1» who has newly separated from Urizen, are s i m i l a r l y c o n f l i c t i n g . For we f e e l the agony that Los f e e l s , yet we also respond by wanting to escape, to protect ourselves from the anguish. In other words, we share not only the reaction of Los but also the reaction of Urizen; and i n this respect we are ourselves divided. Both these designs, then, force us to i d e n t i f y not 2 8 only with the character perceived, but also with the con-sciousness that is perceiving. We find ourselves inside both camps. The irony i n Urizen is constantly s h i f t i n g , with a design one moment supporting one passage of text and refu t -ing another, then with a sudden change of perspective the same design supporting a s t i l l d i f f e r e n t passage of text, and perhaps refuting the f i r s t . To use our e a r l i e r example, the radiance of Urizen i n plate 22 [ i l l i s on one l e v e l the false holiness described i n plate 4, the tears are those of s e l f - p i t y and hypocrisy described in plate 25» and the chains and the closed eyes are s e l f - i n f l i c t e d r e s t r i c t i o n s , brought about by Urizen's denial of energy and creation of Moral Law. Yet contemplating him thus, we inf e c t ourselves with Urizen's self-righteous condemnation. Are we too not s e l f -chained and self-blinded, are we too not massive forms con-fined to a f a l l e n condition? Could not that radiance be a promise of regeneration, for ourselves as well as for Urizen? Could not those tears be tears of repentance and forgiveness, of Urizen f o r us and us for Urizen? Suddenly we have become ourselves that chained and weary figure we were so ready to condemn, that "clod of clay" whose struggles have made him (and us) "hoary, and age-broke, and aged, / In despair and the shadows of death" ( p i . 5, lines 26-27, K 225). In The Book of Urizen, then, the archetypal nature of the designs and the story enables interactions of a l l kinds to ex i s t 29 simultaneously, with irony prevalent but always s h i f t i n g i n emphasis and i n d i r e c t i o n , as our consciousness expands to include the manifold perceptions of the myth. In Jerusalem the i r o n i c interaction between text and design i s used not so much to expand our perceptions but to i l l u s t r a t e the false perceptions of a character who is i n error. As such the designs often act as a Blakean overview. As Claudette Kemper states of the i n t e r l i n e a r drawings, "they seem then not to be there simply to suggest the earth-iness e s s e n t i a l to understanding Jerusalem but also to pro-vide v i s u a l tensions, and i r o n i c and c r i t i c a l commentaries 22 on the s c r i p t . " One example to be discussed i n more de-t a i l i n Chapter Eight i s plate 18, where the text presents Hand's and Hyle's denial of sexual love to j u s t i f y t h e i r r e j e c t i o n of Jerusalem's humanity, but the design presents love as a glorious reunion of mankind, bringing peace on earth and hence prefiguring the apocalypse. Of course, de-signs can provide ir o n i c comments on lines anywhere i n the work, not only i n the same plate, or can restate them i n such a way as to s h i f t t h e i r emphasis considerably. As i n the e a r l i e r works, the point of view is the important fac-tor. Text and design i n Jerusalem seem to have greater independence than i n the e a r l i e r works, yet also a tighter s t r u c t u r a l relationship. For the designs act as v i s u a l i n -troductions or summaries of the individual chapters and of the entire work. And although the text and design of any 30 given plate may seem unrelated, the juxtaposition of the themes, moods, characters and actions w i l l usually be found to produce a subtle balance, a new, more complex perspective. With a l l t h i s i n mind, i t i s time to turn now to the works themselves. The Songs present us .with the contraries that Blake had always before him, t r a i n i n g us to recognize the subjective nature of perception, t r a i n i n g us to handle two r e a l i t i e s at once, whether they be states of mind or forms of a r t . The Book of Urizen explores the creation of the f a l l e n world, an event precipitated by the attempt to deny Experience and s o l i d i f y Innocence, ending the creative flux of contraries and h u r t l i n g the threefold state of Beu-lah into the onefold (yet symbolically also threefold) state of Ulro. Jerusalem then continues the myth, exploring how the spectres of Ulro are woven into Generation, and how the corporeal, woven bodies can be reborn into s p i r i t u a l ones. The Los i n each of us i s struggling to turn Generation into Regeneration, the twofold awareness of Experience into the fourfold glorious v i s i o n of Eternity. Throughout a l l three of these illuminated books, Blake unites text and design into a new and radiant art form, capable of a great variety of a r t i s t i c presentation, and providing an inherent dramatic dimension only now being appreciated. It i s no longer adequate to dismiss the de-signs because the text i s d i f f i c u l t enough. The text can never be f u l l y understood u n t i l i t i s understood as part of 31 the l a r g e r whole which i s Blake's composite a r t form, poet-ry and p a i n t i n g made one. For i t i s only when we b r i n g Blake's two simultaneous v i s i o n s i n t o focus, that we can ' f i n a l l y see the three-dimensional r e a l i t y . And i t i s only when we add the f o u r t h dimension of time, the awareness of the present, past, and future p l a t e s as an e t e r n a l present e x i s t i n g a l l at once before us, that the f o u r f o l d v i s i o n of E t e r n i t y begins to glow. Then image and syntax, t e x t and design together d i s p l a y the human form d i v i n e . every Word & Every Character Was Human according to the Expansion or C o n t r a c t i o n , the Translucence or Opakeness of Nervous f i b r e s : such was the v a r i a t i o n of Time & Space Which vary according as the Organs of Perception vary; & they walked To & f r o i n E t e r n i t y as One Man, r e f l e c t i n g each i n each & c l e a r l y seen And seeing, according to f i t n e s s & order. (J 9 8 : 35-40) NOTES "Blake and the Traditions of Reproductive Engrav-ing," Blake Studies, 5» No. 1 ( F a l l 1 9 7 2 ) , 6 7 . p Anthony Blunt, The Art of William Blake, Bampton Lectures i n America, No. 12 (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1 9 5 9 ) , George Wingfield Digby, Symbol and Image i n William Blake (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1 9 5 7 ) ; Northrop Frye, "Poetry and Design i n William Blake," Journal of Aesthetics and Art C r i t i c i s m , 10 (Sept. 1 9 5 1 ) » 35-42, reprinted i n John E. Grant, ed., Discussions of William Blake (Boston: D. C. Heath and Co., 1 9 6 1 ) , pp. 44~^49; and Northrop Frye, ed., Blake: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays, Twentieth Century Views (Englewood C l i f f s , N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1 9 6 6 ) , pp. 1 1 9 - 2 6 . ^William Blake, Poet and Painter: An Introduction to the Illuminated Verse (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1 9 ^ 4 ) . ^John E. Grant, E. J. Rose, Robert N. Essick, and W. J. T. M i t c h e l l are just a few c r i t i c s who deal consistently with designs as well as text. ^David V. Erdman and John E. Grant, eds., Blake's Visionary Forms Dramatic (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1 9 7 0 ) , p. v i i i . Hereafter referred to as "Erdman and Grant." ^There are i n t e r l i n e a r vines running between or at the side of the text, but the setting of the designs proper is remarkably free of forms of vegetation. 7 '"A Vision of the Last Judgement," The Complete Writ-ings of William Blake, ed. Geoffrey Keynes' (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 6 1 1 . Unless otherwise stated, a l l future references w i l l be to this e d i t i o n , which w i l l be noted i n the text simply as "K." The other e d i t i o n some-times quoted from is The Poetry and Prose of William Blake, ed. David V. Erdman, commentary by Harold Bloom (1965? rev. p r i n t i n g Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday and Co., 1 9 7 0 ) , which w i l l be noted in the text as "Erdman and Bloom" or simply "E&B." P Geoffrey Keynes and Edwin Wolf, 2 n d . , compilers, William Blake' s Illuminated Books: A Census (New York: The Gr o l i e r Club of New York, 1953)> PP« v i i i - x i i i . Hereafter referred to simply as Census. 32 33 Q Prospectus: To the Public, K 2 0 7 . 1 0The Art of the Pri n t , Studies i n Art Series (Du-buque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Co., 1 9 6 9 ) , p. 8 9 . 1 1 , 1 The Techniques of William Blake's Illuminated Painting," Print, 6 , No. 1 ( 1 9 4 8 ) , 53-^ 5» see esp. 5 9 - 6 2 . Todd also discusses Elake's Illuminated Printing i n William Blake I The A r t i s t , Studio Vista / Dutton Pictureback (Lon-don: Studio Vista, and New York: E. P. Dutton, 1971)» PP« 2 0 - 2 1 . 1 2"Blake and the Traditions of Reproductive Engrav-ing," Blake Studies, 5» No. 1 ( F a l l 1 9 7 2 ) , 59-103-1^William Blake, Poet and Painter, pp. 3-71 and p. 140. See also "Blake and the Sister-Arts T r a d i t i o n " i n Erdman and Grant, pp. 82 - 9 1 . ^W. J. T. Mitchell makes this point i n "Blake's Composite Art," Erdman and Grant, p. 6 9 . •^Marshall McLuhan makes this point about the printed word i n The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1 9 6 2), see esp. pp. 24 - 2 5 , 1 1 1 , 144, 1 5 8 , and 1 7 0 . When McLuhan says "The auditory f i e l d i s simultaneous, the v i s u a l mode is successive" (p. I l l ) , he is comparing the spoken to the written word. I would say of Blake's art form: the designs are simultaneous, the printed word i s successive. 1^G. E. Bentley, J r . , ed., T i r i e l , by William Blake (Oxford: Clarendon Press, I 9 6 7 ) , p. 2 1 . Blake's Vision of the Book of Job: With Reproduc-tions of the I l l u s t r a t i o n s , 2 n d . ed., rev. ( 1 9 1 0 ; rpt. New York: Haskell House, 1 9 7 1 ) , p. 2 1 . •^For each of the three main works studied, I use as my working copy the Blake Trust-Trianon Press colour fac-simile, which is Copy Z of the Songs, Copy G of The Book of Urizen, and Copy E (Mellon) of Jerusalem. For Urizen, I cite f i r s t the p i . no. according to the Census, then in square brackets the p i . no. of Copy G. For Jerusalem, I cite the p i . nos. as i n the Census, the f i r s t no. agreeing with the Keynes text and Copy E, the second i n square brack-ets agreeing with the E&B text and Copy C (Rinder), which is the one reproduced i n the Blake Trust-Trianon Press b&w facsimile. •^When re f e r r i n g to Blake's tyger I s h a l l use his 34 sp e l l i n g . 2 0D. G. Gillham, Blake's Contrary States t The 'Songs of Innocence and of Experience' as Dramatic Poems (Cambridgei Cambridge Univ. Press, 1966) discusses the Songs along these l i n e s . 2^Blake t Prophet Against Empire: • A Poet 1s Interpre-tati o n of the History of His Own Times, rev. ed. [Garden City, N. Y.s Anchor Books, Doubleday & Co., 1 9 6 9 ) , p. 1 9 6 . See pp. 1 9 5 - 9 7 and 38O. 22«The Interlinear Drawings i n Blake's Jerusalem," B u l l e t i n of the New York Public Library, 64 (Nov. i 9 6 0 ) , 5 8 ^ : CHAPTER WO INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE: THE TWO CONTRARY STATES OF THE HUMAN SOUL As Blake makes clear i n his s u b - t i t l e to Songs of Innocence and of Experience : Shewing the Two Contrary- State s of the Human Soul, the nature of the two states i s not environmental or physiological, but i n t e r n a l or s p i r i t -ual. They are eternal states: Innocence one of v i s i o n , Experience one of confusion. Hence any in d i v i d u a l can pass from Innocence to Experience or vice versa at any given mo-ment, depending on the power of his imagination. For Blake, Innocence and Experience are not states externally imposed upon man, states which he must passively accept, but states indicative of the growth process within man, states man must ultimately determine for himself. In Innocence, v i s i o n i s t o t a l ; hence the world i s ordered and harmonious, with a l l things and a l l people work-ing together in mutual understanding. In Experience, v i s i o n i s incomplete; hence the world is fragmented. A l l things and a l l people are now at war, with understanding limited to small, unconnected areas. The divisiveness of s e l f -interest replaces the inclusiveness of human values. So i n Innocence I see a l l people as myself, and open my imagina-tion to l e t them i n ; in Experience I see others as opposed 35 36 to me, and build defenses to protect myself from th e i r pos-sible attack. I may open those defenses for a few, and gain genuine understanding with them, but I am e s s e n t i a l l y sus-picious. My understanding now becomes a r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the need for my defenses. Coming to terms with the divided world, I govern my l i f e not by f a i t h , but by necessity. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience, then, Blake conceives of two mental states, and sets one off against the other. Later, however, Blake expands his concept of states to four: Beulah and Generation corresponding roughly to Innocence and Experience, Eden and Ulro to Heaven and H e l l . Something of this l a t e r d i s t i n c t i o n i s inherent even in the Song_s. The r e s u l t i s that Innocence tends to divide into higher and lower aspects, which are seen i n terms of individual progression. Higher Innocence and higher Expe-rience are r e a l l y the same state: Eden, or Innocence and Experience transcended, the f i e r y state where the l i o n and lamb l i e down together. The term higher Experience i s rare-ly used by Blake c r i t i c s , for the highest state achieved by man i s an innocent state i n the terms we have described Innocence above: a state of i d e n t i t y and v i s i o n . Lower or f i r s t Innocence, symbolized p a r t i c u l a r l y by childhood, cor-responds roughly to the protected, pastoral world of Beulah, though in the Songs the sexual f u l f i l l m e n t t y p i c a l of Beu-lah seems to belong to higher Innocence. Lower or f i r s t Ex-perience corresponds roughly to Generation, a world of 3? tyrants and victims and the mating game. Both Innocence and Experience also have a demonic aspect corresponding to Ulro, an energyless void which i s created when an individual refuses to progress toward Eden, even i f that progression involves a F a l l . When Thel flees from Generation or Experience, she sentences herself to a lifetime (or deathtime) not i n Beulah, but i n Ulro. "With-out Contraries i s no progression" (MHH p i . 3» K 14-9); hence when Innocence and Experience are conceived as stages i n a l i f e pilgrimage, lower Innocence must give way to Experience or the F a l l , which must i n turn give way to higher Inno-cence, i f we are to escape Ulro. For Ulro i s a Negation, and "Negations are not Contraries: Contraries mutually Ex-i s t ; / But Negations E x i s t Not" (J 17: 33-3^ > K 639). Innocence, then, is an eternal state, but lower Inno-cence is also a necessarily transient state. On one l e v e l , i t i s the s p i r i t u a l state most of us remember from young childhood; on another l e v e l , i t i s a state of peace and rest and trust which any of us can enter for a short period of time, anytime i n our l i v e s . But growth requires the contin-ual leaving behind of lower Innocence, which can be envi-sioned as a womb-world or garden of seed. When thi s pro-tected world becomes overprotected or s t i f l i n g , when one has grown in i t as much as one can grow, then one must break through i t s bounds to be born anew in Experience, or f i r s t Innocence w i l l freeze into Ulro, the womb become the tomb. 38 Higher Innocence or Eden, however, has no such l i m i t a t i o n s i since i t contains the best of both contrary states, one cannot grow beyond i t , though one can choose to rest awhile i n Beulah. In the Songs, then, Innocence and Experience are contraries which every human soul fluctuates between, states of v i s i o n and confusion, f a i t h and despair respectively. But inherent i n the d i a l e c t i c i s also the motif of the jour-ney, common to the l a t e r prophecies, e s p e c i a l l y Jerusalem, and united with the B i b l i c a l and c l a s s i c a l archetype of the F a l l . Man knows the Golden Age of the garden of Innocence f i r s t , then f a l l s into Experience. But Innocence remains subconsciously v a l i d , even i n Experience, and w i l l eventu-a l l y redeem man from the p e r i l s of the l a t t e r state. In this chapter, I w i l l distinguish not only the mo-t i f s which characterize the contrary states, but also the motifs which distinguish higher and lower Innocence. (By the term higher Innocence, I mean the state which includes whatever is redeemed from Experience.) I w i l l also examine the motifs of Ulro, that s o l i d i f i c a t i o n or negation of both Innocence and Experience. But f i r s t , I must indicate how Blake's dual art form i s adapted to the purposes and con-texts of the two sets of Songs. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience, the two contrary visions determine both the motifs and the way the dual a r t form functions. To begin, I w i l l l i m i t myself to 39 the p i c t o r i a l dimension, i n order to e s t a b l i s h some major vi s u a l motifs, by examining the Frontispieces and T i t l e -pages to both sets of Songs. My reference copy is the one in the Rosenwald C o l l e c t i o n i n the Library of Congress, Copy Z i n the Census. In the Frontispiece to Songs of Innocence, we see a piper dressed i n red, s t r i d i n g toward the viewer and away from a herd of sheep. On e i t h e r side are young trees i n soft foliage — on the right two trees entwined and on the l e f t a single one, which meet overhead to form an archway--while i n the background trees form a dense grove. Above the piper i s a pink c h i l d , f l y i n g but with no apparent wings; piper and c h i l d both look at one another. The most noticeable features are the warmth of colour, the v e r t i c a l emphasis, the movement and i n t r i c a c y of the greenery, and the nature of the relationship between piper and c h i l d . Though the child seems to guide the piper, the two figures seem governed by a bond of friendship and cooperation, a s p i r i t u a l bond which requires no corporeal reassurance. In Innocence, one does not doubt. Turning to the Frontispiece to Songs of Experience, we see a young man without a pipe, dressed i n green instead of red. On his head s i t s an angel, perhaps the same c h i l d as before, but now with very d i s t i n c t wings and halo; he i s steadied by the man or youth who holds his hands. Roth man and c h i l d face the viewer d i r e c t l y . In the near background, 40 the sheep are much the same as i n the Innocence Frontis-piece, but the trees are not. Only the right side has a tree, and i t i s merely a large trunk with some evergreen foliage at the top. One tree i n the more distant back-ground, also an evergreen, replaces the grove of deciduous trees mentioned before. And instead of the a c t i v i t y of swirling leaves and f l y i n g c h i l d , we have barren h i l l s , green and blue, and an open yellow sky. The most s t r i k i n g feature of this second Frontis-piece i s i t s s t a t i c i t y t i t seems frozen. Both youth and angel look as i f they are i n a trance, eyes star i n g d i r e c t l y in front of them. This freezing of energy is one of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c motifs of Experience. Innocence i s repre-sented by swirling forms and spontaneity of movement; Expe-rience by hard lines and controlled movement. The piper of Innocence seems motivated by the adventurousness of spring; the man of Experience by the determination of f a l l . There is a difference in the d i r e c t i o n of movement tooi i t tends to be upward and around i n Innocence, but horizontal and straight in Experience. Thus the upward movement of the windblown deciduous trees i n the f i r s t Frontispiece o b l i t -erates any background, while in the second one the distant horizontal h i l l s dominate, and the movement of the ever-green branches i s outward or even downward. The line of the trunk i s a more or less straight diagonal leading off the page; i t is neither soft nor curving, nor broken into 41 branches. The only r e l i e v i n g feature appears to be ivy leaves, twisting up the trunk, but they are f a i n t and not connected by a dominant curving l i n e . The cooperation of trees i n the f i r s t plate has been replaced by a p a r a s i t i c , competitive relationship, where one must be k i l l e d i f the other is to survive. As far as the central figures of c h i l d and young man are concerned, the two Frontispieces e x h i b i t s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t relationships. In the Innocence plate, the c h i l d is free and appears to lead and inspire the piper. In the Experience version, the c h i l d has become an angel, complete with wings and halo, but has lost either his freedom or his a b i l i t y to f l y . He is now held down or supported by the youth, whom he has formerly guided. The c h i l d i s an impor-tant motif i n Blake, usually representing the creative imag-ination. In Experience, he is held firmly on top of one's head, providing a l i g h t l i k e that a miner wears on his h e l -met, illuminating only what i s d i r e c t l y i n front of him. Perhaps the amber sky i s one of evening, making the l i g h t more c r u c i a l i n the darkness to come. In Innocence, however, the c h i l d is free to f l y anywhere, and seems to c a l l to the piper to look around him, to look up to the blue sky and the quivering trees, which he seems almost to bid part, opening the heavens to the youth. The gesture upwards i s s i g n i f i -cantly contrasted to the closed c i r c l e of arms i n the Expe-rience plate, the former i n d i c a t i n g expansiveness, the 42 l a t t e r confinement. The f i r s t youth i s a carefree piper; the second has no time for music. He wears a look of appre-hension hut determination, as he clings to his only hope for a successful journey through a darkening world. Among several other differences, one of the most ob-vious occurs i n the colour of the youth's costume. In the Innocence plate, the clothes seem almost to be part of the human bodyi the reddish colour being an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of the very pink f l e s h of both piper and c h i l d . The strange way the heightened colour extends down the piper's right leg tends to confirm t?ie organic quality of this garment. The green garment, on the other hand, has the e f f e c t of ide n t i f y i n g the youth with the natural environment. The colour of humanity i n this plate is both covered--henee concentrated i n the head rather than flowing throughout the entire body—and paled, for even the angel is less pink. Yet the green youth seems less aware of his surroundings than the piper, for assimilation into nature does not imply an imaginative assimilation of nature. The sheep of both plates t e l l us t h i s ; they are part of nature but absolutely unaware of i t , except for the grass they chew. There i s a psychological difference i n the colours, too. Red i s a warm colour and tends to advance; green, i t s complement, i s a cool colour and tends to retreat. Thus the ef f e c t of the f i r s t plate i s one of radiatio n outwardsi the piper emanates throughout the rest of the plate. The e f f e c t 4 3 of the second plate i s just the oppositei the youth seems to suck i n strength from the natural world, e s p e c i a l l y from the golden sky which advances a l l around him, almost upstag-ing him. This psychological e f f e c t f i t s i n well with the seasonal associations we have been building up: i n spring man plants the earth and makes i t f e r t i l e ; i n f a l l he gath-ers the f r u i t to prepare for winter. In spring he gives; in f a l l he takes. The Title-page of Songs of Innocence has a s i m i l a r colour scheme to the Frontispiece of Experience, with greens, blues and golds predominating. We find some stra i g h t , hor-i z o n t a l lines too, which we have already associated with the state of Experience. And we find two children reading a book beside a woman's lap, presumably either t h e i r nurse or t h e i r mother, and a tree, bearing f r u i t and entwined with a vine, behind them. Besides a l l t h i s , we are struck by the manner i n which the word "Songs" springs to l i f e : human, animal and vegetable. The l e t t e r s become exotic green plant forms, harbouring tiny human figures and birds, against a b r i l l i a n t deep blue background. The plate tends to divide i t s e l f into three parts: the top part with the word "Songs" and the blue background; the middle part with the words "of Innocence" and the branches, leaves, and golden f r u i t of the tree, a l l against a gold and orange background, merging into the dark blue by way of mauve; and the lower part with the tree trunk, nurse, and children, and a green and very horizontal 44 background. As for the minor points worth noting, the children are dressed i n blue and green, the nurse i n purple with a white bonnet almost completely hiding her hair. The word "Innocence" i s contained beneath the main branch of the tree, and the c a p i t a l " I " holds a tiny figure of a piper. The word, i n turn, encloses the three figures and the entire trunk of the tree beneath i t , the f i r s t "n" projecting into a claw-like volute to ensure the enclosure, and also to doubly separate the tiny piper and the nurse. F i n a l l y , the blue shading on the tree trunk suggests a human form, ap-parently pinned to the tree by the s p i r a l l i n g vine.3 Contemplating the mixture of innocent and experienced motifs noticed i n this Title-page, I come to the r e a l i z a t i o n that Blake is going one step beyond the Frontispiece i n pre-senting the state of Innocence. Having given a picture of the eternal state of Innocence there, he now hastens to distinguish that state from the eighteenth century stereo-type i obedient children tutored by a very proper nurse. Since this protected state i s necessarily transient, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and E v i l lurks behind, i t s serpent-lik e vine symbolizing the inevitable F a l l . ^ The lower part of the plate contains most of the motifs we have already learned to associate with Experiencei d u l l and cool c o l -ours, straight horizontal l i n e s , a barren and s t a t i c back-ground, and a figure who i s s t i f f and controlled i n posture, 5^ with bound hair and heavy concealing clothes. This i s i n -deed a contrast to the top of the plate with i t s warmer and more vibrant colours, i t s freer and more animated movement, and i t s abundance of tiny l i f e forms. For Blake, Innocence has nothing to do with protected and d u t i f u l children learn-ing the wisdom and morality of t h e i r elders by memory u n t i l they can one day eat of the f r u i t and learn i t by Experi-ence. Innocence i s not r e s t r a i n t and acquired knowledge but freedom of the s p i r i t and inherent v i s i o n . For Blake, then, Innocence i s the state embodied in the top of the plate, a state f i l l e d with Song, where the haloed adult reclines i n the "N," playing with a musical instrument, and the children rejoice i n the "0" and the "G," arms upstretched i n praise and ecstasy, while birds f l y and greenery dances i n spontaneous v i t a l i t y . So now we understand why the overtones of Experience are present: Blake i s warning us against bringing conven-t i o n a l values to his work, against seeing Innocence as a state limited to childhood or inexperience, rather than an eternal state. He is demanding, too, a clear understanding of the dual perspectives of Innocence and Experience. We cannot assume a l l children t y p i f y Innocence; i t i s the t o t a l context which is important. In this Title-page, Blake gives us ample evidence that the scene at the bottom is an unimag-inative stereotype. It i s Innocence seen from the stand-point of Experience, which means i t is r e a l l y only a projection 46 of the state of bondage. The blue shadow figure i n the tree trunk, with i t s outstretched arms echoing the c r u c i f i x , corroborates the above interpretation. For Blake i d e n t i f i e s the Cross with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and E v i l , both symbolizing the Accusation of Sin and therefore the world of Experience. His great v i s i o n of Jesus c r u c i f i e d on a fruit-bearing tree, plate ?6 of Jerusalem, makes e x p l i c i t this i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . The fact that orthodox C h r i s t i a n i t y worships the cross while condemning the tree is only one example of the confused and cloudy thinking t y p i c a l of Experience, and manifested i n a l l moral codes and r e l i g i o n s , including, we must assume, the one the nurse i s teaching the children.^ Turning to the Title-page of Songs of Experience, we find an organization si m i l a r to the one just discussed. Again, the page i s broken up v e r t i c a l l y , with motifs of In-nocence f l o u r i s h i n g i n the top part, around the word "Songs," and motifs of Experience predominating in the bottom scene. But the emphasis of the t o t a l plate i s d i f f e r e n t . Now the lower half of the plate overshadows the upper, claiming for i t s e l f the middle ground with i t s tomb and i t s straight horizontal l i n e s . In the Innocence Title-page, t h i s middle ground, with i t s warm colours and i t s vegetable curves and fo l i a g e , seems kin to the upper part of the plate. The word "Experience," too, i s printed i n hard, separate, r e c t i l i n e a r c a p i t a l s , rather than the flowing lower case s c r i p t of the 47 word "Innocence." The scene below is one of mourning; presumably the same two children, now a l i t t l e older, are weeping at the tomb of th e i r parents. The colours are cool and greyed: blue and green and purple, with the green and blue clothing of the brother and s i s t e r reversed. The upper scene i s an echo of the other Title-page; the word "Songs," printed i n s i m i l a r l e t t e r s but with much less abundant fl o u r i s h e s , gives rise to vegetable growth of a less luxuriant nature. The vibrant green i s gone now, and the golden colour, the vines, and the sparse leaves suggest autumn rather than spring or summer. But the f e e l i n g evoked at the top i s s t i l l a positive one, perhaps largely because the small figures are s t i l l present. There are two figures this time, and they are considerably larger than before, one dressed i n a long flowing gown of golden-green, the other naked and pink. Both are engaged i n what could be described as a dance i n the a i r , and both point to the word "Songs." The background becomes pinker behind the naked figure on the r i g h t , which by standard iconography i s east, thereby sug-gesting dawn. There i s something inherently innocent about Song, for i t i s one of man's e a r l i e s t art forms. A l l true art includes i n s p i r a t i o n and imagination, but Song i s one of the most spontaneous and universal forms of human expression, without the sophisticated connotations of more learned and 48 specialized a r t s . (McLuhan's contrast between the immediacy of the spoken word and the impersonality of the printed word, mentioned in a footnote to Chapter One, i s v a l i d i n this context. ) The word "Songs" represents the contrary force of Innocence i n Experience, the remnant which w i l l be redeemed i n everyman, and thus the dawn or the beginning of a l i f e beyond Experience. Hence i t i s printed in golden l e t t e r s against a golden background, proceeding out of the blue of the l e f t toward the pink of the ri g h t . If we r e t a i n our prophetic or poetic character, Blake says, we never com-pl e t e l y lose the v i s i o n of Innocence. This does not mean that the Songs of Experience are seen from without and thus are not v a l i d . Rather i t means that the state of Experience involves the fragmenting and obscuring, but not the complete loss of v i s i o n , and that the human imagination i s tryin g , by way of a r t , to c l a r i f y and reintegrate that v i s i o n . As far as the scene on the bottom i s concerned, there i s an element of sentimentality about i t which links i t to the children-nurse scene discussed before. Again, i t i s a stereotype. If Innocence i s a state of protection and guid-ance, then Experience i s a state of abandonment and l o n e l i -ness. So we smile smugly at one scene and weep p i t i f u l l y at the other. But the trouble with both stereotypes i s that they are external! one depicts Innocence as a state imposed upon children by t h e i r parents, the other depicts Experience as a state imposed upon adolescents by the loss of parents. 49 It i s probably true that external conditions help determine states of mind, but Blake i s not interested i n man as a passive receiver of conditions. He i s interested i n man as a creator of conditions, and before man can change condi-tions, he must change his state of mind. Man must become the active force. This is the c r u c i a l message of Songs of Experience i man must cease to be a helpless victim and be-come an active force of energy. He must change his role from a lamb to a tyger. But i n the scene depicted, the children are bowed down and sheepish, in the most negative sense of that word. Not even crying for t h e i r parents but rather just looking at them, helplessly, they have ceased to sing and begun to f e e l s e l f - p i t y . We have seen that the state depicted determines to a large extent the t o t a l e f f e c t of the design. Aside from the actual subject matter, which may be vastly d i f f e r e n t - -as the nurse scene and the tomb scene of the T i t l e - p a g e s — there are a whole series of more subtle d i s t i n c t i o n s . In Songs of Innocence the l e t t e r i n g tends to be freer; the c o l -ours warmer, purer and more intense; the dominant movement upwards rather than down or across; the lines undulating rather than straight; the t o t a l composition i n t r i c a t e l y de-t a i l e d rather than severely s i m p l i f i e d ; and the overal l e f f e c t one of l i v e l y movement rather than s t i l l n e s s . By placing the v i r t u a l l y textless Frontispieces and Title-pages at the beginning of the Songs, Blake chooses to introduce us 50 v i s u a l l y to the two states. The d i s t i n c t i o n s he draws i n the two pairs of designs give us our f i r s t understanding of the contrary states, and introduce us to many of the most important motifs of the Songs to follow. Before turning to p a r t i c u l a r Songs, I would l i k e to focus on several motifs of importance. This w i l l help pro-vide the larger perspective i n which to place the i n d i v i d u a l Songs as we discuss them. In Innocence, the c r u c i a l motifs are the tree, the vine, the guardian figure, the c h i l d , the lamb, and the flame-plant. In Experience, some of these mo-t i f s p e r s i s t i n perverted or fettered form, li k e the tree, the c h i l d and the guardian figure. Others undergo some kind of metamorphosis, like the vine which may become a serpent. The lamb and sheep, rather than undergoing modification, give r i s e instead to the contrary motifs of the tyger and the l i o n . Like the lamb, the flame-plant does not belong to Experience, where p i t y and wrath, imagination and energy are divided. So the flame element i s abstracted into isolated f i r e s giving - warmth, or is associated with the lions and ty-gers of wrath. The vegetable exuberance t y p i c a l of Inno-cence becomes, in Experience, the dead vegetation of "Holy Thursday" or the cold and barren snowscape of "The Chimney Sweeper. " The f i r s t and perhaps the most d i f f i c u l t motif to handle is the tree. The d i f f i c u l t y l i e s in the great var-i a b i l i t y of the tree, and hence the f l e x i b i l i t y of the motif. 51 B a s i c a l l y , the tree has several important c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which secure i t as a motif of Innocence. One i s i t s strong v e r t i c a l thrust: the tree i s an u p l i f t i n g force. In Songs of Innocence we find this e f f e c t in the trees of the Fron-t i s p i e c e , "The Shepherd," "The Lamb," and "Night," plate one. The manner in which a pair of these v e r t i c a l trees sometimes forms a high archway, as i n the Frontispiece, "The Lamb," and perhaps even "The L i t t l e Boy Found," adds to their s p i r i t u a l connotations. Second, the tree i n Innocence i s protective. "The L i t t l e Black Boy," plate one i n p a r t i c -ular; "Spring," plate one; and "Nurse's Song" i l l u s t r a t e i t s sheltering q u a l i t i e s . The text of "The L i t t l e Black Boy" also affirms the security associated with the tree: "My mother taught me underneath a tree." As a symbol of protec-ti o n , the tree is a v a r i a t i o n of the womb-motif, and i s thereby related to the cave motif found in "Night," plate one, and the womb-flower of "Infant Joy." Flower, cave, and tree a l l provide a sheltered world which storms and intense heat cannot i n f i l t r a t e . However, just because t h i s world i s protective, i t represents a limited kind of Innocence, not the ultimate Innocence Blake later c a l l s Eden. For the cave and the womb are also confining, places one must emerge out of, and the protective tree can also become a s t i f l i n g tree. This does i n fact happen in "The Ecchoing Oreen," where the heaviness and flatness of the tree squash any v e r t i c a l move-ment, thus e f f e c t i v e l y denying our f i r s t p r i n c i p l e of upward 52 thrust. Third, the tree, e s p e c i a l l y i f deciduous and f u l l of leaves, can he a center of animation. The v i t a l i t y of the tree can be seen i n the designs of the Frontispiece, "The Lamb," "Night," and "On Another's Sorrow." Often found i n this kind of tree, which is a variant of the Tree of L i f e , are t i n y animated figures. They may be any combination of b i r d , animal, human, or angel, as witnessed in "Night," plate one, and "On Another's Sorrow." The t o t a l e f f e c t of quivering movement, of an almost overwhelming number of de-t a i l s , and of a natural community where l i v i n g forms of a l l kinds dwell in harmony, makes i t easy to see why the l u x u r i -antly adorned tree i s such a fine motif for Innocence. In Songs of Experience, the animated tree becomes the barren and unmoving tree of winter, for which the examples are too numerous to l i s t . This tree i s a parody of the Tree of Life i from i t s roots emerge the "Tyger" of Experience, the entangled Urizen of "The Human Abstract," the jealous and denying maiden of "My Pretty Rose Tree," and the dead body of the victim of "A Poison Tree." This tree breeds suspicion, doubt, hatred and deceit: i t traps, denies, and even k i l l s . As the text of "The Human Abstract" indicates, i t is one form of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and E v i l , a tree of morality and mystery, symbolizing the worship of na-ture and the tyranny of the Selfhood.^ This kind of tree i s present in Songs of Innocence only once, i n "The L i t t l e Eoy 5 3 Lost" and "The L i t t l e Boy Found" pair, perhaps an ind i c a t i o n that the child's condition there r e f l e c t s a mental attitude closer to Experience than to Innocence. The protective tree is also parodied in Experience, where i t becomes overprotective or s t i f l i n g . "The Angel" plate i s a good example, where protection for the maiden under the tree in the design becomes in the text "protec-t i o n " from the f u l f i l l m e n t of sexual love. This results i n loneliness, f r u s t r a t i o n , and old age. This poem i s a more e x p l i c i t rendering of the theme of the refusal to advance beyond a sheltered state, which we w i l l discuss i n d e t a i l in "The Ecchoing Green." The designs of that poem also include an overprotective tree, which is an important clue to i t s "uninnocent" meaning. The tree i n the design of "A Poison o Tree" is an even more severely i r o n i c parody of the shelter-ing tree, for i t s dead branches, those very branches which have i n fact k i l l e d the youth, reach over his dead body l i k e a perverse roof. Here the protective branches of Innocence have been perverted to the enclosing bars of a prison. This s t i f l i n g tree i s also a parody of the upright tree, for i t almost always replaces the ordinary v e r t i c a l emphasis with a f l a t or horizontal one. Blake i s not unique in using upward movement to indicate s p i r i t u a l i t y or the af-firmation of l i f e , and h o r i z o n t a l i t y to indicate death and the m a t e r i a l i s t i c world. J. E. C i r l o t claims the cross "stands for the conjunction of opposites, wedding the 5h s p i r i t u a l (or v e r t i c a l ) p r i n c i p l e with the principle of the world of phenonema." He l a t e r restates this wedding of ver-t i c a l and horizontal as "the positive (or the v e r t i c a l ) with the negative (or horizontal), the superior with the i n f e r i o r , l i f e with death. "? We have already seen Flake's use of the horizontal line i n connection with Experience and death i n the Title-page of Experience, and his use of the upward thrust to indicate Innocence and l i f e in the Frontispiece of Innocence.^ Even the true protective tree in Innocence tends towards the horizontal, which makes i t a t r i c k y motif. But in Innocence the protective tree follows a curving or arching motion, while i n Experience i t stretches across the plate l i n e a r l y , as in "A Poison Tree" and the bottom half of the second plate of "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and "Found" series. Connected with the tree motif is the motif of the vine. The t h i r d kind of innocent tree--the lush and ani-mated one--is often entwined with a vine. The pair of trees i n "The Lamb" are both adorned with vines which s p i r a l loosely around the trunk and spin off at various places, as i f in a carefree dance. The tree and the vine together make a kind of marriage motif, which goes back to the Ren-aissance emblem of the elm and the grapevine, symbolizing "the mutual dependence and eternal faithfulness in a l l lov-ing relationships between men and between man and God."9 Though this marriage motif is nearly always positive in 55 Songs of Innocence, i t can become a threatening thing. We have seen i n the Title-page of Innocence that the vine which encircles the f r u i t tree has connotations of the wily ser-pent, and seems to threaten rather than embellish the tree. When the vine encircles the tree regularly, f a i r l y t i g h t l y , and only two or three times, rather than up the whole length of the tree, i t is more l i k e l y to suggest the serpent. A comparison of the a c t i v i t y of the vine i n any of the Songs of Innocence other than the Title-page with the serpent i n any of Blake's i l l u s t r a t i o n s to Paradise Lost-*-0 w i l l serve to distinguish the l i g h t carefree s p i r a l s and meanderings of the Innocence vine from the heavy and more regular c o i l s associated with the serpent. Aside from the vine-tree marriage motif, the vine can "marry" or embellish other plant forms, as i t does the flame-plant of "The Divine Image," as v/e 11 as other vines. This l a t t e r "marriage" occurs i n the "Introduction," where entwining vines create borders on either side of the text, which in themselves are frames for a series of tiny p i c -tures. The v e r t i c a l borders give s t a b i l i t y , balance, and a s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t y to the plate. The vine-cntwining-vine can also form a single border, which usually runs up the right side, as in the second plate of "The Ecchoing Green." Ba s i c a l l y , the vine s i g n i f i e s the in t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p of a l l things in Innocence, for i t cannot grow without the support of another vine or tree. Thus the vine is almost 56 always part of a marriage motif. "The Lamb" design i s an excellent one to i l l u s t r a t e the marriage motif i n many mani-festations, for i t includes a pair of doves, two borders of vine-entwined trees, which themselves entwine at the top of the plate, and a lamb and c h i l d engaged i n mutual a f f e c t i o n . The meaning of the motif, love-become-identity, i s the topic of the poem as well, for the God who loves the lamb He creates, ultimately becomes the Lamb, and the c h i l d who loves the lamb is ultimately also God. In several of the Songs, the vines are s p e c i f i c a l l y grapevines, sometimes holding i n v i t i n g clusters of f r u i t . Now grapes are a t r i c k y symbol in Blake's work. They are associated with war as early as The French Revolution, through the Duke of Burgundy, "the ancientest Peer," whose crimson garments give o f f "an odor of war, li k e a ripe vine-yard" (K 138)' This meaning becomes increasingly dominant in the major prophecies, where the Great Vintage precedes the f i n a l Apocalypse. But in spite of this negative con-text, grapes, e s p e c i a l l y when hanging on the vine, occur throughout the Songs in contexts of Innocence. The most ob-vious example, "The Ecchoing Green," w i l l be discussed more f u l l y l a t e r . "The School Boy," which is part of Songs of Experience i n Copy Z but was o r i g i n a l l y in Songs of Inno-cence , shows boys climbing grapevines up the r i g h t side of the plate, an innocent alternative to the repressive e x i s t -ence which school forces on them, as described i n the text. 57 "NURSES Song" 1 1 of Experience shows a smothered c h i l d sur-rounded by untouched grapes, the f r u i t representing an i n -nocent alternative to the controlled existence which i s one form of Experience. F i n a l l y , the grapevine is sp e c i f i e d i n some of the plates with the vine-entwined tree motif. In "On Another's Sorrow" of Songs of Innocence and "A L i t t l e G i r l Lost" of Songs of Experience, the tree and grapevine motif represent the open love of Innocence, as a state r e a l -ized or a state envisioned, respectively. Just in case we need more convincing, Blake includes grapevine-encircled trees i n the Garden of Eden before the F a l l , as evidenced in his i l l u s t r a t i o n s to both Paradlse Lost and the Bible. c-F i n a l l y , the divine body of Jesus (the Human Imagination) is "the True Vine of E t e r n i t y " ( V U i 69-70, K 6o6a). As we might expect, in Songs of Experience vines be-come a less frequent motif. Their main use i s to present the perspective of Innocence as a past or future thing. This happens i n "A L i t t l e G i r l Lost," where the design sup-ports the textual reference to "children of the future Age" and to "the Age of Gold"; i n "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and N "Found" set, where the regeneration of the world is foretold in the f i r s t two stanzas, and presented i n the twining trees and vines of the f i r s t and l a s t designs; and i n "NURSES Song," where the grapevines present an alternative to re-pression which the boy refuses to taste. As well as such vines, which r e t a i n t h e i r innocent 58 meaning, we find i n Experience vines which suggest worms or serpents, vines which refuse the cooperative e f f o r t of the vine-tree or vine-vine marriage and thus s p i r a l off i n a perversely isolated manner, and f i n a l l y , actual serpents and worms, which take the place of vines. The serpent oc-curs at the bottom of "Earth's Answer" and i n plate one of "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost," while the worm occurs at the bottom of "The Clod and the Pebble" and in "The Sick Rose." In a l l four cases, worms and serpents indicate the world of f a l l e n Nature, the state of Expe rience. In "Earth's An-swer" the serpent echoes the position of the woman i n "In-troduction," f o r earth has become a serpent. ^ In "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" the serpent almost loses i t s i d e n t i t y i n the vine i t c o i l s around, parodying the vine-vine motif of the "Introduction" of Songs of Innocence, and re i n f o r c i n g the close relationship between vines and serpents. The worm i s a more s p e c i f i c a l l y sexual symbol, a l i g n -ing i t s e l f in the design of "The Clod and the Pebble" with the side of the experienced Pebble, who sees love as a s e l f -ish and imprisoning thing. In "The Sick Rose" the worm again s i g n i f i e s sexual hypocrisy, with overtones of p r i e s t -liness because of the dark secrecy with which the worm works. Again, he is a destroyer of joy and l i f e , creating in i t s stead a h e l l of disease and death, which i n one con-text i s the h e l l of the mating game. The c i r c u l a r motion of the whole design reinforces the f a l l e n perspective--the rose 5 9 is trapped in the d u l l round of nature, and cannot l i f t i t s bowed head to break the endless c i r c l e . We must be careful about interpreting isolated vines in a negative manner, for they do occur occasionally i n the positive context of Innocence, as i n "The L i t t l e Black Boy." Moreover, the s o l i t a r y vine seems i n i t i a l l y to imply energy, es p e c i a l l y when i t i s t i g h t l y coiled like a spring, as i n a l l three songs of the "My Pretty Rose Tree" plate. But c o i l s have early been associated by Blake with the serpent, and with repressed rather than expressed energy.^ It i s probably i n this l a t t e r sense of repression that coiled vines appear i n "My Pretty Rose Tree," "Ah! Sun-Flower," and "The Angel," three poems which t e l l of denied love and subsequent regret and longing. In "The Angel" the vine seems very li k e a serpent, both i n the main design above the maiden's head, and at the bottom of the page, where i t echoes the serpent of "Earth's Answer." A s i m i l a r serpent-suggesting vine occurs i n "The Garden of Love" to the right of stanzas one and two, which i n Copy Z of the Census i s coloured red for emphasis. It is both independent of sup-port and very serpentine i n shape, and again accompanies a poem about repression. So vines i n Experience, when they are not a reminder of Innocence, tend to be isolated and t i g h t l y c o i l e d , more like the serpent of Nature than the loving vine which adorns other vines, trees and plants i n Innocence. 60 The next c l u s t e r of motifs to concern us involves the contrary animals: f i r s t the sheep and lambs of Innocence and then the lions and tygers of Experience. It i s impor-tant to realiz e that Blake distinguishes the lamb, as a motif, from the flock of sheep. The lamb symbolizes gentle-ness, love, and ultimately both the s e l f - s a c r i f i c e and d i v i n i t y of Jesus. In his connection with Jesus, he i s connected also with the divine imagination of man, that power which integrates a l l things. Thus the lamb motif functions much as the c h i l d motif. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the lamb and the c h i l d , with each other and with the divine imagination, i s well i l l u s t r a t e d , both i n text and design, in "The Lamb" and "Spring." The flock of sheep, however, functions not as a sym-bol of the imagination, but as a body of e s s e n t i a l l y mind-less, harmless, and vulnerable animals. They represent the dependence of the immature and powerless on the protection of the mature and powerful. It is because the designs have received inadequate attention i n the past that this d i s t i n c -tion between sheep and lambs has not been recognized. For the flock of sheep is usually represented v i s u a l l y by ani-mals with heads lowered, animals unaware of t h e i r surround-ings--as in the Frontispiece. They are part of the pastoral t r a d i t i o n , part of the guardian-shepherd motif, but they are the receiving part. They seldom respond to t h e i r protector, to make the relationship a mutual one, as the lamb does to 61 the c h i l d i n "The Lamb." Bowed down to the earth, unmoving and almost rock-like in most of the designs, and seldom de-fined i n d i v i d u a l l y , they seem not to partake of the i d e n t i -fying imagination which belongs to the lamb. Symbolically, they represent the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of Innocence when i t i s conceived as a state of inexperience, which is how Experi-ence conceives i t . Hence Blake's Epigram i n the Note-Book of 1793« An answer to the parson "Why of the sheep do you not learn peace?" "Because I don't want you to shear mv fl e e c e . " " (K 181) The contraries to lamb and sheep are l i o n and tyger. Both lamb and sheep are gentle, but only the lamb i s r e a l l y aware. S i m i l a r l y , both l i o n and tyger are f i e r c e , but only the l i o n can be forgiving. To take the two extremes, the tyger at his most destructive parodies the lamb's imagina-tive f a i t h . He symbolizes instead the doubts, the fears, and the hatred of the fragmented state of Experience — fo r he i s at once unknown and t e r r i b l e . It is i n this primary sense of unseen predator that he appears i n the poem "Night," threatening the state of Innocence. He also has this mean-ing in "The Tyger," at least from the speaker's point of view. But i n this l a t t e r work the tyger also has more pos-i t i v e q u a l i t i e s , suggested in the text by his f i e r i n e s s and reaffirmed i n the design by his meekness.. For the tyger 62 here is a force of energy, capable not so much of destroying the world of Innocence as of re-creating the world of Experi-ence. As a force of energy, he presents a desirable contra-ry to the sheep as helpless victim, for whereas the sheep can only submit and wait, the tyger can act. His positive side i s recognized when we understand that destruction of the Satanic world is needed before re-creation can begin, and that the tyger's wrath is aimed at this spectral world, and not at the world of Innocence. In spite of his positive potential, the tyger's en-ergies remain predominantly destructive. Like the sheep, trapped i n the world of Innocence and incapable of growing beyond i t , the tyger is trapped i n the Experience he seeks to destroy. The l i o n , on the other hand, is found i n higher Innocence or Eden. He represents the enduring q u a l i t i e s of Experience which remain a f t e r the tyger's destruction. In the Songs, therefore, the l i o n s i g n i f i e s the end of h o s t i l -i t y between the lamb and tyger, the marriage of imagination and energy in a new state beyond Experience. Thus i n "Night" the l i o n exclaims: "And now beside thee, bleating lamb, / I can l i e down and sleep." And in the l a s t plate of "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and "Found" set, lions l i e beside naked children, the naked c h i l d being a clos e l y related sym-bol of Innocence and Imagination. The lion's flaming mane connects i t t r a d i t i o n a l l y with the sun, and Blake emphasizes this Edenic association 6 3 by adding flaming eyes as well. The l i o n , then, retains the most positive aspects of the tyger--his f i e r i n e s s and his energy, without his destructiveness. The sheep, on the other hand, retains only the less positive aspects of the lamb--his passiveness, gentleness and v u l n e r a b i l i t y , with-out his imagination. The l i o n and the lamb thus symbolize the most positive aspects of Experience and Innocence, which is why Blake puts them together i n the eternal state which includes the best of both the contraries. For i n that f i e r y state which i s beyond both Innocence and Experience, energy no longer implies tyranny and imagination no longer implies martyrdom, but energy and imagination coexist together i n a state of continual creation. Turning now to the guardian figure, we find several manifestations of the motif i n Songs of Innocence. B a s i c a l -l y , there are two kinds of guardian rela t i o n s h i p s ! shepherd to sheep and parent (or nurse) to c h i l d . There i s also the guardian angel, who protects a l l things natural and human. He is ca l l e d upon when other guardians are needed but miss-i n g — a s i n "The Chimney Sweeper" and "Night." The angel i s related to the true guardian parent, who is often divine, as indicated by wings in "The Blossom" or a halo i n "The L i t t l e Boy Lost," plate two; or the context of the poem, as "The Divine Image." Then, as we w i l l see, there are perversions of the true guardian figure, like the nurse of the T i t l e -page and the beadles of "Holy Thursday." 64 The motif of the guardian shepherd w i l l be elaborated upon when I discuss the poem of that name. For now, i t i s enough to say that the shepherd and h i s f l o c k of sheep be-long to the p a s t o r a l t r a d i t i o n , which i s l i n k e d i n the Songs to the lower stat e of Innocence. The sheep-shepherd r e l a -t i o n s h i p i s the most one-sided of the guardian r e l a t i o n -s h i p s , which f u r t h e r connects i t w i t h the lowest l e v e l of Innocence. I t i s r e a l l y only the shepherd who i s f u l l y i n -nocent, f o r only he has the awareness of v i s i o n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h that s t a t e . P r o t e c t i o n i s innocent as long as i t provides f r e e -dom from f e a r and harm and freedom to a c t , which i s e x a c t l y what i t does i n the shepherd-sheep r e l a t i o n s h i p . But pro-t e c t i o n i s always i n danger of becoming o v e r p r o t e c t i o n - - o f r e s t r i c t i n g freedom and thereby of denying Innocence. This danger i s p a r t i c u l a r l y strong when the guardian f i g u r e takes the form of a parent or nurse r a t h e r than a shepherd. For sheep obviously need p r o t e c t i o n , but a c h i l d ' s need i s much more complex. So the par e n t a l guardian f i g u r e i n Songs of Innocence hovers on the b r i n k of Experience. In some cases, such as the nurse of the Title-page which we have seen, the fi g u r e a c t u a l l y becomes a s t i f l i n g one. Other examples are the old f o l k s of "The Ecchoing Green" and the mother or nurse of "A Cradle Song," plate two. Even when guardian f i g u r e s are not obviously i n t e r f e r i n g , as i n the mother of "Spring," plate two, and the Nurse of "Nurse's Song," t h e i r 65 heavy dress and bound hair separate them from the true guardian figures. The l a t t e r include: the mother i n plate one and Jesus i n plate two of "The L i t t l e Black Boy"; the maternal blossom-angel in "The Blossom"; the androgynous haloed guardian of "The L i t t l e Boy Found"; the figures at top and bottom of "The Divine Image" and at the bottom of "Night," plate two; the Christ figure at the bottom of "The Chimney Sweeper"; and the mother and winged figure of "In-fant Joy." Such figures have divine connotations, often rendered i n the form of a halo, and usually wear long th i n flowing gowns or garments which reveal the body beneath, with t h e i r h a i r unbound and f r e e l y flowing. They symbolize the mutual concern of the state of Innocence--a state where everyone cares for everyone else, as expressed i n "Cn An-other's Sorrow": "Can I see another's g r i e f , / And not seek for kind r e l i e f ? " In Songs of Experience, the guardian figure becomes outrightly repressive. The ambiguous parental guardians of Innocence need only a s l i g h t s h i f t i n emphasis to become the domineering nurses and parents of "NURSES Song," "Infant Sorrow," "The Fly" (design only), and "The Chimney Sweeper" and "A L i t t l e G i r l Lost" (poems only). The most severe guardians-become-tyrants, however, are the p r i e s t s . In Innocence, the v i s i o n of God i s that of a helper or guide, who often takes maternal form, as in "The L i t t l e Boy Found" and "The Divine Image." In Experience, this 66 divine guardian becomes perverted to the pr i e s t of orthodox r e l i g i o n . In the design of "The Garden of Love," such a pr i e s t , dressed i n black and wearing a skullcap, which i s surely the opposite extreme from f r e e l y flowing hair, i n -structs two children to worship the grave. In the text, i t is the pr i e s t who is "binding with b r i a r s " the joys of Inno-cence. And in "A L i t t l e Boy Lost," i t i s the pr i e s t who burns the s i n f u l boy who has dared to question the church's "most holy Mystery." In Experience, then, the s p i r i t u a l guardian has been perverted from an imaginative helper to a material agent of confinement and denial. He perpetuates the establishment of the church, which, as "The L i t t l e Vaga-bond" points out, is t o t a l l y without warmth of any kind, inhabited instead by "modest dame Lurch" and her perverse punishments. F i n a l l y , i n the design of "The Human Abstract," the Urizenic figure entangled by the nets of r e l i g i o n is a modification of the p r i e s t motif, a hypocrite blinded by the shade of Mystery, preaching to others the "holy fears" which have nurtured him. On the other hand, there are two kinds of guardian figures i n Experience who are net repressive. Least hopeful are the helpless ones, r e a l l y innocent guardians who find themselves i n the state of Experience, where they are no longer e f f e c t i v e . Examples are the parents of the burned boy in "A L i t t l e Boy Lost," and the mother i n the design of "Holy Thursday," who stands despai.ring over her dead baby. 67 Totally hopeful, however, is the emergence . of a Pard or Los figure, who appears v i s u a l l y in "The Voice of the Ancient Bard," and textually i n the "Introduction." He d i f f e r s from a true guardian figure in that he represents a poten-t i a l equal, the embodiment of what we a l l could be. He does not guard us, but rather hopes to open our eyes. He i s thus the contrary of the p r i e s t , who works to keep us unseeing and unthinking. The Pard wants us to return to the state of v i s i o n , to the "opening morn" which awaits us a f t e r the night of our Experience. As far as the c h i l d is concerned, even i n Innocence he i s somewhat vulnerable, as a poem l i k e "The Chimney Sweeper" points out. But he i s not as helpless or as pas-sive as the sheep. He may need guidance, but the guidance should be giving him the strength to be independent. For unlike the lamb, who can only grow into a passive sheep, the c h i l d has the capacity to grow in any d i r e c t i o n . He can become a passive victim or a cruel tyrant, a sheep or a tyger, or he can combine the lamb and the l i o n to recog-nize his true d i v i n i t y , and so lead an imaginatively f u l l l i f e . Because of his greater potential as w e l l as his i n -nate sense cf iden t i t y , the c h i l d , even more than the lamb, symbolizes the creative imagination. It is i n this sense he is most important in Songs of Innocence. The c h i l d i s that part of each of us which retains the innocent perspective 68 i n time of trouble, which works towards opening our centers to include as "inside" the world commonly considered as "outside." This c h i l d i s usually young and naked, as i n the Frontispiece, "The Lamb," "The L i t t l e Black Boy," "The Blos-som," "The Chimney Sweeper," and "Spring." When children are clothed (as in the Title-page; "The Ecchoing Green"; "The L i t t l e Boy Lost" and "Found" pair; "A Cradle Song," plate two; "Holy Thursday"; and "Nurse's Song"), we can ex-pect them to be used i n a somewhat di f f e r e n t sense--to i l -lustrate an external s i t u a t i o n rather than an internal one, and perhaps, as we have seen, an external conception of Innocence. "Holy Thursday" and "The Chimney Sweeper" w i l l i l l u s t r a t e this point. The former design presents the ex-ternal r e a l i t y of the orphan's bondage, which i s the state of Experience, and thus presents the children clothed, i n pairs, and in two straight horizontal l i n e s . The l a t t e r de-sign presents the internal r e a l i t y of Innocence, the release from bondage which takes place in the human imagination, and hence presents the children naked and dancing. Except for "The Blossom," where the speaker is nevertheless innocent, a l l the works cited with naked children in the designs have children as speakers of the poems. Clothed children, how-ever, accompany poems spoken by someone e l s e — b e i t nurse, mother, or onlooker. The only exception i s "The Ecchoing Green," which I w i l l discuss in d e t a i l , indicating why the speakers there are not r e a l l y innocent. Clothing on 69 children, then, indicates the perspective of an outsider, a victim of the subject-object s p l i t who sees children as "them" rather than "us," even i f they do possess "a radiance a l l t h e i r own." The c h i l d in Experience i s usually a victim. He may be obviously misused, as in "Holy Thursday," "The Chimney Sweeper," and "A L i t t l e Boy Lost"; or simply s t i f l e d , as in "NURSES Song," "A L i t t l e G i r l Lost," and "The F l y " (de-sign only), to name just a few. Except for "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and "Found," which were o r i g i n a l l y in Songs of Inno-cence , nakedness in Experience seems to indicate helpless-ness, as i n the dead infants of "Holy Thursday" and the struggling but trapped baby i n "Infant Sorrow." In "The L i t t l e Vagabond" the naked youth is both the Vagabond and "the D e v i l , " which i s how the orthodox view him. His naked-ness i s i m p l i c i t l y associated with poverty and exclusion from society. At the end of the poem, however, God has a change of heart, and accepts the youth. The poem can thus be read as a further treatment of the theme of The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l , the reunion of outcast and establishment. For God is o r i g i n a l l y the Urizenic God of the cold and re-pressive Angels or p r i e s t s , but becomes by the end of the poem, or at least is foreseen as becoming, the forgiving God of the Gospels. At the point he accepts the Vagabond, he is Christ or Los, and no longer the f a l l e n Urizen or Jehovah. This explains why the God of the design is ambiguous* he i s 70 Urizen when Urizen regains his unfallen v i s i o n and his un-f a l l e n form. However, the hard r e a l i t y of a cold and f r i e n d -less world i s shown at the bottom, indicating that t h i s hoped-for reunion i s not i n fact a r e a l i t y , and that the physical warmth of an open f i r e must, for the time being, substitute i t s e l f for the emotional warmth the church lacks. There is one very interesting i l l u s t r a t i o n i n Songs of Experience which portrays the c h i l d in a completely d i f -ferent context. This is the design of "London." In the main design, a c h i l d i n green leads an old man on crutches. Below, the same c h i l d warms his hands by an open bonfire, indicating he too i s a poor and shivering vagabond. But when the c h i l d leads the old man, the c h i l d becomes a guide, a v i s i o n a r y — h e becomes the old man's eyes. Thus he f u l -f i l l s a role s i m i l a r to that of the Bard, the early Los, who bids us to awaken, to open our eyes. Like Isaiah, who prophecies that a l i t t l e c h i l d s h a l l lead us to Paradise, Blake understands that only the imagination can lead us out of Experience. For the c h i l d here retains the imaginative v i s i o n of Innocence, i n spite of outward oppression and suf-fering. The point i s important to the poem, which empha-sizes the internal r e a l i t y of Experience, the "mind-forg'd manacles." For Blake at a l l costs must prevent us from "pity i n g " the victims of Experience, from ext e r n a l i z i n g them as Urizen does. The independent and guiding c h i l d t e l l s us that the imagination can survive hardships, and 71 that we must trust the v i s i o n i t retains to lead us out of the tortured and imprisoned world of the Selfhood. The l a s t motif I w i l l discuss before turning to some s p e c i f i c Songs i s the flame-plant. Flames have two main q u a l i t i e s — h e a t and l i g h t , representing respectively desire or energy and v i s i o n or imagination. For Blake, both energy and imagination are divine. In his early works he takes pains to make this clear, e s p e c i a l l y with regard to the much feared and denigrated energy. Thus in The Marriage of Heav-en and He 11 the f i r e s of h e l l , "which to Angels look li k e torment and insanity" (pi. 6, K 150), are r e a l l y the de-l i g h t f u l abode of Genius. Rut the setting of Songs of Innocence is not the f i r e s of t r a d i t i o n a l h e l l , but something much closer to the pleasant valleys of the t r a d i t i o n a l heaven. Green pastures, cool streams, trees, vines, and flowers predominate. This is the setting Elake l a t e r associates with Reulah, the lower paradise, a protected state of love and rest. But the Songs of Innocence are not limited to this state exclusively: they include manifestations of the higher paradise, Blake's Eden, the f i e r y c i t y where the child's imaginative pot e n t i a l has been f u l l y realized i n the creative imagination of the a r t i s t and prophet. Though some motifs discussed so f a r have implications of the higher Innocence, such as the grapevine or the animated tree f u l l of a community of tiny figures, they are not such a clear indication of the higher 72 paradise as i s the motif of the flame. For as Northrop Frye says of Eden: "Paradise i t s e l f is a place of flaming f i r e . " 1 6 The flame, when used as a motif of higher paradise i n Songs of Innocence, i s united with a plant form. In this way i t remains consistent with the predominantly pastoral setting of the Songs. The two most outstanding examples are "The Blossom" and "The Divine Image," where both plates are dominated by a massive flaming plant form. The flower of "Infant Joy" has a f f i n i t i e s with the flame-plant, because of the red colour and the flame-like movement of the petals. It remains d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t , however, because only the i n -dividual parts of the blossom and bud, and perhaps the green leaves, have flame-like q u a l i t i e s , while the t o t a l form i s not a body of f i r e but a flower on a stem with leaves. A l -so, the womb nature of the flower pulls the t o t a l meaning of the design towards a very protected kind of Innocence, which is not the kind of Innocence the true flame-plant suggests. The flame-like vegetation around the word "Songs" i n the Title-page, already commented on, i s another example of the motif of burning vegetation, even though i n this copy i t i s 17 coloured lime-green rather than yellow, orange, or red. ' The "higher" Innocence implied in the flame-like embellish-ments contrasts n i c e l y with the overprotected "Innocence" of the nurse-children scene below. There are a few motifs related to the flame-plant by 73 way of s i m i l a r i t y or contrast. The opposite to f i r e i s of course water, and a common motif i n Copy Z of the Songs i s a horizontal s t r i p of water at the bottom of the plate. This motif of the stream, i t seems to me, reinforces the pastoral and perhaps even the transient q u a l i t i e s of Inno-cence. The plates with the flame-plant motif do not have any water, except for the Title-page, where i t i s connected with the quite separate scene at the bottom of the plate, and not with the flame-plant at the top. The "Introduction"; "The Ecchoing Green," plate two; "The Lamb"; "The L i t t l e Black Boy," plate two; "Night," both plates; and "Spring," plate two a l l have water near the bottom of the design, while the "Introduction," "The Lamb," "The Chimney Sweeper," "Laughing Song," and "A Cradle Song" a l l mention streams or water of some kind i n the text. Thus the flame-plant motif pulls the connotations of Innocence towards Eden, while the water motif pulls them towards Beulah. F i n a l l y , associated with the flame-plant motif are two motifs of f i e r y orbs, the sun and the lion's golden eyes. The l a t t e r we find in "Night," where a state beyond pro-tected Innocence i s described! "And there the lion's ruddy eyes / Shall flow with tears of gold." In "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and "Found" set, transferred from Songs of Innocence to Songs of Experience, there is a si m i l a r description of a l i o n l i c k i n g Lyca's neck, while "From his eyes of flame / Ruby tears there came." In some copies the i l l u s t r a t i o n on 74 the t h i r d plate of this set shows the l i o n on the right with 1 o eyes painted bright orange or r e a l gold. Of course the l i o n i t s e l f , because of i t s flaming mane and golden colour, is associated symbolically and a s t r o l o g i c a l l y with the sun. The motif of the sun i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n "The L i t t l e Black Boy," where i t i s both i l l u s t r a t e d and described. Moreover, i t i s connected s p e c i f i c a l l y with God. "'Look on the r i s i n g sun: there God does l i v e , / And gives his l i g h t , and gives his heat away.'" The e x p l i c i t i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of God with the two main q u a l i t i e s of f i r e - - l i g h t and heat--confirms the d i v i n i t y of f i r e i n Songs of Innocence, and supports our claim that when used there, i t s i g n i f i e s the highest paradise. In Songs of Experience, flames and plants are not i d e n t i f i e d v i s u a l l y , f o r plants belong to the pastoral trad-i t i o n of Innocence, and are usually dead or dying when pres-ent i n Experience. Flames do occur, but i n other contexts. The only possible exception I can see is."A L i t t l e Boy Lost," where the strange bat-like or " s c o u r g e - l i k e l e a v e s on the right side of the plate could be considered flame-like. In Experience, f i r e has three main contexts. To ty-rants and th e i r victims, f i r e i s punitive and/or tormenting, as for example the f i r e that burns the " s i n f u l " c h i l d i n "A L i t t l e Boy Lost." This f i r e is related symbolically to the s a c r i f i c i a l a l t a r s of the Druids, represented iconographi-c a l l y in the f i r s t and last plates of Blake's i l l u s t r a t i o n to The Book of Job. The a l t a r of the l a s t plate of Job is s i g -n i f i c a n t l y inscribed! "In burnt Offerings f o r Sin / thou hast had no Pleasure." 2 0 The designs for "A L i t t l e Boy Lost and "The L i t t l e Vagabond," two Songs of r e l i g i o u s tyranny, both have f i r e s with bowed or grieving figures before them, supporting t h i s connection of f i r e i n Experience with the oppression of the establishment, es p e c i a l l y the church. V/e w i l l see that i n The Book of Urizen, the archetypal tyrant and "primeval P r i e s t " himself views f i r e as "fierce anguish* to be avoided. Yet these open f i r e s of the Songs of Experience de-signs can also be considered bonfires, or "good f i r e s , "21 providing warmth and l i g h t i n an otherwise cold and dark world. The f i r e i n the i l l u s t r a t i o n to "London" functions primarily i n this positive context. Bonfires are appropri-ate i n Experience because they represent the fragmentation or i s o l a t i o n of the eternal f i r e s of Eden, and because they contrast with the environment, which is now h o s t i l e , rather than unite with i t as i n the flame-plant motif of Innocence F i n a l l y , f i r e i n Experience can be revolutionary, like the burning tyger, which means i t is destructive li k e the punitive f i r e s of the establishment, but d i r e c t l y op-posed to the establishment. The tyger's f i e r y wrath i s apocalyptic, but the tyger i s nonetheless a creature of Ex-perience. To be t r u l y Edenic, he must lose his black stripes and acquire instead the ruddy eyes and golden mane 76 of the l i o n . For the l i o n embodies the energy of the tyger, redeem-ed and p u r i f i e d beyond i t s natural state of aggression. The l i o n and the tyger, then, function on two levels simultane-ously. As the destructive energy of wrath, the tyger i s the contrary to the meekness of the sheep. As the creative energy of love, the l i o n is the contrary to the creative imagination of the lamb. But the l i o n is the counterpart in Experience, not only of the lamb of Innocence, but also of the f i e r y plant of "higher" Innocence. For much as the flame-plant is a naturally innocent form, transformed by i t s f i e r i n e s s beyond the limitations of the natural world, so is the l i o n a naturally experienced form, transformed by i t s f i e r i n e s s beyond the aggression natural to that state. Lion is to tyger then, not only as lamb or c h i l d is to sheep, but also as flame-plant is to ordinary plant. Within the context of Experience, the l i o n and the Bard share the honors as forces of redemption. As the Bard would have us purify the cloudiness from our v i s i o n , so would the l i o n have us purify the enmity from our energy. NOTES xMy decision to work with Copy Z was made on the basis of i t s general a v a i l a b i l i t y : both the Blake Trust facsimile and the more moderately priced Keynes facsimile of 1967 are taken from this copy. Its late date also makes i t s colouring and design variations more s i g n i f i c a n t i n terms of Blake's t o t a l symbolic structure. Where d i f f e r -ences from other copies I have seen seem important, I w i l l mention them. 2 S. Foster Damon, in A Blake Dictionaryi The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake (Providence, R. I.: Brown Univ. Press, 1965), pp. 8.1-82, says: "Children symbolize the fecundity of the imagination, the 'Eternal Creation flowing from the Divine Humanity i n Jesus* (To Ozias Humphry, K 444)." -^ As far as I know this shadow figure does not appear in any early copies of the Songs. It seems therefore to be a l a t e r development. 4 Of the tree-vine motif, S. Foster Damon says, i n William Blake; His Philosophy and Symbols (1924; rpt. Lon-don: Dawsons of P a l l Mall, 196977 r>. 271: "This i s cer-t a i n l y symbolic of Christ embracing what we consider the Tree of Sin." If the vine can be considered Christ here I think i t can only be considered the orthodox Christ whom Blake associates in The Marriage of He ave n and He 11 with Satan: "Messiah or Satan or Tempter" (K 155). This i n t e r -pretation maintains the strong a l l u s i o n to Eden and the F a l l , while also adding the dimension of Blake's d i s t r u s t of ortho-dox r e l i g i o n , which w i l l be picked up l a t e r . -'if the vine is interpreted to be Satan-as-Christ [see note 4], which i s the Christ that Orthodox Ch r i s t i a n -i t y worships, then we see that orthodoxy plays a major role in the death of Jesus. ^See Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake (1947; rpt. with new Preface, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1969). pp. 135-36. "^ A Dictionary of Symbols, trans. Jack Sage (New York: Philosophical Library, 1962), pp. 65-66 and p. 68. o Blake's preference f o r Gothic form over Romanesque 77 78 or Greek may also derive from the s p i r i t u a l force he asso-ciates with v e r t i c a l movement, and the s t e r i l i t y he associ-ates with the horizontal. "Grecian i s Mathematic Form: Gothic is Living Form, Mathematic Form i s Eternal in the Reasoning Memory: Living Form is Eternal Existence." On Homer's Poetry & On V i r g i l , K 778. ^Robert Essick, "The Art of William Blake's Early Illuminated Books," Diss. Univ. of C a l i f , at San Diego 19&9» p. 84. In his history of the tree-vine motif, Essick notes that the image occurs textually in The Faerie Queene, I.i.8, and in Paradise Lost, V: 21.5-19. It occurs v i s u a l l y i n Andrea A l c i a t i , Emblemata cum Commentarius Amplissimis, ed. Joannis T h u i l i i (Padua, 1621), under the motto: "Amicitia etiam post morten durans"; and Geoffrey Whitney, A Choice of Emblemes, nos. 62 and 133 (Leyden, 1586). The l a t t e r was published in London, 1866, ed. Henry Green. 1 0See the i l l u s t r a t i o n s in C. H. C o l l i n s Baker, !~ c o m_ p i l e r l , Catalogue of William Blake's Drawings and Paintings in the Huntington Library, rev. R. R. Wark, 2nd. eW. (1957» rpt. San Marino, C a l i f . : The Huntington Library, 1969)» esp. p i . VII, "Raphael Warns Adam and Eve," and p i . X, "Tempta-tion and F a l l of Eve." "^This form of the t i t l e comes from the E&B text, which i s more accurate than Keynes. 1 2 s e e p a r t i c u l a r l y "The Angel of the Divine Presence Bringing Eve to Adam," reproduced in Geoffrey Keynes, com-p i l e r , William Blake's I l l u s t r a t i o n s to the Bible: A Cata-logue , introd. George Goyder (London: The Trianon Press for The William Blake Trust, 1957), p i . 6; and "Satan's and Raphael's Entries into Paradise," from " I l l u s t r a t i o n s to Milton's Paradise Lost," p i . IV, reproduced as p i . V i n C. H. C o l l i n s Baker, [compiler"!, Catalogue of William Blake's Drawings and Paintings in the Huntington Library, 2nd. ed. Note in the l a t t e r the d i s t i n c t i o n between the serpents's c o i l s and the twinings of the vine. "^See Damon, A Blake Dictionary, pp. 365-66, for his discussion of the serpent as a symbol of nature and of nature-worship. 14 "In his soul was the serpent c o i l ' d round i n his heart, hid from the l i g h t . " The French Revolution, K 135* line 28. See also notes 10 and 12 for l a t e r designs with coiled serpents. "^Isaiah 11:6. "The wolf also s h a l l dwell with the lamb, and the leopard s h a l l l i e down with the kid; and the 79 c a l f and the young l i o n and the f a t l i n g together; and a l i t -t l e c h i l d s h a l l lead them." l 6 F e a r f u l Symmetry, p. 196. ! ^ I t i s generally noted that the plant forms i n both "The Blossom" and "The Divine Image" are not painted i n such obviously flame-like colours in the e a r l i e r copies, but at least two early copies I have seen, Copy I of Songs of Innocence and Copy E of Songs of Innocence and of Expe-rTence, have them painted various shades of gold, pink, and yellow. Copy I has the embellishments of "Songs" in the Title-page painted pink as well. 1 q In Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Copy E, the l i o n on the right has orange eyes, while i n Copy N they are re a l gold. 1Q 7S. Foster Damon, William Blake 1 His Philosophy and Symbols, p. 286. Hereafter this book w i l l be referred to simply as Philosophy and Symbols. In Copy E the leaves are coloured red and yellow, but nevertheless seem perverse and destructive. 2 0See Joseph H. Wicksteed, Blake's Vision of the Book of Job, i l l u s . xx. Blake's i n s c r i p t i o n is a modification of Hebrews 1016. ''According to the OED, Johnson, i n his Dictionary of 1755» wrongly gives t h i s as the meaning of "bonfire" from the French "bon." CHAPTER THREE SONGS OF INNOCENCE I n Songs of Innocence, I w i l l l i m i t my detailed anal-ysis of text and design to a few selected Songs. Attempting to include a l l the basic motifs discussed in Chapter Two, and to give at the same time an understanding of the range of Songs of Innocence, I choose "The Shepherd," "The Eccho-ing Green," and "The Blossom." In each Song I w i l l discuss f i r s t the design, then the text, and f i n a l l y the design again i n the l i g h t of the text, thus synthesizing the two art forms and revealing t h e i r various interactions. Since "The Shepherd" appears d i r e c t l y a f t e r the "In-troduction" in a l l but one of the copies a f t e r 1815,1 includ-ing Copy Z, i t i s an appropriate place to begin. S i g n i f i -cantly, the design takes up about three quarters of the plate, with the poem pushed up into the left-hand top corner. The scene is more or less the pastoral one we expect from the t i t l e i a shepherd with a crook stands beneath a tree on the ri g h t side of the plate, facing the viewer but watch-in? the sheep to his right and behind. A sunset f i l l s the sky i n the l e f t (or west) background, while a large b i r d of paradise at the l e f t of the plate soars upwards towards the poem. The tree, a windswept evergreen, i s loosely entwined by a vine with pink b e l l flowers. With i t s long horizontal 80 81 branches forming a protective roof over the shepherd, t h i s tree i s reminiscent of the one i n the Frontispiece to Songs of Experience. But this tree supports more v i s i b l e green foli a g e , i s much less massive and more warmly coloured, and appears enhanced and complemented by the l i n e a r flowering vine, rather than threatened by a spreading spotted disease. (The contrast between the graceful vine of th i s design and the c o i l e d , serpent-vine of the Innocence Title-page should also c l a r i f y the demonic significance of the l a t t e r . ) F i -na l l y , the tree i s not cut off as i t begins to branch, but is allowed to display i t s f u l l height and richness, thus contributing to the u p l i f t i n g e f f e c t of the design. The v e r t i c a l emphasis is further supported by the upright stance of the shepherd, whose crook echoes the line of the tree; the thrust of the large b i r d of paradise to-ward the poem (some other birds are almost obliterated i n this copy); the position of the poem i t s e l f , drawing the eye to the top of the plate; and the r a d i a l l i n e s of the sunset, repeating the d i r e c t i o n of the b i r d . Against the dominant v e r t i c a l s are the horizontals of the sheep and the i r green pasture, some background bushes and the branches of the main tree, and one purplish-blue h i l l , which forms an arc from which the sunset emanates. The h o r i z o n t a l - v e r t i c a l harmony indicates a state of peace, but the overbalance of the v e r t i c a l stresses a s p i r i t u a l i t y which transforms the confines of the pastoral scene. Thus the t r a d i t i o n a l 82 pastoral elements—sheep, pasture, and h i l l s — a r e predomi-nantly horizontal, which indicates peacefulness o r s t a t i c i t y , while the shepherd, the b i r d , the sunset, the tree, and the vine are predominantly v e r t i c a l , which implies a state of greater a c t i v i t y and imagination. The depiction of the bird as f l y i n g , the vine twining, the tree windblown, the sunset f u l l of l i g h t , and the shepherd a l e r t reinforces t h i s i n t e r -pre tat ion. Turning now to the text, we note immediately the psalm-like toneJ "And his tongue s h a l l be f i l l e d with praise." But the f i r s t stanza contains some curious rever-sals from the t r a d i t i o n a l psalm. In the twenty-third Psalm, for instance, God the Shepherd leads his sheep: "He leadeth me beside the s t i l l waters . . . He leadeth me i n the paths of righteousness . . . ." But Blake's shepherd is not a leader: "He s h a l l follow his sheep a l l the day." Moreover, his lack cf guidance i s doubly affirmed, for "from the morn to the evening he strays." In the B i b l i c a l t r a d i t i o n , i t is the lost sheep who stray, and the good shepherd who finds them and returns them to the Christian way. F i n a l l y , in the E i b l i c a l t r a d i t i o n , i t is usually the sheep who praise t h e i r shepherd: "We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture . . . Be thankful unto him, and bless his name" [Psalm IOC)] . In the f i r s t stanza, then, the shepherd seems to be assuming the role of the sheep: he is a follower, straying aimlessly but sweetly, secure in and thankful for his innocent 33 existence. The second stanza t e l l s us of the awareness of the shepherd* he is both watchful and l i s t e n i n g . Here there is a p a r a l l e l between the shepherd and the mother sheep who answers her lamb's c a l l ; both are guardian figures, but the shepherd i s a higher guardian. He i s there in case the ewe does not respond to, or cannot help the lamb, or in case the ewe herself needs help. But a? long as the shepherd's help is not needed, he does not inter f e r e . His very presence is enough to give a sense of peace and security. In this stanza, therefore, Blake's shepherd is closer to the Shep-herd of the Psalms. Putting both stanzas together, we get a picture of a strong, wise, and caring shepherd, who dedicates himself to protecting his sheep, but who refrains from structuring them. In this respect he contrasts with the nurse of the Title-page of Innocence, who keeps her children by her side and occupied with lessons. Nevertheless, we f e e l the shep-herd is ultimately in control.! his power is a potential which is never doubted. Because i t is not doubted, the shepherd does not f e e l compelled to exhibit i t i n the form of manipulation. Trust forms the ess e n t i a l bond between sheep and shepherd, and the shepherd neither disappoints this trust nor takes advantage of i t . Returning to the design, v/e find an amplification of this special relationship between shepherd and sheep. Most 84 o f the sheep l o o k downward i n t y p i c a l g r a z i n g p o s t u r e , b u t two sheep i n the l e f t f o r e g r o u n d have t h e i r f a c e s up and a l e r t . One o f them, presumably the lamb who c a l l s i n the poem, b o t h l o o k s and c a l l s towards the shepherd, who i n t u r n l o o k s back a t him. The o t h e r sheep, presumably the mother who responds i n the poem, seems t o be l i s t e n i n g i n -t e n t l y , w i t h e a r s h e l d out. Thus an i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p i s e s t a b l i s h e d between the lamb and h i s master, which e l e -v a t e s t h i s p a r t i c u l a r a n i m a l above the l e v e l of the o t h e r u n r e s p o n s i v e sheep, and a l l o w s him t o p a r t i c i p a t e somewhat i n the v e r t i c a l t h r u s t . The l i s t e n i n g ewe o f the d e s i g n i s aware of a r e l a t i o n s h i p between shepherd and sheep, but knowing i t t o be good, i s l e t t i n g i t be. Her s t a t e o f awareness and t o l e r a n c e s e r v e s t o s e p a r a t e h e r a l s o from the o t h e r sheep, and make he r p a r t of the s p i r i t u a l foursome of lamb, ewe, b i r d , and shepherd. The shepherd h i m s e l f i s most i n t e r e s t i n g , as the e l e -ments of h i s m o t i f c o r r e s p o n d almost e x a c t l y t o those o f the t r e e - v i n e m o t i f . He i s d r e s s e d i n a r e v e a l i n g garment o f h e i g h t e n e d f l e s h - p i n k c o l o u r , much l i k e t h a t o f the p i p e r i n the F r o n t i s p i e c e t o Songs of Innocence. T h i s garment i s the same c o l o u r as the f l o w e r s o f the v i n e ; both are an e x t e r n a l d i s p l a y o f b e a u t y , y e t n e i t h e r c o n c e a l s the r e a l l i n e a m e n t s of the body, which are d i s p l a y e d by the g r a c e f u l r e v e r s e - S curve of the v i n e , and the p a r a l l e l though l e s s obvious curve of the shepherd's b o d y . 2 We have seen t h a t t h i n - f i t t i n g 85 garments, es p e c i a l l y of this colour, are innocent, and cer-t a i n l y flowers must be considered so. Then we have the straight, or actually just s l i g h t l y diagonal, v e r t i c a l s of the crook and the tree. They represent the s p i r i t u a l strength which supports both the shepherd and the vine, and so are shown as actual physical supports. . The curved end of the crook p a r a l l e l s the downward curving branches of the tree, for the protection the branches o f f e r the shep-herd p a r a l l e l s the protection the crook offers the sheep. The vine-tree motif and the shepherd-crook motif both re-solve two important elements of Innocence: on the one hand the beauty and freedom and carefreeness of the vine and the shepherd—the unhindered spontaneity of Innocence j on the other hand the strength and sureness and s p i r i t u a l i t y of the crook and the t r e e — t h e u n f a i l i n g f a i t h of Innocence. This brings us round to the poem again, where the shepherd's strength and r e l i a b i l i t y combine with his i n s t i n c t not to control, and re s u l t i n a flock of trusting and carefree sheep. So we see that in our f i r s t Song of Innocence the text and the design are synergetic. The design l i t e r a l l y i l l u s t r a t e s parts of the poem, and even more important, adds variations to other parts, such as the lamb-ewe-shepherd relationship. And the design offers v i s u a l motifs which correspond to the motifs of the poem, such as the tree-vine motif, where the wandering vine suggests the following 86 shepherd of the f i r s t stanza, the upright tree suggests the guardian shepherd of the second stanza, and the t o t a l motif of tree and vine corresponds to the t o t a l shepherd of the complete poem. Neither tree nor vine i s mentioned i n the poem, but they add to the t o t a l meaning of the plate much in the same way as overtones add to the t o t a l e f f e c t of a musical note, by reinfo r c i n g i t on a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l . As explained in Chapter Two, the iconic meaning of the tree-vine motif i s mutual love and cooperation. The vine-tree motif also serves to relate this plate to others incorporat-ing the same motif, e s p e c i a l l y the Frontispiece and "The Lamb," which also share i t s imagery of sheep. F i n a l l y , text and design themselves work together i n "The Shepherd," as the vine and the tree or the shepherd and his crook work together, to make up a more complete and i n -t r i c a t e whole. On one l e v e l , the text functions as part of the design, drawing the eye upward and contributing to an almost holy e f f e c t : i t s words seemingly engraved i n the heavens. On another l e v e l , the design serves to i l l u s t r a t e , elaborate, and reinforce the poem. But ultimately, text and design create a dual art form where neither i s subordinate to the other, and each has an impact of i t s own. The sure-ness of the t o t a l design, with i t s strong v e r t i c a l thrusts, combines with the spontaneity of the text, with i t s simple rhymes and anapestic meter, to create an a r t i s t i c whole sim-i l a r to the complete shepherd, a fusion of faithfulness and 8 7 freedom, of strength and of delight. The next poem I w i l l discuss i s "The Ecchoing Green." Most c r i t i c s consider this poem to be one of Blake's most innocent, but my response is a disquieting one. Looking at the f i r s t plate, I am struck with the mushroom-like tree, i t s dense foliage and umbrella shape b l o t t i n g out the sky, and e f f e c t i v e l y squashing any v e r t i c a l thrust. The hedge at the end of the grass and the straight horizontal line separating the top i l l u s t r a t i o n from the poem further en-force the ho r i z o n t a l i t y of the plate. The colours are gen-e r a l l y greyed and cooli blue and green, with just a few pale warm colours i n the clothing. Contrary to D. G. G i l l -ham's assertion that "here is a world of affections and shared a c t i v i t i e s , "3 the children appear e i t h e r t i r e d , frus-trated, or bored. There are two boys on the l e f t who appear to be playing a game, but only one has a bat, and the other is r a i s i n g his arms in a "what can I do about i t " gesture.^ Another boy, just to the right of the tree, is s i g n i f i c a n t l y standing alone, hands behind his back, looking toward the adults. Two others are walking side by side, but looking uncommunicatively straight ahead, and holding t h e i r arms close to t h e i r sides. In the lower part of the plate are twin-figures i one i n the l e f t border standing with a bat in his right hand and his l e f t hand behind his back, the other i n the right border, playing with a hoop and s t i c k . F i n a l l y , we see vines in the lower border design, and a bird 88 which f l i e s down towards a bunch of grapes. As the middle d i v i s i o n in this plate makes the top and bottom e s s e n t i a l l y two d i f f e r e n t designs, I w i l l discuss them separately here-af t e r . The second plate sterns somewhat hapoier, for the c o l -ours are more vibrant, with a new b r i l l i a n t rose being added in the clothing of two children, and a vibrant blue i n the sky. The strong horizontal dividing line has given way to the undulating line of the grapevine, which consists of two main branches twining together up the right side of the plate, separating about half way up. Two figures dressed i d e n t i c a l l y in brown p a r a l l e l the twin figures in the bottom of the f i r s t plate, one standing upright at the l e f t and picking grapes, the other lying on the horizontal branch of the vine, handing grapes down to a g i r l below. She forms part of a frieze of children clad i n green and rose, d i r e c t -ed by parental figures in brown, who lead them off the plate to the l e f t . We saw in "The Shepherd" that the two-stanza poem was p a r a l l e l l e d i n the design by motifs b u i l t of two parts: tree-vine and shepherd-crook. Now we see a three-stanza poem i l l u s t r a t e d by a three-part design. In Songs of Innocence I think three s i g n i f i e s the c y c l i c recurrence Northrop Frye attributes to that number in The Four Zoas and Jerusalem, without necessarily a l l the adverse connotations i t has the re. ^ in the Songs i t represents the cycle of l i f e , which 89 can be renewing, as i n the poem "Spring," where the same pattern of three stanzas and three designs is found; or depleting, as i t appears here, where i n the l a s t stanza the sun sets, the children and birds t i r e , and the sports cease. The t r i p l e organization here also suggests a complexity more consistent with the fragmented v i s i o n of Experience than with the t o t a l v i s i o n of Innocence. Looking now at stanza one, we get a v i s i o n of a spring morning, f u l l of singing birds, the music of b e l l s , and the a c t i v i t y of energetic children. But whose v i s i o n is i t ? There is a d i f f i c u l t y here, for presumably the c h i l -dren, who i d e n t i f y themselves as the speakers i n line nine, also see and hear the a c t i v i t i e s they describe. But there is one exceptioni they are not the perceivers of t h e i r own a c t i v i t i e s . For the la s t two lines of the stanza, which are repeated with variations at the close of the other two verses as well, involve a c r u c i a l change from active to pas-sive voice. The f i r s t eight lines make statements about actions the children apparently witness: "The Sun does arise . . . The merry b e l l s r i n g . " It is true that every-thing is described objectively, that we are never told "I see the sun r i s e . " But the adjectives imply an imaginative perceiver, whose act of v i s i o n attributes to the sunrise the a b i l i t y to make the skies happy and to the b e l l s the quality of merriment. Upon the speaker's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the children in line nine, the children become the perceivers. 90 But the l a s t two lines have no d i r e c t significance for the children. They imply some other onlooker* "While our sports s h a l l he seen/ On the Ecchoing Green." That onlook-er i s l e f t unnamed and mysterious. I believe the change from active to passive voice i s deliberate and important, which i s why the l a s t two lines are echoed and thus underlined i n the other two stanzas. For there i s something ominous about the sudden change. It is p a r t l y because Innocence means involvement, and the pas-sive voice removes the focus of attention from the involved ones, the children, to the passive ones, the onlookers. It is also because the onlookers are without form and sub-stance—they are assumed but not envisioned. The children thus become objects for an unknown subject, which means they are suddenly enormously distant. And even more d i s -turbing, we must assume they are aware of themselves, per-haps f o r the f i r s t time, as objects. So the f i r s t stanza ends with a f e e l i n g of emptiness* there is a scene but no seer. That act of v i s i o n so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Innocence awaits f u l f i l l m e n t . Examining the three designs for one to accompany th i s f i r s t stanza, we meet with considerable d i f f i c u l t y . For we find no sunrise, no b e l l s , and only one b i r d , which i s f l y -ing and not apparently singing. The top design of the f i r s t plate emerges as the most relevant, because i t picks up the l a s t two lines of the stanza. It shows a green where children 91 are playing, though as I have already pointed out, t h e i r a c t i v i t y is somewhat ambiguous. The adults are probably the missing perceivers, but none of them-really pays atten-tion to the children on the green. Some mothers or nurses attend the youngest children at their laps, but they are not the children whose "sports shal] be seen." The i l l u s t r a t i o n thus evokes the same f e e l i n g of lost v i s i o n as the f i n a l lines of the stanza: the sports are not being seen, for the adults have closed off t h e i r senses. The woman in yellow and the man next to her both look away i n the distance, while the woman in purple and the other man look down. This lack of communication is reflected in the children who seem unresponsive to each other, for the fragmented v i s i o n of the adults necessarily fragments the children-as-objects. From this i s o l a t i o n of the children, we can conclude that the scene i s not th e i r cheerful v i s i o n but rather the lonely v i s i o n of the adults, which in turn explains why the sun-r i s e , birds, and b e l l s are missi.ng, and why the great mush-room oak and the horizontal lines are present in t h e i r stead. When we turn to stanza two, we find immediately a reference to "Old John," the most important of the adults who have now become the missing onlookers of stanza one. Old John s i t s under an oak, not necessarily at this point a negative symbol, but combined with the oppressive tree of the top design and Plake's l a t e r associations of the oak with Druidism, c e r t a i n l y a suspicious one. It is interesting 92 to note that i n T i r i e 1 , written the same year as Songs of Innocence, Har and Heva, the two aged creatures represent-ing false innocence, or childishness embraced at the expense of maturity, " l i k e two children, sat beneath the Oak . . . But they were as the shadow of Har &• as the years forgotten" (K 100, lines 5-7). There is a s i m i l a r i t y between the Old Couple, "delighted with infant dreams" (K 100, li n e 9), and Old John, who "does laugh away care," delighting i n the remembrances of his past childhood. For i f Old John and his friends l i v e in the past, getting t h e i r pleasure v i c a r i o u s l y from the children, then surely t h e i r v i s i o n i s an unreliable one. Its cloudiness is confirmed when t h e i r v i s i o n of the present dissolves into a misty v i s i o n of t h e i r own childhoodi They laugh at our play, And soon they a l l say: "Such, such were the joys "When we a l l , g i r l s & boys, "In our youth time were seen "On the Ecchoing Green." It i s interesting to note the ambiguity of the expression "laugh a t . " It means on one l e v e l that the Old Folks derive t h e i r pleasure from the children, but on another that the Old Folks f e e l superior to and perhaps even antagonistic to the children. There is a suggestion of the selfhood here, which i s reinforced when the Old Folks turn t h e i r v i s i o n away from the l i v e children and into the spectral children of t h e i r memories. 93 In the passage quoted above there are several s i g n i f -icant grammatical s h i f t s . F i r s t , the children are the speakers and perceivers when the stanza begins. But the las t four lines are apparently spoken by and obviously rep-resent the perceptions of the Old Folks. Thus Keynes prints them with the implied quotation marks, while Erdman follows Blake's actual punctuation, which has none. At any rate, in line seven of stanza two the adults replace the children as the speakers. Second, there is at the same time a change in tense from present to past, which implies a loss of i n t e n s i -ty and a loss of Innocence, for Innocence i s a state of a c t i v i t y , not of memory. The children perceive i n the pres-ent tense; the adults in the past. Third, there i s the same s h i f t i n voice from active to passive as in the f i r s t stanza, with the same e f f e c t of o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n , only t h i s time i n -volving the adults. The adults not only perceive i n the past tense, they perceive themselyes i n the past. They make themselves objects just as they have made the children ob-jects. As a f i n i s h i n g touch, the perceiver of the Old-Folks-turned-youth i s again l e f t undeliniated. The Old Folks see themselves being seen, but see no seer; they recognize them-selves as objects but recognize no subjects. Perhaps this i s because true v i s i o n i s necessarily a thing of the present, and the Old Folks's " v i s i o n " i s r e a l l y only memory. But "Im-agination has nothing to do with Memory."6 The Old Folks have lo s t t h e i r imaginative i d e n t i t y , making themselves 94 objects of an unknown perceiver i n a past which i s both s t a t i c and elusive. This time we find two i l l u s t r a t i o n s with relevance to the stanza. The top of plate one is more s i g n i f i c a n t now with the oak tree and the Old Folks under i t , a d i r e c t i l -l u s t r a t i o n of the f i r s t four l i n e s . Old John is seemingly-lost in a reverie--he is not laughing, but rather contempla-t i v e . The bottom half of the same plate, however, seems most s i g n i f i c a n t . The borders are blue on the outside and white close to and behind the text, giving the e f f e c t of a cloud or a mist. There is an airiness about this half of the plate which gives i t a dream-like quality, p a r t i c u l a r l y when juxtaposed to the heavy and dark design above. Since the two boys are dressed i d e n t i c a l l y i t appears that they may be two visions of a single boy. Perhaps Blake is taking us inside Old John's memory, where Old John i s r e l i v i n g two aspects of his childhood. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , he stands alone both times, once seemingly happy with his hoop, the other time seemingly l e f t out, holding a useless bat. The boy i n the upper design who stands alone, looking lonely, is dressed i d e n t i c a l l y to the two boys below, with V-necked white s h i r t and pink-mauve trousers, except that his trousers seem a l i t t l e more pink than those of the boys below. His face and blond hair seem i d e n t i c a l too, while his stance i s echoed by the boy with the bat below. The top and bottom of the plate thus represent a movement from r e a l i t y to memory, from an 95 Innocence the Old Folks cannot share and thus see only i n terras of t h e i r own loneliness, to a world of fantasy which is by d e f i n i t i o n not to be shared, not to be seen by others. The motifs of the bat and the s t i c k and hoop are im-portant ones. The bat is f a i r l y obviously an aggressive or antagonistic implement, e s p e c i a l l y i f i t is pictured i n the possession of only one c h i l d , and not in use as part of a game like c r i c k e t . The pun with the rodent of the night, archetypal symbol of darkness and mystery, i s far-fetched but not impossible for a man like Blake. The s t i c k has sim-i l a r connotations to the bat, with more obvious punitive and sexual ones as well, though i n the i l l u s t r a t i o n i t is being used constructively, as part of a game. The hoop, however, is a perfect instance of the c i r c l e motif, which Elake introduces i n the enclosing arms of the youth i n the Frontispiece to Songs of Experience, and uses with great e f f e c t in "The Sick Rose." In Jerusalem, the c i r c l e i s most i n t e r e s t i n g l y asso-ciated with the Druids and thus with Experience : "Where the Druids rear'd t h e i r Rocky Ci r c l e s to make permanent Remem-brance / Of Sin, & the Tree of Good 4 E v i l sprang from the Rocky C i r c l e . . ." (J 9 2 : 24 -25 . K ?40). This l i n k makes the l i n k between the oak and the Druids more d i f f i c u l t to ignore, e s p e c i a l l y given the powerful i l l u s t r a t i o n . More-over, two of the s i t e s Los spe c i f i e s for the rocky c i r c l e s are " i n the Shadows of Remembrance & i n the Chaos of the 96 Spectre" (J 92« 22), two further connections with both the second stanza of the poem and the second design on the f i r s t plate. The c i r c l e of the hoop is in the "Shadow of Remem-brance" of the Spectre of Old John. Ci r c l e s have other neg-ative associations in Blake, toot the Ci r c l e of Destiny; the F a l l and the contraction of man's senses and features, e s p e c i a l l y his mouth and his brain; and the sky-god Nobo-daddy or Urizen. In a s a t i r i c entry in the Note-Book of 1808-11, we find a poem e n t i t l e d "To God," which captures Blake's hatred of the closed c i r c l e . " I f you have form'd a C i r c l e to go into, / Go into i t yourself & see how you would do" (entry 85, K 557 ). Contrasting with the closed c i r c l e of the hoop i n the bottom design of the second plate i s the open S curve of the grapevine d i r e c t l y beneath i t . Here the princ i p l e of growth wins out over the principle of confinement. The grapevines and the bird at the bottom of the plate are the f i r s t r e a l l y innocent motifs we have seen in this Song, and lead us into the second plate and the t h i r d and f i n a l stanza. In the third stanza the speaker becomes further iden-t i f i e d as one of the older children, for he speaks of "the l i t t l e ones" around "the laps of the i r mothers," while re-f e r r i n g to "our sports" [ i t a l i c s mine!. There is an element of awareness about the speaker that, combined with his i n -crease i n age, gives him an aura of Experience. He seems very rational in this l a s t stanza, reasoning that the younger 97 children cannot be merry i f they are t i r e d , much as a parent would reason. The c r i t e r i o n of Experience--necessity--is strong here; the sports must cease because the sun is going down, though there is no suggestion that the older children are t i r e d . We are reminded of "Nurse's Song" of Songs of Innocence, where the children i n s i s t that even though the sun has descended i t i s s t i l l day, and are allowed to con-tinue t h e i r play, u n t i l " a l l the h i l l s ecchoed." In "The Ecchoing Green," i r o n i c a l l y enough, play is not allowed to continue. The older children are forced to return home, to conform to the needs of the younger ones. And again the c u l p r i t is l e f t mysterious. We are simply t o l d : "Our sports have an end. . . . And sport no more seen." The pas-sive voice gives the e f f e c t of an unknowable fate or destiny c o n t r o l l i n g the l i v e s of the children from outside, denying them self-expression. We may assume this fate acts through the parents, but we also f e e l some force here which i s less tangible and thus more disturbing than parental control. F i n a l l y , the "Ecchoing Green" of the t i t l e and the f i r s t two stanzas becomes, in the l a s t l i n e , the "darkening Green." There are two main senses in which the green i s echoing! l i t e r a l l y i t echoes the noises of birds, b e l l s and children; psychologically i t echoes the past childhood of the Old Folks. The l i t e r a l meaning predominates in the f i r s t stanza; the psychological i n the second. In the l a s t stanza, however, there is a return to the setting of the f i r s t stanza: 98 the children, the sun and the birds reemerge into focus, though this time the cycle of day has progressed from morn-ing to evening. The l i t e r a l l e v e l thus seems most important here; the echoing is gone because the children and the birds are going to bed. (The psychological l e v e l is also v a l i d , of course, for the Old Polks also leave, which we learn from the f i n a l design.) The green darkens both because i t loses the sun, i t s l i t e r a l source of l i g h t , and because i t loses the children, i t s imaginative source of ligh t - - l i g h t h e a r t e d -ness, cheerful voices, and perceptive eyes. As f a r as the children are concerned, I think there is a d i s t i n c t i o n to be made between the young ones, who are innocent, and the older ones, who act as speakers. These older children are experienced; they are aware of the fanta-sies of the Old Folks, the tiredness of the young ones, and the highly structured nature of t h e i r l i v e s , but they accept a l l these things without questioning. They recite the poem in an almost mechanical and l i f e l e s s way, e s p e c i a l l y toward the ends "The sun does descend, / And our sports have an end." Nevertheless, there is v i s i o n submerged i n what they say, e s p e c i a l l y in the f i r s t stanza when they give to the morning q u a l i t i e s of happiness. This v i s i o n i s r e a l l y the v i s i o n of the younger children, which is fading to the eyes of the older ones, and which thus comes across to us with-out the expected intensity. The progression from young to older c h i l d , or from Innocence to Experience, can be followed 99 i n the poem i t s e l f . In the f i r s t stanza the childre n f e e l a part of the morning, u n t i l the l a s t two lines where they suddenly become aware of themselves as objects. In the sec-ond stanza the process of o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n continues, as they realize the Old Folks are outsiders, l o s t in a world of fan-tasy. In the t h i r d stanza, the children are unable to re-gain t h e i r sense of oneness with the world. Here t h e i r speaker's voice becomes parent-like, and his inner eye, l i k e the sun, ceases to illuminate the world of Innocence. A minor point which reinforces t h i s loss of id e n t i t y i s the dropping of the c a p i t a l which adorns the r i s i n g "Sun" of stanza one, but not the descending "sun" of the l a s t stanza. This procedure is repeated when the "Ecchoing Green" becomes the "darkening Creen." The poem i s thus a t>oem about the loss of Innocence, which explains the strong sense of empti-ness prevalent throughout. Reviewing the designs in the l i g h t of stanza three, we are drawn to the top design of plate one once more. For the f r u s t r a t i o n of the children noted e a r l i e r can now be seen as a result of the parents' supposed insistence on re-turning home. The l i t t l e ones look weary, the older ones appear annoyed. Perhaps the "what can I do about i t " shrug mentioned before i s a response to the c a l l in from play. Certainly the two children on the right seem to be heading towards the Old Folks. And the sky does seem to be darken-ing. So the top design seems most relevant to the l a s t 100 stanza, where the sports are no longer seen for they have in fact ceased. The way the f i r s t design progresses along with the poem underlines the fact that there r e a l l y i s no design envisioning the innocent morning described in the f i r s t stanza. This fact, and the fact that the l a s t stanza i s most d i r e c t l y i l l u s t r a t e d by the f i r s t design, support the theory that i n this poem the v i s i o n of Innocence i s a dying one, and that the Innocence of childhood i s not the state that Blake i s primarily concerned with i n the work as a whole. At t h i s point the design on the second plate becomes es p e c i a l l y relevant. For there i s an alternative to the structured existence imposed upon the children by t h e i r mas-ters in the oaken throne. The speaker i s not ready f o r r e s t i w i l l he obey the hand d i r e c t i n g him home, or w i l l he accept the off e r of another hand, extending the f r u i t of a new experience down to the sheltered group? This i s a cru-c i a l decision implied throughout the entire work, e s p e c i a l l y through the designs. When the v i s i o n of Innocence darkens, does one suff e r i t to freeze around one, or does one shatter i t in the breakthrough to a new world? Looking more cl o s e l y at the l a s t design, we notice that the children who are directed by the man in brown, probably Old John, are mainly young teenagers or "sub-teens. " The two in front seem unhappy, but submissive, while the two behind, perhaps the same two as they are dressed a l i k e , seem 101 more cheerful. The two youths i n the grapevine, however, seem t o t a l l y relaxed and unconcerned. They are independent s p i r i t s , beyond the control of the parents, though dressed in t h e i r adult colours of brown. So there is a progression from least to greatest freedom, working exactly opposite to the progression indicated by Old John. The brown children's independence is connected with t h e i r a c t i v i t y of picking grapes. Jean H. Hagstrum claims that t h e i r action "symbolizes one of the important meanings of the poem--the passage from innocence to experience through the gate of sex."? Grapes are a t r a d i t i o n a l symbol of f e r t i l i t y , ^ and they are being passed from teenage boy to teenage g i r l . 9 But we must remember that Blake associ-ates the grapevine, p a r t i c u l a r l y when twining as i t does i n this plate, with the state of Innocence. 1^ I think sexual experience is suggested, and I think this experience does imply a progression beyond lower Innocence. However, i t does not necessarily imply the frustrations of the mating game, which is the sexual a c t i v i t y usually associated with Experience. Insofar as the adolescents face the uncertain world of adulthood, t h e i r new state is the Experience through which we must a l l pass on our journey to Eden. But insofar as t h e i r sexual relationships are f u l f i l l i n g rather than denying, t h e i r new state is inherently innocent, as the motif of the grapevine suggests. On the pilgrimage l e v e l of the contrary states, they are beginning a new cycle of existence--102 Experience--and we s h a l l see when we turn to Jerusalem that cycles tend to begin p o s i t i v e l y , but end negatively. Hence on this l e v e l the design represents Experience as a brave new world. On the psychological l e v e l of the contrary states, however, i t i s not the adventurous children i n the vines who suffer from doubt and fear, but the timid and un-happy children i n the f i r s t two designs and at the l e f t of the frieze in this design. On this l e v e l , then, the c h i l -dren in the vines are in the assured state of Innocence, and not the oppressed state of Ulro or the uncertain state of Experience . The Ulro state the adventurous children leave behind them is the frozen Innocence to which the submissive lead children at the l e f t of the frieze (freeze return. V/e cannot assume, however, that protected Innocence is always Ulro. Lower or protected Innocence is fin e , as long as i t is not extended i n d e f i n i t e l y . The "togetherness" of the frieze group is b e n e f i c i a l for the young children in the middle, who are sustained by the loving care of t h e i r parents or guardians. But at some point determined by the v i s i o n of the ind i v i d u a l , such care becomes a hindrance, and then one must refuse the horizontal d i r e c t i o n of Old John's hand, and reach up for the grapes. One must bid adieu to the womb world. The supreme example here is Jesus. According to Blake's The Everlasting C-ospe 1, "When twelve years old he ran away / And l e f t his Parents i n dismay" (lines 3-4, K 103 743, b). When Innocence as a state of protection becomes repressive and confining, then the protection must be re-jected, or the e s s e n t i a l v i s i o n w i l l be l o s t . So "The Ecchoing Green" focuses on the point at which Innocence ceases to be Innocence, and becomes instead a kind of U l r o — a shadowy vale of retreat like that the v i r g i n Thel and the ridiculous Har and Heva inhabit. This is also the state in which the Old Folks of the poem dwell. The presen-tation of this growth-denying state accounts f o r the oppres-sive element i n both text and design. Rejecting the protection, on the other hand, means embracing the pr i n c i p l e of growth, and keeps a l i v e the imag-inative v i s i o n . So the g i r l on the right accepts the f r u i t , breaking the horizontal leftward movement of the f r i e z e , and establishing a counter movement up and around, the movement of the vine. She redeems "The Ecchoing Oreen" as a Song of Innocence, for she points the way to a higher world. Before leaving "The Ecchoing Green" we should note that text and design work together to build up the e f f e c t of uneasiness. Design probably takes the lead, having a greater immediate impact and therefore establishing from the begin-ning the f e e l i n g that a l l is not well. This f e e l i n g we do not get from the text u n t i l the end of the f i r s t stanza. But text and design both build up the meaning of the poem— the need to progress when the time is ripe. The text prog-resses from dawn to dusk, from the Innocence associated with 104 young childhood to the Ulro associated with overcontrolled adolescence. The design progresses the other way, from dusk to dawn, from the same Ulro state the poem ends with, to a new state which is Innocence within Experience, an Innocence involving greater independence and less protection, and sex-ual rather than maternal love. The pattern made hy the movement of text and design together can be seen as a large S curve,, the bottom semi-c i r c l e representing the progression of the children in the text, from Innocence to Ulro, the top semicircle the pro-gression of the children in the design, from Ulro to Inno-cence. This is achieved not by completing the c i r c l e and returning to f i r s t Innocence, but by reversing the line to go ahead to a new t o t a l i t y . This S movement involves reach-ing out, as the children reach out for the grapes, or as the grapevine i t s e l f at the bottom of the f i r s t plate reaches out. D i r e c t l y above this S shaped vine, the hoop i l l u s -trates the contrary movement of retreat or involution, the completing of the c i r c l e . The two motifs symbolize the two possible directions one can go when lower Innocence comes to an end. One can return, closin.g the c i r c l e to remain fo r -ever in a strange and confining Ulro, like Thel, Har and Heva, and the Old Folks; or one can advance, making an S curve forward to the more v i t a l Innocence, as do the c h i l -dren with the grapes. After the uneasiness of "The Ecchoing Green" i t i s 105 refreshing to turn to the vigour of "The Blossom." The de-sign is u p l i f t i n g and f o r c e f u l , reminding us once again of the true meaning of Innocence. The massive vegetable form on the right has become a huge tongue of flame, surging up and over the poem, penetrating the vast blue empty space. Continuing the exuberance of the plant are six t i n y nude figures and one mother, clothed in green, cradling a baby in her arms. A l l the figures except the nude with arms up-stretched, closest to the trunk of the plant, and possibly the hidden babe, are winged. We have seen wings only once before, in the Frontis-piece to Songs of Experience. Wings become increasingly important in Blake, but never limited in t h e i r associations; l a t e r , I shall make some attempt to distinguish between bat wings, serpent wings, angel wings, and so on. For now, I think I must admit the wings in this design are s i m i l a r to the wings i n the Frontispiece to Experience, " f a i r y " or "an-g e l " wings. Angels are ambiguous in Blake--they can be orthodox prudes, as in The Marriage of Heaven and He 11, or angels of mercy, as i n "The Chimney Sweeper" of Innocence. For they are the o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of human desire, and are no more or less enlightened than the people who give them form. Tom Dacre's angel is innocent for Tom is innocent; the angels of The Marriage are confining because conceived by narrow and orthodox minds. F a i r i e s , however, tend to be more 1 106 consistently innocent than angels, as well as more youthful. In "The Blossom" design, i t is tempting to see the mother as an angel, and the nude winged figures as f a i r i e s . Their spontaneity derives not only from t h e i r context i n one of the Songs of Innocence, but also from th e i r a c t i v i t y . Two of the fairy-angels are dancing, two are embracing, one is e i t h e r writing or reading a book, while the mother-angel tends her c h i l d . With the possible exception of the one with the book, the winged creatures are a l l engaged in acts expressing love. They are exuberant, intimate, and caring. The l a s t word, caring, indicates the context for the poem as well. Innocence is a state of identity--where em-pathy i s the order of the day, and suspicion, competitive-ness and denial are unknown. The complete openness of the youth i n the famous "Glad Day" engraving is echoed by the tiny winged figure on the extreme l e f t , one of the dance pair, with arms outstretched and one leg f l y i n g behind, in a gesture of joyous welcome, of friendship, and of love. The poem t e l l s of the same empathy, only in a context not of joy but of unhappiness. Unlike many c r i t i c s , however, I do not think that un-happiness is inconsistent with the state of Innocence. We must remember that Blake's Innocence i s not an externally protected world, where a l l danger is locked out. It is a state of mind—a f e e l i n g of security, of i d e n t i t y , of being loved and of loving. It is not a world without tears, for 107 tears are an indicat i o n of f e e l i n g , whether joy or sorrow. The "Introduction," where the c h i l d weeps to hear the songs of the piper, confirms the place of tears in Innocence. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , children cry much more than adults do. For emotion expressed s i g n i f i e s Innocence--openness, a sharing of one's humanity; emotion repressed s i g n i f i e s Experience--a closed mind and heart, a denial of one's humanity. It is important to understand this difference, for i f we conceive of Innocence as a namby-pamby world of pleasure without pain, we beget the Ulro world, the " s o l i d without fluctua-t i o n " which the Urizenic mind desires. If we realize Inno-cence i s a l i v i n g state, where happiness and unhappiness both dwell, but where they are shared and absorbed by a hu-man community, then we are much closer to understanding In-nocence as an eternal state, not merely one limited to childhood. In stanza one, we notice both sparrow and blossom are happy or merry. Yet the sparrow seeks i t s cradle s w i f t l y , possibly implying a f e a r f u l retreat. The cradle is "near my bosom," the bosom belonging to the blossom. If we connect the design with the text, we see that the mother clad in green f i t s the description "under leaves so green," a t t r i b -i p uted i n the text to the blossom. The mother and the blos-som are thus i d e n t i f i e d . Now in the design the mother cra-dles an infant i n her arms--against her bosom. This cradle of breast and arms is surely, at least on one l e v e l , the 108 "cradle narrow" referred to i n the poem. The sparrow who f l i e s to the hidden blossom for protection i s also an infant who seeks his mother's sheltering breast. She, the mother-blossom, is happy because i n her maternal role she gives not only protection, but nourishment, comfort, and love. In the second stanza the bird is changed from a spar-row into a robin. Robins and sparrows are both birds of In-nocence, birds Elake uses to indicate the community of hu-manity and nature, when seen from the perspective of Inno-cence. "A Robin Red breast i n a Cage / Puts a l l Heaven in a Rage."13 "For not one sparrow can suffe r & the whole Universe not suffe r also / In a l l i t s Regions, ft i t s Father ft Saviour not p i t y and weep" (J 2.5» 8-9, K 648). The change in species does not, therefore, a l t e r the basic context of Innocence. It does, however, indicate an emotional change: the "merry" sparrow becomes a "pretty" but "sobbing" robin. The blossom is unchanged, however, and the re l a t i v e p o s i t i o n of the bird is apparently unchanged as well, f o r i t sobs "near my Bosom. " If the stanzas are taken to represent two stages of the same event, then the b i r d - c h i l d has reached i t s protec-tive place in i t s mother's arms, and now pours out i t s g r i e f or i t s fear or i t s pain, presumably the motivation for i t s seeking mother in the f i r s t place. The fact that she re-mains "happy" i s not, as Harold Bloom states, "a clear mark of the inadvertance of the natural world to suffering,"-*-^ 109 for in Innocence Nature is divine. Rather, she i s happy because she can help, because she can offer her cradle of protection and warmth and love. She "sees," she "hears," she has not sealed off her senses to the needs of the young ones, as the Old Folks have done i n "The Ecchoing Green." She is a warm nest hidden under green leaves, a warm body hidden under green garments, a comforter of the frightened and unhappy. As Blake says in "William Bond"* "Seek love in the Pity of others' Woe, / In the gentle r e l i e f of an-other's care" (K 4 3 6 ) . Love is empathy, sharing, i d e n t i t y . For as the mother-blossom hears the sobs and absorbs them, so the b i r d - c h i l d i n turn w i l l feel and absorb her happiness. Turning again to the design, l e t us look more c l o s e l y at the ring of tiny figures. The unwinged one, we can as-sume, i s the infant-sparrow: his straightforward thrust, arms upstretched, f i t s the description "swift as arrow." Moreover, he looks at the mother-blossom. Though his direc-tion i s not straight towards her, his eyes make the line of connection. The babe in arms, then, is the infant-robin, the babe at rest at his mother's breast, the bird a f t e r he has found shelter. Sparrow and robin are here the contra-ries of action and reaction, or a c t i v i t y and rest, or gaiety and sorrow. The other figures are winged, and form an un-closed f a i r y ring. The f i r s t figure is the seated one, the least dynamic, engaged in a book. His is a s o l i t a r y and i n -t e l l e c t u a l undertaking, but not necessarily an unimaginative 110 one, e s p e c i a l l y i f , like Blake, he i s creating a book. The next two are the most exuberant--the dance figures--express-ing through the physical energy of the body the joy of friendship. The l a s t two are the embracers, expressing i n physical union the s p i r i t u a l i d e n t i t y of lovers. The embracing figures t i p us off to a second i n t e r -pretation of the work, one favored by many c r i t i c s t o d ay.^ Wicksteed thinks the "cradle narrow" i s a womb symbol, and the sparrow, "swift as arrow," a p h a l l i c symbol. In t h i s context, the action described i n the text i s the f u l f i l l m e n t of sexual love. Such an interpretation is supported by the possible associations of the flame-plant with passion, and by the tiny figures who embrace i n the design. As does our f i r s t interpretation, this one also presents a state of harmony and cooperation, where joy and sorrow are shared, where the s a c r i f i c e of one's ego or Selfhood permits com-plete empathy for and ultimate identity with others. Thus Blake achieves a simultaneous presentation of two supreme kinds of love--maternal and sexual--in this disarmingly "simple" work. Both kinds of love symbolize one of the most important c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Innocence--a giving of oneself for the sake of another. This openness, this givingness, i s perfectly i l l u s t r a t e d yet a thi r d time by the tiny pair of dance figures, expressing through t h e i r exuberance t h e i r mutual joy. It i s interesting to compare with "The Blossom" a I l l poem from the Note-Book of 1?93» o r i g i n a l l y e n t i t l e d "The Marriage Ring" and altered to "The Fairy." It would appear this poem could have been intended as a contrary to "The Blossom" in Songs of Experience. For the set t i n g i s simi-l a r , but the underlying psychological assumptions are vast-ly d i f f e r e n t . Like "The Blossom," i t consists of two stanzas. The f i r s t i s the song of a f a i r y , c a l l i n g to the sparrows to come and make a marriage ring i n order to over-come the torments of sexual denial and coyness. The vocab-ulary i s s t a r t l i n g l y reminiscent. "Come hither my spar-rows, / My l i t t l e arrows." In the second stanza the speaker springs from the leaves and captures the f a i r y . In the Song of Innocence, we r e c a l l , the blossom i s herself a kind of f a i r y , and remains under the leaves to protect the arrow-like sparrow. The arrow-like movement has shifted from one of retreat to one of aggression, while the speaker has changed from a protector to a capturer. The captured f a i r y is subject to indoctrination and control — in other words to the world of Experience--for the speaker has, in an iron i c ending to the poem, "pull'd out the s t i n g / Of the marriage r i n g . " The "sti n g , " to him, is the emotional involvement of love, which brings both joy and sorrow, and is thus rejected. Instead, he gloats that the f a i r y is "my b u t t e r f l y " — a n ob-ject, something to be owned, not a person to be loved. The purely sexual element of marital love is also, of course, implied by the speaker's " s t i n g . " Why Blake never included 1 1 2 this poem in Songs of Experience we do not know, but we can, nevertheless, make use of i t to illuminate the contrary-poem "The Blossom," which, as we might expect, celebrates not tyranny and enmity, but community and empathy. F i n a l l y , I would like to focus a parting look at the flame-plant motif in the design. In most of the l a t e r cop-ies, and even many of the e a r l i e r ones, the plant is predom-inantly yellow and red, with flame-like tongues of vegeta-tion l i c k i n g up the height of'the plant, A sexual interpre-tation of the poem implies or is implied by a p h a l l i c i n t e r -pretation of the plant, which the t r a d i t i o n a l association of flames with passion, and the erect nature of the plant, tend to corroborate. Hence, the flame-plant here functions in the same way i t functions elsewhere in Songs of Innocence — as a motif indicating higher or f u l f i l l e d Innocence. Not only the sexual connotations of the f i e r y plant, but i t s suggestion of energy transcending i t s natural l i m i t a t i o n s , make i t an effective motif of the highest Innocence. The manner in which the plant form contains tiny human-angel figures, like sparks of illumination, inseparable from the parent flame, demonstrates v i s u a l l y the concept -of a divine community: a whole made up of cooperating parts. Thus the design reinforces the theme of paradise as the human form divine, united in one man, Jesus. The f i e r i n e s s of the whole design indicates the intensity and the purity of the state achieved. 113 So the flame-plant i s an e a r l y expression of the f i e r y Innocence Blake l a t e r envisions as Eden, the golden c i t y or f i e r y paradise. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t i s an expression more suitable for the predominantly pastoral s e t t i n g of Songs of Innocence. But the essence of this highest Inno-cence i s the same--it is an internal state of harmony which manifests i t s e l f in i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and empathy with others, a state of giving and of love. It is a state where, as the image of the flame-plant reminds us, both the heat of divine energy and the l i g h t of divine v i s i o n dwell. Before leaving Songs of Innocence, I would like to review the main ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the state concerned. In-nocence, I maintain, is an eternal state of i n s p i r a t i o n and iden t i t y , manifested in understanding of and concern for a l l other l i v i n g things. It is a state of divine v i s i o n , u l t i -mately i d e n t i f i a b l e with Jesus. Lower Innocence i s the state of "The Shepherd" and most of the f i r s t stanza of "The Ecchoing Green," a state of i d e n t i t y with nature, of spon-taneity and of protection. It is an eternal state, but i t is also a state limited by growth. Hence i t can be envi-sioned as a womb world, as in the womb-flower design of "Infant Joy." When Blake focuses on this l i m i t of Innocence in the Songs, therefore, he pulls Innocence towards the death state of Ulro. Northrop Frye claims that "there i s an a f f i n i t y between Beulah and Ulro which in the c r i s i s of v i s i o n becomes i d e n t i t y . " 1 6 Lower Innocence, like Eeulah, 114 has this capacity to freeze. This i s exactly what happens in "The Ecchoing Green," where lower Innocence quickly be-comes an overprotected, external thing, without v i s i o n , without ide n t i t y . Ulro, therefore, represents the lower l i m i t of Innocence; the upper one is Eden. In the Songs, Flake does not absolutely distinguish higher and lower Innocence, often implying both at once, or just Innocence. But this Innocence tends to be largely the lower kind, characterized by a pastoral s e t t i n g and dominat-ed by a child's sense of security and ide n t i t y with the natural world. Higher Innocence predominates i n only a few songs, such as "The Divine Image" and "The Blossom," which portray a f i e r y state of human community and c r e a t i v i t y . Higher Innocence embodies the sexual f u l f i l l m e n t , the a r t i s -t i c maturity, and the acquired understanding or wisdom that come only when one leaves lower Innocence behind. But psy-chologically, Innocence is a state of the creative imagina-tion , a state i n which man may dwell at any time i n his l i f e , and the state i n which he finds his happiest and most productive moments. NOTES "'"Copy V i n the Census, where i t comes a f t e r Plate 8, "The Lamb." p Begin with the l e f t - r i g h t line of the turned head and neck, then follow the r i g h t - l e f t line of the upper body, changing to a l e f t - r i g h t line again at the legs. •^Blake 's Contrary States t The 'Songs of Innocence and of Experience' as Dramatic Poems, p. 27. In some e a r l i e r copies, at least Copy I of Songs of Innocence and Copy E of the combined Songs, a b a l l is ob-vious s l i g h t l y above the bat. This means the second boy's outstretched arms are probably waiting to catch the b a l l . But i n the l a t e r Copy Z Blake deliberately hides the b a l l with the heavy hedge, and transforms the receiving boy's posture into a gesture of f r u s t r a t i o n . ^See Fearful Symmetry, pp. 368-69. 6Blake, "Annotations to 'Poems* by William Words-worth," K 783. ^William Blake, Poet and Painter: An Introduction to the Illuminated Verse, p. 5?T. q J. E. C i r l o t , A Dictionary of Symbols, p. 116. 9 The boy next to the g i r l also holds a bunch of grapes, but i n Copy Z i t i s very i n d i s t i n c t . The sexual nature of the exchange of grapes remains v a l i d i f we see the g i r l as receiving grapes from the youth above and giving them to the youth beside her. 1 0See the "Introduction" of Songs of Innocence, where vines twine up both sides of the plate i n a very s i m i l a r fashion. See also my discussion i n Chapter Two and notes 9» 10 and 12 there. •^Blake also uses the frieze to suggest "frozen" or overly protected innocence in "Holy Thursday." 1 p ^^The grammatical structure is ambiguous, making the lines also attributable to the bi r d . However, the bird i s f l y i n g , and therefore seems unlikely to be under green leaves. 115 116 "^"Auguries of Innocence," from the Pickering Manu-s c r i p t , K 4 3 1 : 5-6. -^Blake' s Apocalypse : A Study i n Poetic Argument ( I 9 6 3 ; rpt. Garden City, N. Y.1 Anchor Books, Doubleday & Co., 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 34. l^See Joseph Wicksteed, Blake's Innocence and Experi-ence : A Study of the Songs and Manuscripts: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human~Soul (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, and New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1928), pp. 125-29. Geoffrey Keynes, i n his commentary for the Trianon Press facsimile, Songs of Innocence and of Experience (Lon-don: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1967), plate 11, and D. G. Gillham, in Blake's Contrary States, pp. 164-66, both agree that, to quote Gillham, p. 16W, "the subject of the poem" i s "sexual intercourse." John E. Grant, i n his "Review A r t i c l e : Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience," P h i l o l o g i c a l Quarterly, 47 TOct. 1968), 574-75, commends Keynes's p h a l l i c interpretation of the design without mentioning the text; while Jean H. Hagstrum, William Blake, Poet and Painter, p. 82, reads a sexual interpretation into the f i r s t stanza of the poem on the basis of the sexual design, but sees the second stanza as representing maternal love. Fearful Symmetry, p. 2 3 4 . CHAPTER FOUR SONGS OF EXPERIENCE The state of Experience is the contrary of the state of Innocence. This means that there i s an element of parody involved in the interaction between the two states. More-over, the parody i s not one sided, for Experience is simul-taneously a perversion of and a progression beyond Innocence. Most of the Songs of Experience stress the f a l l e n side of Experience, thus emphasizing the i n t e g r i t y of Innocence. Instead of exuberance and f a i t h we find repression, doubt, and cynicism. When such i s the case, the motifs of Inno-cence undergo the perverse changes enumerated i n Chapter Two. Flowers are sick, trees are l e a f l e s s , landscapes are barren and h o s t i l e , summer turns to winter, and i n several poems, the country becomes the c i t y . The transitions which take place in "A Garden of Love" are t y p i c a l . Vegetation decays as Innocence decays, for the child's spontaneous ide n t i t y with the world is l o s t , and the p r i e s t ' s r a t i o n a l and denying r e l i g i o n has taken i t s place. However, some of the Songs indicate the positive side of Experience--the principle of growth through suffering, and the ultimate t r i -umph of energy over repression. When this i s the case, the passive and deathlike motifs of the p r i e s t and his repressed subjects become the active and f i e r y motifs of the bard, 117 118 l i o n , and tyger. In Experience , man can re-create the f a l l e n world, and Blake's symbol f o r this power of re-creation i s f i r e . I w i l l discuss i n d e t a i l only four of the Songs of Experience, but as before I w i l l t r y to indicate the range of perspectives in this state. Also as before, I s h a l l avoid the most often discussed poems, like "The Tyger," "London," "The F l y , " "The Sick Rose" and "The Human Ab-s t r a c t , " though some of these have been b r i e f l y discussed i n Chapter Two and others w i l l be mentioned i n passing. F i -n a l l y , I w i l l attempt to choose Songs that i l l u s t r a t e the central motifs I am following--trees and grapevines; sheep, tygers and li o n s ; children, nurses and p r i e s t s ; and water and f i r e . To contrast the new and callous perspective of Expe-rience with the now f a m i l i a r one of Innocence, I w i l l begin with "The Clod and the Pebble." Trees, sheep, a worm, water, and a water l i l y appear i n the design. "NURSES Song" w i l l serve to take us more deeply inside the mind of a per-son trapped in Experience, and help to indicate how repres-sion gets a grip on one person and spreads i t s hold to others. The design provides us with a nurse, two children, and a grapevine. "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and "The L i t t l e G i r l Found," which I w i l l treat as one poem, were trans-ferred from Songs of Innocence as soon as Songs of Experi-ence appeared, and thereafter always appear i n the l a t t e r 119 set. They indicate the positive side of Experience, and take us to that state beyond Experience which i s the reward of our painful growth. The designs here turn around the important motifs of trees, children, tygers, and l i o n s . F i -nal l y , "To Tirzah" w i l l return us to the more t y p i c a l per-spective of Experience, where pa s s i v i t y and orthodoxy per-vert even the essence of Christian f a i t h . Both design and poem here lead us into Blake's more mature myth, but the archetypal p r i e s t of the i l l u s t r a t i o n i s very much a figure of Experience . In three of the four works, a l l except "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and "Found" set, the speakers are immersed i n the state of Experience, and give us only a f a l l e n v i s i o n . Their confused, complicated, r a t i o n a l emphasis i s t y p i c a l of the poetry of Experience. In the exceptional p a i r of poems, the speaker i s Blake, giving us an overview of both Inno-cence and Experience, and promising us a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of the two. This overview is more commonly undertaken by the design. The designs tend to be simpler than the text, but more severe than the exuberant designs of Songs of Innocence. There seems to be a counterpoint between text and design, so that the more complicated poems of Experience tend to be ac-companied by sim p l i f i e d designs, while the more spontaneous Songs of Innocence tend to be accompanied by complex and i n -tri c a t e designs. Even so, the designs of Experience often function on two di f f e r e n t l e v e l s . At one extreme is "The 120 Tyger," where the meek and mild beast of the i l l u s t r a t i o n presents an innocent alternative to the t e r r i f y i n g beast of the text, forcing the reader to see the perspective of the speaker from a new vantage point. Here the i r o n i c tension between text and design i s most acute. At the other extreme is "Holy Thursday," where both text and design i l l u s t r a t e the horrors of the state of Experience. Here text and de-sign complement each other i n a manner t y p i c a l of Songs of Innocence, for both text and design present the outraged v i s i o n of Blake. Usually, the design incorporates both ex-tremes, supporting or restating the experienced v i s i o n of the text, but providing an alternate and innocent v i s i o n at the same time. A l l four of the Songs I w i l l discuss have designs which incorporate both contrary visions, though the emphasis varies from the predominantly innocent designs of "The L i t -tle G i r l Lost" and "Found" to the predominantly experienced design of "To Tirzah." The juxtaposition or superimposition of the two contrary visions i n the design creates that same tension in the one art form which is produced i n the dual art form, with the interaction of a largely experienced poem and a largely innocent design. In the text, the confusion of truth and error t y p i c a l of the experienced speaker pro-duces the same e f f e c t of uncertainty and anxiety, character-i s t i c of the experienced state of mind. "The Clod and the Pebble" comes d i r e c t l y a f t e r the 121 "Introduction" and "Earth's Answer" i n seven of the l a s t eight copies ( a l l but Copy V i n the Census). It presents two views of love, that of Innocence and that of Experience, spoken by the Clod and the Pebble respectively.-'- It also presents two overviews—the one of the speaker, who i s not Blake but someone trapped i n Experience, and who therefore favours the Pebble's viewpoint, and the one of Blake, whose c l a r i t y of v i s i o n favours the view of the Clod. Blake's overview comes out predominantly i n the design, where he promises through the motif of the water l i l y a movement be-yond both the Clod and the Pebble, but reconciling the posi-tive elements of both. This progression is necessary, be-cause although the Clod's v i s i o n i s innocent, the Clod himself i s limited by a certain passiveness, an i n a b i l i t y to deal with error. The Pebble's v i s i o n is perverse and egocentric, but the Pebble is an independent force, whose pot e n t i a l l y l i b e r a t i n g energy has become repressive and cen-t r i p e t a l . The energy of the Pebble, then, must be reunited with the v i s i o n of the Clod before eit h e r can experience love iri a mutually s a t i s f y i n g way. Looking at the design we note f i r s t of a l l the h o r i -zontal divisions of the plate. The Clay and the sheep and cattle are above the text, perhaps indicating the heightened awareness of the Clod, while the brook with the Pebble i s below the text. In Copy Z, Blake colours a s t r i p behind the duck and frogs blue, and leaves the background to the text 122 a neutral colour. In e a r l i e r copies he does not have th i s l i n e , leading to Watson's suggestion that "the verse i s , as i t were, i n the brook along with the pebble." 2 Since the sheep and oxen appear to be drinking, i t i s not unreasonable to assume, even i n t h i s copy, that the water extends behind the text, though i t is muddied there. In the top scene, v/e note the four bowed sheep and the two bowed oxen, the cattle who tread upon the lowly Clod. The bowed sheep are a f a m i l i a r motif from Songs of Innocence, gentle but passive creatures in need of the pro-tection of the shepherd. The oxen, too, are creatures of Innocence—contrasted frequently i n the e a r l y prophetic writings to the f i e r y l i o n of Experience, and li k e the lamb an animal commonly slaughtered and t r a d i t i o n a l l y s a c r i f i c e d . J. E. C i r l o t further informs us that " i n mediaeval emblems, the ox i s frequently found symbolizing patience, submissive-ness and the s p i r i t of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e . " 3 The sheep and oxen, then, share the q u a l i t i e s of the Clod which they stand upon. For the Clod too is soft, passive, and vulnerable to outside forces beyond i t s control. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the Clod is Clay, the s t u f f of Adam, imperfect but e s s e n t i a l l y redeemable. It is related to the Clod of Clay i n The Book of Thel, the ma-ternal and y i e l d i n g s p i r i t who knows "we l i v e not f o r our-selves" (pi. 4: 10, K 129). Clod, sheep, and oxen are a l l associated with the f i r s t Innocence of The Book of Thel and many of the S o n g s of Innocence--a pastoral world governed 123 by maternal love, s e l f l e s s concern f o r others, and protec-tion from harm. The top design, however, also includes indications of r e s t r i c t i o n . The outlines of the bowed sheep and oxen cre-ate predominantly horizontal curves which f l a t t e n the design and squash any v e r t i c a l movement. This e f f e c t i s par t i c u -l a r l y noticeable with the oxen, whose bodies seem unusually long. The lone tree also sends a very horizontal branch over the entire plate. But i n Copy Z this tree i s coloured green, and the branch, which i s barren in Copies A, N, and E, sprouts new green leaves. The animals are golden i n c o l -our, and the t o t a l e f f e c t of the design i s considerably lightened. The top design thus indicates both l i m i t a t i o n and promise. The state i l l u s t r a t e d i s f i r s t Innocence, a state of v i s i o n but a state not always s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t , and thus vulnerable to destruction. However, i t s innocent v i -sion is always capable of renewal, as the green tree i n d i -cates. The bottom scene, much smaller, also appears much gayer. It has a sense of animation which the top plate lacks, perhaps largely because of a leaping frog. There are three kinds of creatures shown—a duck, two frogs, and a worm.24- There i s also a water l i l y plant. A l l these things have i n common a sharing of the environments of water and lands they are amphibious. Now i n Blake's early works water i s associated with the transience and the pastoral 124 t r a d i t i o n of f i r s t Innocence. Brooks and streams are prev-alent in Songs of Innocence, as we have seen, and also i n The Book of Thel. Later, water comes to symbolize the mate-r i a l world, again partly because of i t s transience, but more because of i t s formlessness. As might be expected, th i s change i n the significance of water i s r e f l e c t e d by a change in form, from the fresh running brooks of Innocence to the great " s a l t Ocean" which ends The Book of Urizen. In the i l l u s t r a t i o n of "The Clod and the ^ b b l e , " however, the l i l y and the animals depicted suggest the water i s not the sea, while the large expanse suggests i t is not a brook. A l l these things considered, i t appears to be a mud-bottomed pond, from one side of which the sheep and oxen drink, and from the other side of which the frogs leap and the l i l y grows. The water, then, i s ambiguous--it is somewhere be-tween the brooks of Innocence and the sea of Experience. It is one's environment, which to the innocent appears l i f e -giving and to the experienced tyrannous. This ambiguity i s reflected v i s u a l l y in i t s position between the top and bot-tom designs. Like the water, the lower animals are somewhat ambig-uous. Predominantly, they symbolize Experience. Because frogs and ducks both eat insects, they represent "nature red in tooth and claw," the Darwinian world where sur v i v a l of one means the death of another. Worms, as discussed i n Chapter Two, symbolize sexual repression and perversion i n 1 2 5 Songs of Experience, as i n "The Sick Rose." But because the lower design seems carefree and energetic, and perhaps also because the lower animals are able to leave the water at w i l l , they seem to have an innocent dimension as well. As we know, in The Book of The 1 the worm is a symbol of lowly Innocence, kin to the Clod of Clay. The duck is f i r s t a b i r d , t r a d i t i o n a l symbol of imagination, though adapted to survival i n the water. And "the frog represents the t r a n s i -tion from the Element of earth to that of water, and vice versa."'' Transition implies progression, and so the frogs could indicate both the t r a n s i t i o n to Experience and the growth beyond i t . A l l the animals, then, suggest Innocence lost but capable of being regained. More than the animals, however, the water l i l y implies renewal. Being a flower, i t i s not symbolic of sexual per-version but of sexual f u l f i l l m e n t . It is neither carnivo-rous nor competitive. And because i t i s rooted i n mud, grows through water, and emerges out of the water to flower i n the a i r , i t embodies a princip l e of upward growth—from Inno-cence through Experience and beyond. The animals are shown on or returning to the water, s t i l l dependent on the envi-ronment they struggle against, but the l i l y i s shown grow-ing out of i t and up the entire length of the poem, i t s s i n -uous curves and v e r t i c a l thrusts contrasting n i c e l y with the straight horizontals of the water and the land below. The l i l y , growing from the conjunction of land and water to the 126 top design, is the only motif to run alongside the text, and e f f e c t i v e l y joins the Experience of the lower design with the Innocence of the upper one. The design as a whole, then, depicts a pond with two dif f e r e n t scenes on i t s two hanks. Above the text, the wa-ter merges with the Clay, to create the alternate s t r i p s of mud and troughs of water, on which the cattle stand and out of which they drink. Below the text, the water comes to a grassy bank, but presumably there i s also mud at the shore-l i n e , f o r water l i l i e s grow i n mud, and frogs, ducks, and worms thrive on muddy bottoms. This union of Clay and wa-ter, then, provides the primal s t u f f which nourishes not only a l l the creatures but the tree and l i l y as well. Un-like the Clay, however, the Pebble r e s i s t s union with the water, and therefore supports no l i f e . Presumably i t be-longs with the duck, frogs, worm, and blue water of the bot-tom design, where each creature or element r e s i s t s a l l the others, i n a world ruled by competition, not cooperation. But unlike them, the Pebble i s submerged completely i n the water, unable to leap, f l y or grow into the a i r . We must now turn to the text. The t i t l e suggests that Clod and Pebble are contraries, and the nature of the two motifs confirms t h e i r differences. We have mentioned that the Clod i s passive and giving and gentle, a symbol of f i r s t Innocence related to the Matron Clay of The 1. Because i t i s passive, and because i t is the s t u f f of mortality, 127 clay l a t e r comes to represent the f a l l from the E t e r n a l state of t o t a l v i s i o n and energy. It is used i n this sense in The Book of Urizen, when the Eternals cry i n horror: "•What i s this? Death. / Urizen is a clod of clay'" (U 6« 9 - 1 0 , K 2 2 6 ) . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , neither clod nor clay is cap-i t a l i z e d here, whereas i n both Thel and the Song in question, both Clod and Clay have c a p i t a l s . However, the ambiguity of clay should warn us that even here, when i t i s a positive symbol of Innocence, i t implies the lim i t a t i o n s of f i r s t Innocence and not the t o t a l freedom of E t e r n i t y . It i s a perfect symbol for Innocence as a state of unselfishness and v u l n e r a b i l i t y , a perfect complement to the sheep and oxen we see i n the design. The Pebble, on the other hand, is a stone. It is hard and has a more or less definite c i r c u l a r shape, which r e s i s t s change. Its form is in one sense a progression be-yond the formless clay, but i t s roundness indicates not only i t s s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y but also i t s self-centeredness. The Pebble is the Selfhood, caring about no one but i t s e l f . The c i r c u l a r shape further associates i t with the cycle of na-ture, the " d u l l round" which is the universe as understood by Natural Religion and worshipped through the stony c i r c l e s of the Druids. The difference between the Clod's and the Pebble's view of nature is the difference between nature i n Innocence and i n Experience. The Clod's nature is an i n t e r -dependent world where a l l the in d i v i d u a l parts cooperate; 128 the Pebble's nature i s a closed world, where one i s suspi-cious of, hostile to, and armed against others. The Pebble is the embodiment of the "stony dread" of Earth i n "Earth's Answer," the poem i t immediately follows. It i s the s o l i d i -f i c a t i o n into stone of the Clay's loving and y i e l d i n g heart. The f i r s t stanza gives the Clod's v i s i o n of love, which we recognize as the v i s i o n of Innocence. Love is an unselfish thing which seeks the well-being of others, even at the expense of the s e l f . Because love extends outwards, because i t is an opening of one's center, i t results i n the reestablishing of the Golden Age, the creation of Heaven i n the midst of the despair of H e l l , which is Experience become Ulro. The Pebble's contrary view of love i s given i n the th i r d stanza, and represents the f a l l e n perspective of Ex-perience i Love seeketh only S e l f to please, To bind another to Its delight Joys i n another's loss of ease, And builds a H e l l i n Heaven's despite. In Experience, love is a game which each in d i v i d u a l i s out to win. It i s only the S e l f (c a p i t a l "S" to indicate S e l f -hood) which i s important, f o r the imaginative i d e n t i t y of man with man has ceased to e x i s t . Instead, others are con-sidered outsiders, and can best be handled by being bound or or enslaved. Then they cease to be a threat, for they 129 become l e s s than human. Only when bound, then, can they be a source of d e l i g h t . For, as the t h i r d l i n e goes on to say, the d e l i g h t , the joy, i s a r e s u l t of the b i n d i n g . In an e x p l i c i t admission of sadism, the Pebble gains i t s pleasure v i c a r i o u s l y through the pain of another. The r e s u l t of course i s the c r e a t i o n of the H e l l of the mating game out of the Heaven of the Clod's u n s e l f i s h love. The middle stanza functions l i k e a Creek chorus to give the speaker's understanding of the two points of view, to i n d i c a t e h i s preference. In most Songs of Experience , the speaker i s someone trapped i n that s t a t e , unable to see things c l e a r l y and f e a r f u l of a c t i n g openly. This poem i s no exception. The experienced speaker sides w i t h the Peb-b l e , seeing the Clod of Clay only as a f o o l , a "sueker" whose unsel f i s h n e s s r e s u l t s i n i t s being trampled, "trodden w i t h the c a t t l e ' s f e e t . " Experience i s a sta t e of subjec-t i o n , where one must e i t h e r subject others or be oneself subjected. So the speaker sees i n the Clod, whom he would consider naive, the v i c t i m he knows the world of Experience w i l l make of i t . V/e must remember at t h i s p o i n t that the Clod does not see i t s e l f as a martyr or v i c t i m — i t i s only the speaker who sees i t thus. He sees i n the Pebble, on the other hand, one who has come to terms w i t h the f a l l e n world. So the speaker condones the Pebble's s t o r y as one of "metres meet," meet or appropriate, that i s , to the state of E x p e r i -ence . 130 The Blakean overview i s latent i n the second stanza as well, completing the p a i r of contraries. For Blake im-p l i e s his own value to "metres meet," and i t i s not such a high one. "Metres meet" alludes to the polished verse of the Age of Reason, verse Blake abhorred. In this case, i t is s p e c i f i c a l l y the rhymed quatrain which Blake i s s a t i r i z -ing. He i s s l y l y implying here that the poetry of the eighteenth century belongs to the state of Experience not only i n content, but also i n form. Blake was soon to reject the r e s t r i c t i o n s of the rhymed quatrain, and was probably beginning to see i t as "the modern bondage of Rhyming" (J 3» K 621). "The Clod and the Pebble" is very regular i n metre, which makes i t appear rather i n s i p i d compared, f o r instance, to the strong and i r r e g u l a r four-beat line of "The Tyger." It is interesting also to compare the word "warbled" to the word "sang," for the implication is that the Clod, lik e Blake, manages to make a Song out of his quatrain, while the Pebble's product is only warbled metres meet. Per-haps the d i s t i n c t i o n refers to imaginative content, f o r the Pebble only mimics and perverts the words of the Clod. War-ble also suggests the sound of the brook, for the Pebble's voice i s a watery and therefore a distorted one, one undeni-ably affected by the environment he seeks control of and independence from. The word warble further suggests garble, which means a confusion or d i s t o r t i o n of the fa c t s , surely an appropriate epigram f o r the Pebble's statement. His view 131 may seem meet t o one i n the c o n f u s i o n o f E x p e r i e n c e , but not to B l a k e . To complete the Song, we must s y n t h e s i z e t e x t and de-s i g n . The s p e a k e r i n the t e x t s u p p o r t s the Pebble's e x p e r i -enced view of l o v e , because the Pebble i s i n c o n t r o l w h i l e the C l o d i s v i c t i m i z e d . But i n the d e s i g n Blake g i v e s us a d i f f e r e n t means of comparison. The sheep and the oxen do t r e a d upon the C l o d , muddying the c l e a r w a t e r and d i s i n t e -g r a t i n g the C l a y . But the C l o d i s not h u r t by becoming mud--it w i l l i n g l y undergoes t h i s s e l f - s a c r i f i c e t o become a more f e r t i l e and c r e a t i v e s u b s t a n c e . The r e s u l t i s the r e -newal of the green t r e e . In the l o w e r d e s i g n , the Pebble's r e s i s t a n c e i s i m p l i e d by the unmuddied blue w a t e r and the c o m p e t i t i v e l o w e r a n i m a l s . But we have seen t h a t , a l t h o u g h the Pebble preaches dominance o f o t h e r s , he h i m s e l f i s domi-nated by h i s own environment, w a t e r . The bottom d e s i g n , how-e v e r , does not end w i t h the D a r w i n i a n dog-eat-dog c y c l e o f n a t u r e . F o r the l i l y t r a n s c e n d s t h i s w o r l d of h o s t i l i t y , showing the Pebble the way t o escape. The l i l y grows t h r o u g h the w a t e r y environment of the ^ebble t o f l o u r i s h above i t . L i k e the g r a p e v i n e , the l i l y - - a t r a d i t i o n a l C h r i s t i a n symbol of r e g e n e r a t i o n — c h o o s e s the S curve of growth over the com-p l e t e d c i r c l e s y m b o l i z e d by the rounded Pebble. The l i l y works a g a i n s t the environment o f the l o w e r d e s i g n , w h i c h i s h o r i z o n t a l and e x p e r i e n c e d , r e a f f i r m i n g i n s t e a d the v e r t i c a l or i n n o c e n t t h r u s t of s p i r i t u a l growth. For the Pebble i s a 132 stony Selfhood, but the l i l y i s an imaginative ide n t i t y . The l i l y of the design, like the one i n the Song "The L i l l y " and i n the design of plate 28 of Jerusalem, "repre-sents the freedom of pure lo v e . " 6 It symbolizes love beyond the vicarious f u l f i l l m e n t of the Clod--the mother who nour-ishes—and beyond the s a d i s t i c f u l f i l l m e n t of the Pebble--the tyrant who imprisons. The l i l y , as the embracing couple in the water l i l y of plate 28 indicate, symbolizes mutually f u l f i l l i n g love, love which i t i s i n the Pebble's power to bring about, i f only he can learn to give instead of take, to release his energy and not contain i t . So i n "The Clod and the Pebble," the l i l y grows from the bottom design, where we expect but do not find the Pebble. For the l i l y i s the alternative to the Pebble, d i r e c t i n g i t s energy towards unfolding, not enclosing. The l i l y i s not in bloom, but the upward movement of the plant as well as the complementary budding of the tree i n the design above, both promise i t s flowering. The Pebble of the poem is a closed center, but i f i t can understand what Blake means by opening the center, then i t can open into the white l i l y of plate 28 of Jerusa-lem, the " l i l l y " which can, f i n a l l y , " i n love del i g h t . " Design, then, gives an innocent overview to the expe-rienced overview of the text. Experience awaits regenera-tion, but only the experienced, only the Pebble, can accom-p l i s h i t . The innocent can only wait, hoping by t h e i r example to l e t the l i g h t of t h e i r v i s i o n penetrate the stony 133 defenses of the experienced, and show them the way to re-demption. Part of the meaning of the poem, then, is that i n Experience the Clod is trodden, the innocent are helpless. But the meaning of the design counters this experienced i n -sight. It shows us that Experience i s p o t e n t i a l l y p o s i t i v e , because i t holds the means to re-creation. Once the essen-t i a l v i s i o n of the Clod i s grasped, the Selfhood which i s the Pebble can be l e f t behind, as i t i s l e f t out of the de-sign, to be replaced by the imaginative i d e n t i t y of the l i l y , unfolding the once trapped energy of Experience i n a glorious renewal of love. The next poem I w i l l discuss i s "NURSES Song." Su-p e r f i c i a l l y , perhaps, the design seems harmless enough. A woman, presumably the nurse, who i n Copy Z has bound brown hair and wears a d u l l red-mauve dress, is combing the hair of a young boy. He is dressed in green with white leggings, and folds his hands against his waist. In a doorway behind s i t s a g i r l i n a d u l l yellow dress, presumably e i t h e r dozing or reading a book, for her head is lowered. Up the white wall on both sides of the doorway climb grapevines, f i l l e d with green leaves and clusters of f r u i t , purple to the l e f t of the door and yellow to the right. These s p i r a l l i n g vines and green leaves continue up the right margin and between the two stanzas, where the background wash i s a bluish or purplish grey. On closer inspection, we realize that the central 134 figures of the design present a contrast to the vines sur-rounding them. The vines are energetic and sinuous, while the nurse and the youth are s t a t i c and severe. As Damon notest " i n the majority of copies, the boy looks very un-happy and indignant."? He is being smothered by the nurse who has taught him to stand with his hands folded. She has robbed him of his innate exuberance or Innocence, clothed him i n the r e s t r i c t i v e clothes of London society, or Experi-ence, and forced him to submit to being passive. The nurse of the design, then, appears to be a t y p i c a l l y experienced guardian, a restrainer of energy related c l o s e l y to the mo-t i f of the p r i e s t . Before discussing the design i n more d e t a i l , I would like to examine the text. Since the Experience version of this Song has three of i t s eight lines Identical to the In-nocence version, a comparison of the two poems makes a use-f u l beginning. In the f i r s t place, we notice the difference in the form of the t i t l e . The Innocence version has both words ca p i t a l i z e d but i n lower case l e t t e r s , and has an apostrophe i n "Nurse's." The Experience version has NURSES in upper case l e t t e r s , "Song" i n lower case l e t t e r s with a Q c a p i t a l "S," and no apostrophe. The difference seems to be one of emphasis. The f i r s t i s a song which i s a part of or an expression of the nurse. "Roth song and nurse are equally important and cl o s e l y interrelated. The second i s a s o l i l o -quy by the nurse, and not r e a l l y a song at a l l , i n the sense 135 that song implies something creative and p o s i t i v e , as I f e e l i t does for Blake. (Cf course, from another perspective, i t is Blake's Song, but that perspective has nothing to do with the nurse.) Her soliloquy i s completely self-centered or egocentric, which i s why the word NURSES i s accentuated i n the t i t l e . The lack of apostrophe further separates the two words i n the t i t l e . They are not two parts of a unity but two p r i n c i p l e s at war—the creative outpouring of song against the repressive inpouring of the nurse's despair. The f i r s t line i s i d e n t i c a l to the f i r s t line of the Innocence Song, except for a dubious comma a f t e r "children," which Erdman chooses to recognize, but Keynes does not. Like "The Ecchoing Green," this line indicates the separa-t i o n of adult and c h i l d , f or i t is i n the passive voice. Interestingly enough, the s p e c i f i c use of the word "voices" in this line draws attention to the passive construction of the sentence, and tends to make the distance between active children and passive l i s t e n e r s even greater. The possible comma a f t e r "children" has the same e f f e c t , separating the subject from the passive verb — the voices from the hearing. At this point the f i r s t stanza diverges greatly from the previous version. Instead of "laughing . . . on the h i l l " there are "whisp'rings . . . i n the dale." And unlike the laughing, the whisperings are not even "heard." The contrast is obvious: the high and open h i l l to the dark, low, and secret dale; the open and happy laughter to the 136 mysterious and threatening whisperings; and some communica-tion , even a one-sided one, between nurse and c h i l d rather than no communication at a l l . Moreover, the i n a b i l i t y of the nurse to hear the whisperings makes them seem a l l the more h o s t i l e , for unheard and therefore unshared whispering implies intrigue and deceit, whether r e a l or imagined. The separation implied by the absence of the word "heard," which is both a physical and a s p i r i t u a l one, leads into the development of the next l i n e . Instead of r e l a t i n g to the children she i s looking a f t e r , the nurse turns i n -ward to her own lost youth. Like the Old Folks i n "The Ec-choing Green," the nurse enters the spectral realm of memory or the past, which therefore becomes "fresh" to her. Subse-quently, her face "turns green and pale." There are several possible interpretations of the green face. If we connect i t with "youth" and "fresh" of line three, v/e have connotations of spring, of natural l i f e , and of immaturity and inexperience. Put the fact that i t is a green face, and also a pale face, implies two further asso-c i a t i o n s — t h e t r a d i t i o n a l one of green with jealousy, and the obvious one of pale with sickness or death. A l l these connotations together build up the impression that the nurse has had an experience in her youth which involved jealousy on her part, which (possibly because of her youth and inex-perience) ended disastrously, and which therefore resulted in a kind of sickness or death for her. " 13? The second stanza gives the nurse's reaction to her condition. The f i r s t two li n e s here repeat exactly the f i r s t two lines of the second stanza of the innocent ver-sion, where the nurse c a l l s the children home to escape the dews of night. But the "then" beginning the f i r s t l i n e s has a di f f e r e n t reference now--the c a l l in i s not a resu l t of the nurse's peaceful response to the children's laughter, but a result of her disquieting memory of her own past. And now the la s t two lines change accordingly. Play i s not merely to be suspended t i l l the morning reappears; i t i s to be stopped. There i s no longer any mention of morning. Why stopped? The reason the nurse gives i s t h i s i "Your spring & your day are wasted in play, / And your win-ter and night in disguise." She i s , of course, projecting her own Experience onto the children. It i s her spring and her day ("the days of my youth") which have been wasted; i t is her winter and night, her adulthood, which she spends i n disguise. But the play which she denigrates i s r e a l l y not the playing of the children on the green, which is something external to her, but the playing of the mating game of teas-ing and denial and jealousy, where the f i e l d of play i s not the v i l l a g e green but the human body, or s p e c i f i c a l l y the "green" face. The whisperings she cannot quite hear re-create for her the memory of past whisperings, perhaps i n con-nection with a past a f f a i r . The green and pale face suggests that she has l o s t her would-be lover to another, perhaps one 138 less a f r a i d of love, so that instead of a wife and mother she must become a spinster nursemaid. Her play, therefore, her mating game, i s "wasted." As for her winter and night, which indicate not only her adulthood but also her condition of Experience, they are spent i n disguise because she must cover up her hurt and her jealousy: she must pretend to be happy and carefree and lov-ing. If she expressed overtly the true animosity she bears the children, which i s an outgrowth of her own f r u s t r a t i o n , she would, presumably, lose her job. Deceit, then, is a prerequisite to survival in the h y p o c r i t i c a l world of Expe-rience. And with deceit comes d e n i a l — t h e acceptable way of punishing the children for the pain she has suffered, but cannot admit. The i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p of text and design here i s a beautiful example of Blake's a b i l i t y to illuminate one medi-um through another. V; he re as the text is a soliloquy bv_ the nurse, indicating her cynicism and despair, the design i s an i l l u s t r a t i o n of_ the nurse, showing her external s i t u a -t i o n , her "disguise" as nursemaid. Both are equally e f f e c -tive i n exposing the person underneath the defenses and disguise: the hurt, frustrated, and repressed woman who desires nothing more than to hurt, to frustrate, and to re-press the children. Returning to the design, then, we find our attempts at synthesis f r u i t f u l . The nurse, we now r e a l i z e , has a 139 notably pink flush to her face, without the s l i g h t e s t sug-gestion of greenness or paleness. This reaffirms the e l e -ment of disguise which ends the poem--her appearance masks her psychological r e a l i t y . Tn this copy, we could consider the green of the nurse as transferred to the youth clothed in green, for the r e a l state of the nurse--a state of imag-inative sickness or death--infects the boy as we 11.9 While he stands s t i l l , she holds her hands on e i t h e r side of his head, less than a foot away. In her l e f t hand is a comb with very large teeth, pointed at the boy's head. Ostensi-bly, she is combing and admiring the child ' s hair. But beneath t h i s disguise the comb takes on a new s i g n i f i c a n c e . It i s the symbol of her aggression and her hatredi i t i s her teeth and her claws, wanting to hurt the boy the way another boy, i n another time, hurt her. The way Blake draws the comb i t actually appears to be a claw-like extension of her fingers. The pious look on her face serves to remind us again of the disguise versus the r e a l i t y , of the false ap-pearance of love which one i n Experience t y p i c a l l y feigns, to cover and suppress the r e a l violence he f e e l s . One of Blake's most questioned Proverbs of H e l l i s relevant to this poem: "Sooner murder an infant i n i t s cra-dle than nurse unacted desires" (MHH 10: 7, K 152). What the nurse is r e a l l y nursing i s her own frustrated sexual de-s i r e , which makes her incapable of nursing or nurturing the boy. Instead, she is k i l l i n g him, k i l l i n g the imaginative 140 l i f e in him. She i s also k i l l i n g herself, and probably a l l the other children she is responsible for. "Sooner" has the force of better here, better to murder one infant than many. But i t also means sooner, because the infant w i l l eventually be k i l l e d anyway, at least i n s p i r i t . Blake is not advocat-ing murder here. He i s condemning abstinence wrought by fear on the grounds that i t creates a state of f r u s t r a t i o n , which ultimately leads to death.1° Turning to the boy, we can e a s i l y see how frustrated and repressed he i s by the way he i s holding his hands. They are kept inactive by his own w i l l , which has probably been smothered by the nurse's r e s t r i c t i v e rules. But the boy's lack of resistance dooms him, for unless he himself acts, unless he frees himself from the fears and the i n h i b i -tions the nurse was unable to escape, he w i l l end up as she i s , an imaginative corpse. The grapes which surround the two figures represent the sexual f u l f i l l m e n t which neither has tasted. The nurse, turning away from the purple grapes behind her, seems intent on preventing the boy from plucking the grapes on the other side. He need only reach out his hands, but alas, they are pressed firmly i n front of him, the hands of a tempted schoolboy restraining himself from forbidden f r u i t s . Unlike the f i n a l plate of "The Ecchoing Green," where the boys do reject the r e s t r i c t i o n s of the Old Folks, and do pluck the grapes, this plate shows the triumph of the state of 141 Experience, and leaves the innocent f u l f i l l m e n t of the grapes untouched. The nurse, who denies the boy the f u l -f i l l m e n t she herself never found, wears a wine-coloured dress as a disguise to cover her true greenness. It is a substitute in the world of deceit for the grapes of happi-ness which have never l e f t t h e i r ruddy s t a i n upon her. The g i r l i n the doorway, dressed in the yellow of the grapes on the ri g h t , represents the potential sexual f u l -f i llment awaiting the boy, but forbidden by the nurse.H For just as the nurse puts her comb-clawed hand between the boy and the grapes, so she keeps the boy turned away from the doorway and the g i r l . A doorway is a way out, a way to a new l i f e , which the vines understand, for they send s p i -r a l l i n g t e n d r i l s through i t . The g i r l too, s i t s with her feet outside (or inside) this gate. She, li k e the children in "The Ecchoing Green," is at a point of t r a n s i t i o n i n her l i f e . Thus the g i r l could also represent the nurse i n the days of her youth. If the boy were to turn away from his nurse, to pivot on his l e f t foot and put his right foot forward, he would find himself face to face with both the yellow grapes and the g i r l , and heading out the doorway. But thi s i s not a Song of Innocence, and such an occurrence is not l i k e l y . The reticence of the boy implies that the g i r l of the de-sign, l i k e the nurse of the poem, w i l l not fi n d sexual f u l -f i l l m e n t . Thus the c i r c l e of repression is complete : nurse 142 represses boy, boy rejects g i r l , g i r l becomes nurse. The nurse, who considers herself a victim, is making sure the g i r l w i l l also be one, which could account f o r the g i r l ' s passive and bowed position. In "NURSES Song," the way out of Experience i s missed, for the disguise has become the r e a l i t y , the spectre has become the man. Hence, Experience i t s e l f becomes Ulro, the state of s p i r i t u a l death. The design here gives Blake's perspective on the s i t -uation, for i t sees the disguise and the repression f o r what they are, and offers an alternative i n the grapes. The nurse who recites the poem, on the other hand, accepts the spectral r e a l i t y of Ulro-Experience as the ultimate truth, and uses this "truth" to bind others. Thus the poem embod-ies error, while the design exposes this same error to the l i g h t of the imagination. Its v i s i o n i s that of one who has found his way out of Experience, one who looks with absolute c l a r i t y , some sadness, and perhaps even some anger at those who f a i l to escape, for they are the ones who perpetuate the hated spectral world. "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and "The L i t t l e G i r l Found" Songs counter the Imprisoning view of Experience we have seen so far. They present Experience as a positive stage i n the development toward the Edenic state of t o t a l awareness, putting i t into the larger perspective which i s often missed in Songs of Experience. They also provide one of the most complex and successful examples of the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p of text and design. Both the text and the designs can be f o l -lowed independently, to give p a r a l l e l stories of the basic progression from Innocence to Experience to higher Inno-cence. As usual, each form: also e lab orates upon the other form, emphasizing cert a i n important points and giving addi-t i o n a l information and insight, to build up yet a t h i r d meaning which is greater than the sum of the other two. To begin with, I w i l l follow the designs independently. The f i r s t plate shows a youth and maiden embracing under an arching willow tree on the ri g h t , with a vine and serpent on the l e f t , and some birds. The g i r l points with her l e f t arm up to the sky. She is clothed i n a transparent yellow gown, while the youth is naked and pink. The willow tree with t e n d r i l l a r vines around i t , the embracing p a i r of lovers, and the birds a l l suggest Innocence.^ 2 A very sim-i l a r design occurs i n the Title-page of The Book of Thel, where a maiden stands under a s i m i l a r l y arched and slender willow, also encircled with a vine. There, however, she stands alone, but she looks towards a couple embracing, and again the female is clothed while the male is naked. The arched tree, of course, is a f a m i l i a r motif of Innocence, indicating both s p i r i t u a l i t y and protection. But the arch-way also s i g n i f i e s a t r a n s i t i o n , as in "NURSES Song" of Experience. The cathedral-like arch of the willow, both i n this f i r s t plate and in The Book of Thel, suggests the high-er Innocence Blake associates at this stage with sexual 144 f u l f i l l m e n t . 1 3 Thus, as a motif, i t i s kin to the grapes of "The Ecchoing Green" and "NURSES Song." The serpent is the only i r r e c o n c i l a b l y experienced motif in the design. Its function w i l l become obvious when we look at poem and design together. It i s possible, how-ever, purely on the basis of design, to see the serpent as an indication that the couple are Adam and Eve. In this case the t r a n s i t i o n implied would not be to higher Innocence, but to Experiencei i t would be the F a l l . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , of course, sexuality and the F a l l are associated, but Blake was not t r a d i t i o n a l i n this respect. Moreover, the serpent faces away from the young couple, and seems to threaten others from entering the garden-world they inhabit. As such, i t i s perhaps an early form of the Covering Cherub, the serpent or E r r o r "which shut[sl man out from et e r n i t y . " - ^ He i s at any rate a force contrary to the embracing couple, representing resistance, aggression, and wrath rather than mutual cooperation and love. He is also a l l i e d with other serpents in Blake's early works, symbolizing the natural world, war, and hypocrisy. 1^ Plate two has two d i s t i n c t scenes, divided by a h o r i -zontal l i n e . The upper scene shows a g i r l l y i n g under a tree i n a green forest. She is clothed in an orangey gown and appears to be eithe r just awakening, or about to sleep. The lower scene shows a dead and barren tree arching over a tyger, with a vine on the l e f t . Otherwise, the scene is 145 bare* possibly indicating a desert, though there i s a small patch of green under the tyger. Studying this plate, we become aware that the tree i s an important part of each design so fa r . In each of the three designs i t i s a d i f f e r e n t kind of tree, but i n each case the main figure (or figures) i s situated at i t s base. The graceful curving arch of the willow indicates the tran-s i t i o n to higher Innocence by way of sex, while the heavy, dense trees of the top of plate two are the forests leading into Experience. Again, a t r a n s i t i o n i s indicated by an archway, th i s time a rather flattened one made by the h o r i -zontal branches and v e r t i c a l trunks of two trees. F i n a l l y , the flattened and dead tree on the bottom indicates Experi-ence at i t s most negative—the Ulro state of s t e r i l i t y and oppression. The two parts of the second plate make an int e r e s t i n g comparison because of t h e i r s i m i l a r but reversed format--the g i r l under a l i v i n g tree on the l e f t becomes the tyger under a dead tree on the ri g h t . The scene has undergone a change of v i s i o n so that the l i f e and Innocence implied i n the green trees and the g i r l have been reduced to the death and Experience implied by the barren tree and the tyger. As i n "The Clod and the Pebble," the elevation of the top scene above the bottom one could indicate that i t i s the v i s i o n of one i n a higher or more innocent state. The t h i r d and l a s t plate i s an extr a o r d i n a r i l y 146 b e a u t i f u l one. It picks up the t y p i c a l tree-vine marriage motif of Songs of Innocence and modifies i t to become a vine-vine marriage on the l e f t and a tree-tree marriage on the right. As in the other plates, the main action takes place at the base of the trees, this time d e f i n i t e l y trees of renewed Innocence, entwined i n love and sprouting new green growth. Below, two l i o n s , a male and a female, l i e surrounded by three naked children who play with them. A naked woman l i e s with them also, her back to us, presumably asleep. She is an echo not only of Earth in the design of the "Introduction," but also of the figure l y i n g down beside a ram i n America, A Prophecy, plate ?. In that plate, the motif of the curved arch of the willow tree i s also present, along with birds of paradise and a c o l o u r f u l sunrise, sug-gesting the same higher Innocence as plate one of "The L i t -t l e G i r l Lost." But the "Introduction" suggests only the prophetic return of "Earth," who i s , as yet, s t i l l turning her back to regeneration. This p i c t o r i a l a l l u s i o n reminds us that, though the earth is obviously regenerated i n the l a s t plate of "The L i t t l e G i r l Found," with i t s wild lions no longer f e a r f u l beasts of prey, but gentle friends, the adult nude has not yet awakened to the renewed state. The fact that she remains asleep l i m i t s the t o t a l design i n much the same way as the serpent l i m i t s the design of the f i r s t plate. Paradise is envisioned in both cases, but i t cannot be t o t a l l y realized u n t i l a l l humanity awakens from the 147 sleep of Experience to the state of Edenic l i f e , u n t i l a l l mankind ceases to fear the serpent which i s blocking the entry to Paradise. The sleep and the serpent, then, are two ways of suggesting that something l i e s between us and Para-dise, but that that something w i l l eventually be overcome. The text is lengthy and to a certa i n extent elusive, for i t begs symbolic interpretation much as "The Mental Tra v e l l e r " does. But attempts to enforce r i g i d symbolic interpretations upon i t have not proved very s u c c e s s f u l . ^ An approach li k e that of Joseph Wicksteed or S. Foster Damon, which seeks to give special significance only to the most demanding symbols, like the wild beasts and sleep, seems a productive compromise.^ I agree with Damon that sleep i n -dicates the state of Experience, but like Wicksteed, I think the wild beasts are symbols of energy, perhaps s p e c i f i c a l l y sexual energy or passion. The f i r s t two stanzas are obviously a prophetic pro-logue, even considered apart from the design. They give a statement in the future tense, compared to the story which begins i n stanza three i n the past tense. The prologue fore-sees an awakening earth, reunion (probably sexual) with her maker, and a flowering of earth from desert to garden. Now earth i s obviously used in two senses here: one as a planet or an environment, and the other as a person—the humanity which inhabits the environment. The f i r s t earth flowers; the second earth awakens and seeks reunion. We w i l l see 148 this union of woman and environment culminate i n Jerusalem, which gets i t s name from a c i t y which i s also a woman. In the fourth, line of stanza one, "(Grave the sen-tence deep)," a s i m i l a r ambiguity gives rise to three d i s -t i n c t but not inconsistent readings. In the f i r s t place, the line means in effects "Mark my words." It also has special application to Blake's engraving process. Blake should engrave the words of his prophecy deeply, so that they w i l l stand out c l e a r l y on the plate. Third, i t refers to the sentence of "seven thousand years" 1^ in the f a l l e n state, which is the state of sleep or the grave, before the promised regeneration, reawakening, or resurrection. This is the sentence of creation, which i s a sentence both of hope and of l i m i t a t i o n , and is associated on the in d i v i d u a l l e v e l with the f a l l of man into Experience or Generation. Stanzas three and four t e l l us that Lyca has been l i v -ing in the realm of summer and sunshine and singing birds, the state of Innocence, f o r seven summers. Now seven i s the number of "a complete period or cycle, l a t e r associated by Blake with the seven eyes of God, seven cycles of r e l i -gious b e l i e f or seven c u l t u r a l and imaginative cycles of man. The seventh cycle belongs of course to Jesus. At this early stage, however, for we must remember that "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and "Found" were o r i g i n a l l y part of the Songs of Innocence, we cannot assume that Blake had formulated his myth of cycles. V/e can assume, however, that he was aware, 149 f i r s t , that the Creation took seven "days"; second, that man t r a d i t i o n a l l y l i v e s seventy years; and perhaps, t h i r d , that the archetypal significance of seven is a complete cycle. As support in Blake's own work we note that i n T i r i e l , w r it-ten about the same time, T i r i e l states that seven years have passed since he has seen Ijim, implying that i t has been seven years since his sons rebelled and l e f t him. The seven years would therefore be years of T i r i e l ' s a l i e n a t i o n , as a further deleted line suggests: "seven years of sorrow" (K 104: 1 5 - 1 6 ) . The French Revolution, another e a r l y work, was subtit l e d "A Poem i n Seven Books," seven again tending to indicate a complete cycle. F i n a l l y , i n The Four Zoas, a somewhat l a t e r work, Albion sneezes seven times to i n i t i a t e his awakening from the sleep of the f a l l e n world (N 8 1 16-17, K 341). At the age of seven, then, at the end of one cycle or state, which we have seen is the state of Innocence, Lyca longs for sleep. Now i f we maintain the connection of sleep with the grave that lines three and four of stanza one sug-gest, sleep must be a symbol of the f a l l e n state of Experi-ence . As Lyca longs for sleep she finds h e r s e l f — a n d the tense i s now present—under a tree in the desert at night. Now the tree i s ambiguous, but the desert and the night c e r t a i n l y indicate Experience. This suggests to me that perhaps sleep represents a cert a i n kind of Experience, which 150 i s d i f f e r e n t from the Experience associated with deserts and nights. For the sleep Lyca invokes is "sweet sleep," which involves her closing her eyes to the dark world around her, and entering instead the world of her subconscious. Moreover, sleep is replenishing, while Experience as we usu-a l l y understand i t is depleting. Lyca's parents must be considered at this point, f o r they try to prevent t h e i r daughter from sleeping. They are weeping, probably because they fear Lyca's sleep. She replies that she cannot sleep while t h e i r heartache i s bothering her, but that i f her mother would sleep, Lyca would not cry. Unlike her parents, Lyca associates wakefullness with heartache, and sleep with freedom from tears. The d i s t i n c t i o n between Lyca and her parents seems to p a r a l l e l the d i s t i n c t i o n between sleep and other symbols of Experience. Lyca i s a more positive figure than her parents and sleep represents a more positive kind of Experience than the desert and the darkness represent. Sleep i s the merciful and growing side of Experience; wake-fullness is the agonizing side. Lyca's l a s t invocation is that the moon should r i s e , the moon with i t s reflected l i g h t symbolizing the weakened imagination of man i n the f a l l e n state, the only source of illumination that can guide man through the night of Experi-ence. The moon is to rise as Lyca closes her eyes, f o r i t s enlightenment i s associated with her sleep and not with the external desert world. Again, the moon i s one of the more 151 positive symbols of Experience. As Lyca sleeps, she creates a spot of "hallow'd ground" i n the desert, perhaps because even i n sleep she s t i l l maintains a glimmer of her imaginative i d e n t i t y . Meanwhile, beasts of prey emerge from t h e i r caves to pay her homage. They represent the energies which, i f accepted, are capable of redeeming the state of Experience. But i n Experi-ence, they are repressed or "driven underground," victimized by the laws of denial and morality which teach that they are dangerous. One of them, a lioness, removes Lyca's dress, while they a l l carry her to t h e i r underground caves. Now clothes i n Blake represent human defenses and repressions, for they hide the truth and the beauty of the human form. V/e have seen that i n Songs of Innocence nakedness indicates unfettered imagination, and here i t means much the same thing. Lyca i s stripped of her ordinary defenses and brought to the den of the subconscious, the state where the passions of man dwell uninhibited. In other words, she en-ters the realm of uncontrolled imagination and energy, the world of dream. And there we must leave Lyca and return to her parents. The parents in "The L i t t l e G i r l Found" follow a simi-l a r pilgrimage, but with very d i f f e r e n t connotations. For the parents know Experience only as a barren state, a state of fear, pain, and repression. They t r a v e l " a l l the night in woe" over deep valleys and deserts, for a t o t a l of seven 1 5 2 days. Their seven nights are spent, li k e Lyca's, i n sleep and dream. But the differences are c r u c i a l , f o r t h e i r sleep is neither sweet nor restoring, and t h e i r dreams c e r t a i n l y do not represent the reunion of energy and imagination, sym-bolized by beast and c h i l d . Instead, t h e i r sleep is specif-i c a l l y one of "unrest," and t h e i r dream i s a "fancied image" of t h e i r daughter starving, l o s t and t e r r i f i e d . Like the L i t t l e Boy Lost, they are following a phantom form: the creation of a feeble imagination, weakened, i n this case, by an excess of fear. They are t y p i c a l of most people i n Experience, imaginatively overcome by the fears and doubts which they project onto the world. But t h e i r wandering, we notice, takes seven days, so we expect that i t i s reaching i t s end. At this point, stanza five i n the second poem, the mother has reached her l i m i t of endurance, and must be car-ried by her husband. She has been weakened by sorrow, but her very weakness is like armour fo r her husband, giving him the. strength to continue. However, i t i s not s u f f i c i e n t guard to protect him from the l i o n , onto whom he projects a l l the cruelty and aggression he fears from the world. The l i o n brings them down to earth, both l i t e r a l l y and metaphor-i c a l l y . But i t i s a d i f f e r e n t earth they face now. For the l i o n is r e a l l y "a S p i r i t arm'd i n gold," gold being, of course, the colour of Eden, the Paradise beyond Experience. This, however, they only realize when "they 153 look upon his eyes." For they have feared energy as a de-stroying wild "beast, and have refused to confront i t honest-l y , refused to r e a l l y see i t as i t i s , a s p i r i t u a l body. Now that they have f i n a l l y done t h i s , t h e i r fear and care are gone, for t h e i r greatest enemy has been accepted as a friend. The l i o n - s p i r i t leads them to his "palace deep," which i s his cave seen in imaginative terms, where Lyca l i e s asleep. They follow "the v i s i o n , " which is the l i o n now understood in visionary terms, and see t h e i r daughter sleep-ing with wild tygers. The conclusion sees the parents re-turned to a d e l l , rather than a desert, and no longer a f r a i d of wild animals, or energy. The d e l l , however, i s lonely, because Lyca i s no longer there. The implication i s that complete happiness w i l l not be achieved u n t i l Lyca returns, that the d e l l w i l l not become a universal garden u n t i l she awakes. For the regeneration of the parents i s largely ex-ter n a l : i t happens to them i n spite of themselves. Only Lyca has a t o t a l l y human dimension, for only she determines her own progression. Combining text and design, we find the united evidence of the two forms enables us to draw some new conclusions. F i r s t of a l l , i f the woman in the f i r s t and l a s t plates i s Lyca, and i f she i s reminiscent i n the f i r s t design of the awakened Earth foreseen in the f i r s t two stanzas, and remi-niscent in the l a s t design of Earth i n the design of the "Introduction," then we can reasonably assume that Lyca i s a 154 pe r s o n i f i c a t i o n of E a r t h . 2 0 We r e c a l l that i n the f i r s t two stanzas, or prologue, Earth has two frames of reference--that of a human and that of an environment. Obviously, Lyca symbolizes Earth as the t o t a l i t y of a l l the people on the earth, Earth as humanity. Awake, she symbolizes humanity i n Innocence, and asleep humanity i n Experience. As an environ-ment, Earth i s the sunny garden or the darkened desert, i n -habited by birds and tygers respectively, and perhaps asso-ciated with Lyca's parents. They, like the earth, find renewal comes to them. The f i r s t plate, then, shows Lyca or humanity newly awakened from sleep, reunited i n sexual love with her maker, the male youth, and reestablishing the garden as her proper environment. The serpent of this plate divides the prologue from the rest of the text, for i t is only a prophecy and not yet a r e a l i t y . The rest of the text t e l l s of the f a l l e n world, and thus l i e s under the image of the serpent, the symbol of the Natural World. The f i r s t two stanzas l i e under the im-age of the upward f l y i n g bird of Paradise. It i s to this bird that Lyca points, indicating her connection with the Prologue and with the renewal of Paradise, not with the rest of the text. The l e f t border, on the other hand, i s con-nected with the f a l l from Innocence. For instead of the innocent flowering vine twining around another vine or tree, as on the right, i t i s encircled by the serpent. The change of vine to serpent is a modification of motif from Innocence 155 to Experience. In line with t h i s change, the cup-like flow-ers of the vine a l l droop down, no longer able to hold up t h e i r heads, while the birds e i t h e r s i t or f l y downward, contrasting to the upward-moving f l i g h t of the larger b i r d at the top. The top part of the second plate seems to i l l u s t r a t e the lines i "Sweet sleep, come to me / Underneath th i s t r e e . " The progression of the designs thus p a r a l l e l s the progres-sion of the text, from the Prologue prophesying the regain-ing of Innocence to the poem proper t e l l i n g of the loss of Innocence. Lyca's forest, however, i s not t o t a l l y negative. For the trees i n which she may lose her way also o f f e r her shelter. She does not appear to be a f r a i d , but commits her-s e l f t r u s t i n g l y to the forest. She i s younger here than i n the f i r s t plate, since t h i s plate represents the beginning of the progression, and the f i r s t plate the end. The bottom design of the plate, accompanying the sec-ond poem, shows Experience from the parents' view. The parents have a much more f e a r f u l and limited perspective, thus they project t h e i r own s t e r i l i t y and fear onto t h e i r world. In the f a l l e n state, they cannot conceive of Earth as a human form, and thus instead of seeing Lyca underneath a tree they see a tyger. The hallowed ground mentioned i n the text i s picked up here as the patch of green beneath the tyger. The parents' inversion of v i s i o n portrayed in t h i s design i s p a r a l l e l to t h e i r dream of Lyca as a spectral 156 human form i n the text. Later, when they see the l i o n i n i t s human or s p i r i t u a l form, t h e i r unfallen or right-side-up v i s i o n of E t e r n i t y i s restored. The second plate, i l l u s t r a t i n g the f a l l , thus func-tions on several levels. It gives Lyca's innocent view of Experience, as the coming of sleep i n a forest, and the parents' experienced view of the same, as the s t e r i l i t y and danger of a beast-inhabited desert. It also i l l u s t r a t e s the change in v i s i o n which accompanies the P a l l , from seeing Earth i n innocent human form to seeing Earth i n the form of a wild animal. The horizontal d i v i s i o n of the plate i s a vi s u a l representation of the s p l i t which occurs i n v i s i o n at the time of the F a l l , and the s i m i l a r i t y of the composi-tion of the top and bottom scenes is meant to t i p us off to the e s s e n t i a l change i n perception. The fact that the bot-tom design belongs to the poem dealing with the parents i s a further clue, but we must note that the parents are no-where i l l u s t r a t e d as people. Their environment i s what i s important, which i n the l a s t design, as well as at the end of the second poem, changes from a desert to a d e l l . The t h i r d plate i s connected with the f i r s t , i n that i t shows the return of Innocence. But this plate i l l u s -trates the return only i n terms of Earth as environment. For trees grow new l i f e , and entwine i n loving embraces, while the naked children and l i o n s , imagination and energy, play together without r e s t r a i n t or fear. The naked woman, 157 however, Lyca or the Earth as humanity, remains asleep. In the context of the poem, t h i s t h i r d plate shows the parents' v i s i o n of Lyca i n the lion's palace, and perhaps also Lyca's v i s i o n of Innocence, kept alive in dream u n t i l the day when i t can he realized awake. In the larger context of the com-posite art form, the plate f i t s psychologically between the f a l l into Experience of plate two, and the return to Inno-cence of plate one. For here Lyca, or Earth as humanity, has not yet arisen to seek reunion with "her maker meek"— the Holy Word who c a l l s her in the "Introduction" and the naked youth who embraces her i n the f i r s t plate. The time is ripe, for the Earth as environment has been regenerated. But the l a s t plate i l l u s t r a t e s the means to t o t a l regenera-tion, the cooperation of energy and imagination, and not the ultimate end, which even at this stage Blake probably in t u -ited was more than the return of the garden world. The l a s t plate i s powerful but, like the text, leaves the f i n a l apoc-alypse of reunion i n the future. Only the f i r s t design, which is t r u l y remarkable i n the context of the Songs, gives a glimpse of this reunion. For the embrace of Earth and her maker, of Lyca and her lover, foreseen i n both the text and design of plate one, goes beyond the normal motifs of Inno-cence and Experience, to anticipate the reunion of Jerusalem and Albion, the r e u n i f i c a t i o n of a l l mankind i n a state of t o t a l l y awake imagination and t o t a l l y unrepressed energy. "To Tirzah" is generally agreed to be a late addition 158 to Songs of Experience, quite possibly as late as 1801-2. x But the fact that Blake chose to add i t to the Songs implies that he saw i t i n terms of the state of Experience, as D. G. p p Gillham realized. ^ The design shows the dead and naked body of a youth being raised from the grave by two women. In Copy Z they are dressed in gowns of red and yellow, while in Copies N and E they are in red and blue. The body i s ob-viously bluish or purplish i n a l l the copies I have seen. Cn the right i s an old man in a white robe with long white hair and beard, undoubtedly the same figure as in the de-signs of "The L i t t l e Vagabond" and "The Human Abstract"! Urizen or Nobodaddy, the archetypal p r i e s t . He holds a jug over the body, apparently about to pour o i l or water over i t , i n a r i t e of eithe r anointment or baptism. Cn his white gown (which i s a yellow ochre colour i n Copies E and N) are printed words from F i r s t Corinthians 1 5 « 4 U J "It is Raised a S p i r i t u a l Body" [ c a p i t a l i z a t i o n i s Blake's]. F i n a l l y , i n the l e f t background is a green h i l l and i n the right a tree, with branches of green leaves and round greenish-yellow f r u i t s , extending over and above a l l four of the figures. The scene seems to be a picture of re l i g i o u s s i g n i f i -cance, perhaps alluding to the resurrection of Christ, but with very ironic overtones. F i r s t of a l l , Blake d i s t r u s t s the Urizenic p r i e s t of the established church and his ortho-dox r i t u a l s . "The outward Ceremony i s A n t i c h r i s t . " 2 3 Sec-ond, Blake distrusted the dualism which n a u l perpetuated, 159 contrasting the s i n f u l f l e s h to the pure s p i r i t . A l l Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the f o l -lowing Errors t 1. That Man has two r e a l e x i s t i n g principles» Viz: a Body & a Soul. . . . But the following Contraries to these are True « 1. Man has no Body d i s t i n c t from his Soul; f o r that c a l l ' d Body i s a portion of Soul discern'd by the five Senses . . . . (MHH 4, K W) Though. Blake l a t e r contrasts the s p i r i t u a l and corporeal body, he does so to affirm the human imagination and not, like Paul, to denigrate the human passions. Paul's words on Urizen's gown serve to id e n t i f y Urizen and Paul, the arche-typal p r i e s t and his f i r s t C h r i s t i a n manifestation. This p r i e s t cannot realize the positive implications of what is written on his gown, for he i s limited to a corporeal under-standing of r e l i g i o n as r i t u a l , and thus attends only to the corporeal body before him. As f a r as the two women are concerned, I think they are quite obviously Tirzah and Rahab. The t i t l e , of course, suggests Tirzah, and Tirzah and Rahab work c l o s e l y together throughout Blake's myth. In fact, Rahab i s the mother of T i r z a h . 2 ^ Tirzah is the mother of the f a l l e n world, f i v e -f o l d because she depicts the five f a l l e n senses, and a beau-t i f u l but denying maiden. Rahab is the whore and the dragon of the Bible, sevenfold because she represents the seven Churches which are the Covering Cherub, the error that shuts man out from eternity, and the consolidation of mystery. 160 Tirzah i s the lure of Natural Religion, Rahab the orthodox dogma which the established churches have made of C h r i s t i -anity. Both work together to prevent man from r e a l i z i n g his s p i r i t u a l i d e n t i t y . Rahab would conventionally be clothed i n s c a r l e t , be-cause she i s a harlot, and because i n the Bible she hangs a sc a r l e t thread in her window to save herself from slaughter (Joshua 2). In copies E, N, and Z, the woman i n the fore-ground is clothed i n pink or red, and can thus be tentative-l y i d e n t i f i e d as Rahab. The fact that she has bound hair and appears older than the other woman i s consistent with the fact that she is the mother of Tirzah. Tirzah, then, i s the younger woman i n the background, dressed i n yellow, with unbound hair. She represents Nature, with a b e a u t i f u l and a l l u r i n g appearance, but a cruel and enslaving character. It i s interesting to note that many of the repressive maternal figures i n the Songs are clothed in a red, pink, or wine gown. In Songs of Experience, we r e c a l l the nurse of "NURSES Song," and remember also that the young g i r l there was clothed i n a yellow very like that of Tirzah. In "The Fl y , " the nurse has bright pink sleeves, and the young g i r l i n the background is again dressed in yellow. The mother or nurse of "Infant Sorrow" i s garbed i n a muddy wine coloured dress. In Songs of Innocence, the nurse or mother i n "A Cradle Song," plate two, is clothed i n an almost i d e n t i c a l l y wine coloured gown, while the mother of "Spring," plate one, 161 i s i n a dark pink. In each case, the women have t h e i r hair e i t h e r bound back or hidden under a white bonnet of some kind. In each case, the maternal figure i s rest r a i n i n g an infant or c h i l d , usually using her arms, though the connota-tions of r e s t r a i n t vary from "Spring" at one extreme to "In-fant Sorrow" at the other. In "To Tirzah," however, i t i s not a c h i l d but a dead body which the women bend over and confine. It would appear that the darker, muddier, and more purple the colour of the gown, the more repressive i t s s i g -nificance. The colour i s that of "The Sick Rose" as opposed to the b r i l l i a n t clear red of "Infant Joy." To return to the design of "To Tirzah," we suspect that the tree i n the background, because of i t s f r u i t , rep-resents the Tree of Knowledge of Good and E v i l , symbol of the f a l l e n world. Its leaves are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t , however, from the leaves on the f r u i t tree of the Title-page of Songs of Innocence or those on the Tree of Knowledge i n Blake's Paradise Lost i l l u s t r a t i o n s . There the leaves con-s i s t of three or more rounded sections, and appear to be f i g leaves. The f i g tree i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y used as an a l t e r -nate to the apple tree i n representations of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and E v i l . - It would seem that Blake's Tree of Knowledge, d e f i n i t e l y i n the Paradise Lost i l l u s t r a -tions and probably i n the Title-page of Songs of Innocence, i s a f i g tree rather than an apple tree, though i n the T i t l e -page the leaves are a l i t t l e i n d i s t i n c t , and the f r u i t more 162 round than Blake's usual oval or pear-shaped representation of f i g s . In "To Tirzah," however, the leaves are d e f i n i t e l y not f i g leaves, being eye-shaped and single, while the f r u i t i s very round, s i m i l a r to that in the Title-page, admittedly, but not to that in the Paradise Lost plates. I believe i t represents the apple tree, with i t s rounder f r u i t and single leaves, also of course symbolic of the Tree of Knowledge. In plate of Jerusalem, we find at the bottom of the plate a serpent whose t a i l becomes metamorphosed into a branch or vine with leaves almost i d e n t i c a l to the leaves and f r u i t of the "To Tirzah" tree. There, serpent and tree become one i n the f a l l e n world. Here there i s no serpent as such, but the nature of the branch is serpentine, and i t s horizontal emphasis, following and continuing the bowed line of Urizen's head and shoulders, confirms i t s repressive s i g -nificance. The serpent of Jerusalem sports only three round f r u i t s , i d e n t i f y i n g the motif with the t r i p l e A n t i -c h r i s t . But the tree of "To Tirzah" bears seven f r u i t s , which I w i l l now c a l l apples. As v/e know, seven in Blake's e a r l y work indicates a complete cycle. By 1800, however, seven has several new and more e x p l i c i t associations, most notably with the seven deadly sins or seven diseases, which Damon points out are the same thing (A Blake Dictionary, p. 10k), and with the Seven Eyes of God. V/e learn in Milton that Satan "created Seven deadly Sins, drawing out his i n f e r n a l s c r o l l / Cf Moral laws and cruel punishments . . ." (M 9 • 2 1 - 2 2 , K 4 8 9 ) . In The Book of Urizen, the Sins are associated with Urizen's f a l l , while i n The Four Zoas the "Prester Serpent" i s the storer of the seven diseases (N 7 [ b ] i 1 2 1 , K 3 3 6 ) . The seven sins or seven diseases, then, are manifestations of the F a l l of man, and as such are f i t t i n g l y associated with both the Urizenic p r i e s t and the Tree of Knowledge. In t h i s sense, the seven apples confirm the punitive moral nature of the r e l i g i o n described and the f a l l e n nature of the scene depicted. The possible association of seven with the Seven Eyes of God i s also f i t t i n g , e s p e c i a l l y since the leaves of the tree are eye-shaped. The Eyes of God are cycles of history, the seventh being that of Jesus. A l l seven together i n d i -cate "the path of Experience fixed for the Individual by the Divine Mercy. " 2? The seventh Eye includes the seven Churches, from Abraham through Paul to Luther, seven per-verted i n s t i t u t i o n s of C h r i s t i a n i t y , also symbolized by the sevenfold Rahab or the Covering Cherub. Since Paul i s one of the seven Churches and since Rahab i s one of the figures depicted, the seven Churches seem p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant. They are the s o l i d i f i c a t i o n s of error which man must pass through and reject before his v i s i o n w i l l be clear. U n t i l then, they w i l l form a shade over his head, preventing the l i g h t of divine understanding from reaching him. Turning now to the poem, we become aware of a process 1 6 4 of r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s i m i l a r to that developed i n "The F l y . " The poem begins with a statement which seems pe r f e c t l y ac-ceptable, i n this case the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. This Christian doctrine is of central importance to both Paul and Blake. But from t h i s statement, the speak-er jumps to conclusions which are f a r from acceptable, to Blake at any rate. Expressed in the line "Then what have I to do with thee?" the conclusion r a t i o n a l i z e s a l i f e of selfishness and passivity, the l i f e of the Selfhood. Like the Pebble, the speaker here sees cruelty and hypocrisy, the q u a l i t i e s of Tirzah, as the motivations governing the world, and thus j u s t i f i e s his own withdrawal from the world and from the human contact which i s part of i t . The speaker's understanding of Chr i s t i a n redemption is experienced and o r t h o d o x — i t i s the understanding of Paul, which Blake r e j e c t s . 2 ^ The e s s e n t i a l skeleton of Christian b e l i e f is there: the F a l l r e s u l t i n g i n a merci-f u l l y temporary but s t i l l painful mortal existence, which through the s e l f - s a c r i f i c e of Jesus w i l l end i n resurrection to E t e r n a l l i f e . But the meat of Blake's b e l i e f i s missing: the understanding that each one of us is divine, that i t is up to us to redeem ourselves, and that Forgiveness and not Accusation of Sin is the means to redemption. Instead of accepting r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for his own redemption, the speaker automatically states: "The Death of Jesus set me f r e e . " His use of the past tense and his emphasis on the c r u c i f i x i o n 165 indicate the orthodox nature of his understanding of Jesus. As Northrop Frye points out, t h i s Jesus of passion i s not Blake's Jesus but the "'Satanic body of Holiness' which Jesus had to assume. . . . The true Jesus i s the present v i s i o n of Jesus, the uniting of the divine and the human i n our own minds, and i t i s only the active Jesus . . . who can be recreated. The passive Jesus can only be re c a l l e d . . . . " 2 ^ The speaker i s r e l y i n g on the past action of a past Jesus to free him i n a misty future, but he should be recognizing the God within him, the active Jesus who can free him now. So the speaker begins with the doctrine of resurrec-t i o n , but he ends by perverting i t into the orthodox doc-trine of Atonement. Blake does not believe i n the doctrine of Atonement, f o r i t encourages worshipping Christ f o r his death rather than his l i f e , and i t abrogates a l l i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . As Atonement, Christ's death represents not Forgiveness of Sin, but expiation of s i n according to the demands of Moral Law. In Milton, Blake explains that the doctrine of Atonement creates the E l e c t , which i s surely what the passive and "holy" speaker of "To Tirzah" considers himself to be. But "the E l e c t cannot be Redeem'd, but Cre-ated continually / By Offering & Atonement i n the c r u e [ l i t i e s of Moral Law" (M 5: 11-12, K 484). I r o n i c a l l y , the speaker who i s so sure of his future redemption is the very one who cannot be redeemed, but only created over and over again under the hands of Tirzah, Rahab and Urizen. To Blake, 166 Atonement' i s part of the moral doctrine of s i n , seeking to destroy Jerusalem (J 46 [4l~]i 27, K 6 ? 6 ) and to pervert Jesus (M 2 i 10-15, K 481). To the orthodox speaker, l i k e the Spectre Sons of Albion i n Jerusalem, i t is the assurance of resurrection a f t e r an e f f o r t l e s s and unimaginative l i f e , a doctrine which q u a l i f i e s him to be one of "the p e r f e c t [who"! / May li v e i n glory, redeem'd by the S a c r i f i c e of the Lamb" (J 181 26-27, K 64(5). The error of the speaker's stereotyped b e l i e f i s i n -dicated elsewhere i n the poem. Ke thinks the sexes resulted from "Shame & Pride," Pride being the t r a d i t i o n a l cause of the F a l l , and Shame the immediate r e s u l t . But i n The Book of Urizen and The Four Zoas, the d i v i s i o n into sexes i s the result of Pity which "divides the soul. "3° Neither Los nor Albion i s morally culpable for his d i v i s i o n , because Blake is trying to get beyond the Accusation of Sin. The speaker, however, is happy to lay the blame for the f a l l e n world on another's shoulders. The speaker repeats the t r a d i t i o n a l argument that Mercy commuted the death sentence to one of l i f e imprison-ment. But he is c l e a r l y resentful of the sentence he is serving, for he accuses Tirzah, the mother of his mortal part, of cruelty and hypocrisy. The projection of Tirzah here i s reminiscent of the projection of the Urizenic crea-tor of the tyger by the speaker i n the poem of that name, whom he f e a r f u l l y t r i e s to imagine but is ultimately 167 incapable of v i s u a l i z i n g . Again, we must compare the speak-er's account with Blake's. For i n both The Four Zoas and The Book of Urizen, i t is Los who is responsible for the binding and the moulding, Los whose aim is that of the a r t -i s t — t o give form to chaos, to set a l i m i t to the F a l l . He is motivated by neither cruelty nor hypocrisy, but by p i t y and mercy and anguish. His competence may be questioned, but not his s i n c e r i t y . F i n a l l y , the speaker denies the redemptive value of the senses, shrunken though they may be. For the "senseless clay" which has closed his Tongue i s only senseless to one who refuses to taste, to smell, to hear, to see, or to f e e l . The speaker has not been betrayed but rather i s betraying himself, for by denying the flesh he i s also k i l l i n g the s p i r i t . I r o n i c a l l y , the f i n a l consummation for which he longs " w i l l come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoy-ment," by a cleansing of the doors of perception, man's f a l l e n senses (MHH 14, K 154). Blake's answer to Paul and a l l other orthodox Christians who would deny the fl e s h is clear. This brings us round to the repeated question which ends the poem: "Then what have I to do with thee?" The answer should be obvious: we are in a f a l l e n world, and must seek our way out of i t through the resources at our disposal--our senses, our energies, and our imagination. We cannot close ourselves up i n a cavern and wait f o r redemption 168 to f a l l l i k e r a i n from heaven. I r o n i c a l l y , i t is only by embracing the f a l l e n senses and the f a l l e n world which T i r -zah represents that we can free ourselves of her hold. It is only by making the most of what nourishment she provides that we can f i n a l l y break out of "the shrouding womb of the physical universe," J which i s one of Northrop Frye's e p i -thets f o r her. The f a l l e n world, the world of Experience, is not perfect, but i t must be travelled through by expand-ing one's perceptions, and not backed away from by contract-ing them. The speaker who rejects Tirzah is ensuring that the womb he should grow out of w i l l become his tomb, the Experience he should learn from, the Ulro of his closed mind. At th i s point we must acknowledge that i n Night the Eighth of The Four Zoas Blake does talk of Tirzah as the cruel and hy p o c r i t i c a l binder of men (lines 2 9 3 - 3 2 2 , K 3^8-4 9 ) . She is a f i v e f o l d woman, an amalgamation of the five daughters of Zelophehad i n the Bible, and l i m i t e r of the five senses of man. She represents the vegetative universe, the f a l l e n world which a l l must enter, even Jesus who "Died w i l l i n g beneath Tirzah & Rahab" (line 4o6, K 3 5 1 ) . I think the poem "To Tirzah" is written in a si m i l a r vein to Night the Eighth of The Four Zoas. There, redemption tends to come from without, and even Jesus tends to be a passive martyr. But Blake must have realized at some point that redemption cannot be an external happening, and that i n f a i l i n g to make i t a matter of individual r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n 169 The Four Zoas he had f a i l e d i n that work as a whole. 3 2 per-haps this is why he never engraved i t , but moved on instead to the individual commitment embodied i n Milton. If Blake did see the end of The Four Zoas with new eyes, he would have seen the despair and the p a s s i v i t y of a world ruled by Tirzah and Rahab as the v i s i o n of Experience, the v i s i o n preventing man from attaining redemption. In Jerusalem, this cynicism and contempt is attributed to the Spectre of Urthona, who like a l l Spectres is f u l l of righteousness, and who t r i e s to prevent Los from helping Albion regenerate him-s e l f (See J 6 : 7 and 8 : JO, K 624 and 6 2 7 ) . I f e e l that i t is in the context of this new awareness that the poem "To Tirzah" was written. It is an attempt to expose not only the arrogance and righteousness fostered by orthodox r e l i -gion but also the despair and cynicism fostered by the state of Experience as Covering Cherubs, keeping man i n that very state he seeks to escape. The tone is s i m i l a r to the tone of the penultimate night of The Four Zoas, but the speaker is now not Blake, but the Selfhood. Tirzah never becomes a positive figure for Blake, but he is anxious here that she not be used as a scapegoat, to take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y off man's shoulders and to j u s t i f y his cynicism. Moreover, since Rahab and Tirzah are so c l o s e l y con-nected, and work together i n the design, we should be aware that the speaker rejects Tirzah because he has embraced Rahab. If i t were not for the Atonement, the orthodox b e l i e f 170 in the death of Jesus, the speaker would not be able to claim independence from the f a l l e n world. But this orthodox dogma of Atonement belongs tc the seven Churches, and the Churches are establishments of Rahab. The reasoning of the speaker is the reasoning of Rahab, but i t is only in the confusion of the f a l l e n mind that Rahab appears to rej e c t Tirzah. Seen from the cl e a r perspective of the design, Rahab and Tirzah are partners. The E l e c t speaker considers himself superior to his mortal mother Tirzah, but he does not know that he shares with her the " s p i r i t u a l " mother Rahab. The l a s t line of the poem repeats the fourth l i n e , and i s an almost exact quotation from John 2tki "Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour i s not yet come." Blake's line occurs again i n "William Bond," one of the Pickering Manuscript poems (line 28, K ^ 35). Now i f Blake did write "To Tirzah" a f t e r The Four Zoas but before Milton, i t is more or less contemporary with the Pickering Manu-sc r i p t poems, about 1800-180.5. In "William Bond" the line in question is used in the context of William's r e j e c t i o n of his wife, on account of another woman. By the end of the poem, however, William has learned that love involves not only sexual a t t r a c t i o n but human sympathy and understanding, and has been reconciled with his wife. In fact, he learns, he has a l o t to do with her, and his r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n to the opposite e f f e c t has proved hollow. In "To Tirzah," the 1 7 1 speaker uses this line to r a t i o n a l i z e his r e j e c t i o n of the world of Experience, but again, he is deceiving himself. For the f a l l e n world must be confronted, must be worked upon, molded, re-created. Even Jesus, while asserting his inde-pendence from his mother, does not deny the present for the future. He accepts the need of the moment, which she has pointed out» the need for wine at the wedding. So he re-creates wine from water, he works with the world as i t i s to make i t better. When he speaks of his coming hour, he i s the passive and holy Jesus Frye associates with the Passion, but when he confronts the needs of the people around him and makes the wine, he. is the active Jesus a l l men can re-create. The speaker, on the other hand, i s purely passive and r a t i o n -a l , refusing to act because he deems the f a l l e n world be-neath his dignity, preferring to withdraw to a womb-world without perception, waiting b l i n d l y for his redeemer. From one perspective, then, we sympathize with the speaker, who i s a victim of Tirzah's vegetating loom. From another perspective, however, we reali z e that passive v i c -tims are doomed to perpetuate t h e i r own s u f f e r i n g , and that the speaker's f a i t h in redemption accomplished from without is hollow. The speaker is the contrary of the l i o n and tyger, who re l y on t h e i r f i e r y energies to consume the f a l -len world. The speaker embodies a l l the most p i t i f u l as-pects of Experience—the separation of s e l f from other, with moral implications that the other is s i n f u l but the s e l f is 172 "holy," and withdrawal into that s e l f , which i s closed to the imaginative and energetic outlets of the senses, and governed "by a mind which can only ra t i o n a l i z e and deny. He reminds us greatly of the Urizen beginning The Book of U r i -zen, and the various Spectres of Jerusalem. This Urizenic and spectral i d e n t i t y i s the one the design reinforces, for the design s a t i r i z e s the hoped-for resurrection. The speaker has died, and is being raised from the dead, but those who raise him are Tirzah and Rahab, and he who anoints him to the new l i f e i s Urizen or Satan.33 As in "Ah! Sun-Flower,"3^ the new world he w i l l encounter i f he opens his eyes is s t i l l the f a l l e n world, presided over by the Tree of Knowledge of Good and E v i l , also c a l l e d Urizen's Tree. His body, too, is the same corporeal body, blue and limp with sealed eyes and useless muscles, not Blake's idea of a s p i r i t u a l body. Before dismissing the design as t o t a l l y experienced, we must reconsider the line from F i r s t Corinthians, printed on Urizen's gown: "It i s Raised a S p i r i t u a l Body." For taken apart from the context of both text and design, the doctrine of resurrection into a " S p i r i t u a l Body" i s indeed a Blakean one. Blake himself distinguishes the s p i r i t u a l , divine, or eternal body from the natural body, which he also c a l l s corporeal, vegetated, or generated (VLJ, K 605d-6a). Eut for Blake, the S p i r i t u a l Body is the imagination, which is the "Real Man" and i s also Jesus. This S p i r i t u a l Body is 173 not only the eternal form of man a f t e r death and resurrec-tio n , but also the eternal form of man on earth. Thus corporeal friends can be s p i r i t u a l enemies. To be "Raised a S p i r i t u a l Body" means, for Blake, to regain one's true S p i r i t u a l Form, one's imaginative iden t i t y , a f t e r being l o s t i n the "perishing Vegetable Memory" (M 2 6 : 46, K 513) which is Experience become Ulro. This regaining happens continu-a l l y throughout l i f e , not only at death. The positive implications of Paul's statement are . indicated by the manner in which i t is placed on the plate. It is not part of the poem proper, which is written i n the normal horizontal l i n e s . Rather, i t works i n an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n , for i t is written v e r t i c a l l y . Its true s p i r i t u a l significance is something d i s t i n c t from and per-pendicular to the perverted doctrine of Atonement which the experienced speaker makes of i t . But, i r o n i c a l l y , nobody in the design looks to the v e r t i c a l words. Rather, a l l attend the dead vegetated body, concentrating t h e i r e f f o r t s s o l e l y on i t . This i s the triumph of Tirzah, the Natural Mother, whose domain i s the Natural Body. Though proclaiming inde-pendence from her in the text, the E l e c t speaker cannot escape her dominion, even in death.. An alternate reading of the design, that the body is that of Jesus, yields a s i m i l a r irony. The imaginative understanding of Christ's resurrection goes unnoticed, a p i l l a r from which the orthodox priest and the Tree of 174 Knowledge diverge i n t h e i r horizontal and bowed movement. A l l three figures represent the corporeal understanding, which worships the dead body of Jesus, not the ri s e n , Spir-i t u a l one. In this reading the figure i n white could be Joseph of Arimathea, who obtained Pilate's permission f o r Christ's body. Joseph of Arimathea is usually a positive figure for Blake, but here he is predominantly unimaginative, with his bowed head and shoulder denying the v e r t i c a l empha-si s of the words on his gown.35 Instead of his usual bud-ding s t a f f , he holds an ewer, perhaps to indicate the Holy G r a i l or the t r a d i t i o n a l two cruets which held the blood and sweat of C h r i s t — a g a i n symbolic of a worship of Christ's death rather than his l i f e . I think this possible i n t e r -pretation for the figure i n white i s only a secondary one, the primary one being Urizen the archetypal p r i e s t , whose eternal form can take a multitude of discrete corporeal forms. Always, however, the individual form must be con-sis t e n t with the Urizenic s t a t e — h e must worship the corpo-rea l rather than the s p i r i t u a l , and r e l y on outward forms such as laws, dogmas, and r i t u a l s , rather than the inward or eternal r e a l i t y . As i n "The Tyger," the design here answers the rhetor-i c a l question of the text. In this case, however, i t exposes as error not the speaker's doubt, but his passive orthodoxy. The speaker has everything to do with Tirzah, with the f a l l e n world of Experience, and must have u n t i l he recognizes that 175 only his own d i v i n i t y can transform the world f o r him, by transforming himself. Then he w i l l be able to see that "every thing that l i v e s i s Holy," here and now. U n t i l then, he is doomed to awaken, i f he awakens at a l l , to the figures of Tirzah and Rahab hovering over him, and the orthodox min-i s t e r anointing him with the o i l s of denial and humility, and with the promise of a future redemption, i f he w i l l only wait. To conclude our study of Experience, we can summarize the various relationships between text and design i n the Songs studied. In "The L i t t l e G i r l Lost" and "Found" pair, text and design give e s s e n t i a l l y the same perspective, sup-porting each other i n a manner t y p i c a l of Songs of Innocence. This i s because the speaker here, as well as the a r t i s t , is Blake. The poems present an overview of Experience, the one the Eagle sees, and not the view of the Mole trapped i n the p i t and imaginatively blinded by i t s darkness. But this pair of Songs i s a t y p i c a l . In Songs of Experience, the speaker usually presents the darkened v i s i o n of the Mole, and only the design gives an overview, indicating the redemp-tive c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the state. In "NURSES Song," the nurse of the poem cannot under-stand that she is perpetuating the vicious c i r c l e of repres-sion of which she considers herself the victim. But the design exposes the nurse as a tyrant rather than a victim, thus exposing the c y c l i c a l nature of repression. It also, 176 however, offers a way out of this cycle through the motif of the grapes. It exposes the error so that i t can be rejected, whereas the nurse in her soliloquy confuses the error, so that she can see no way out. A s i m i l a r relationship is involved i n "The Clod and the Pebble," where the speaker of the text judges the Peb-ble's view of love as superior to that of the Clod because the Pebble knows how to avoid being mistreated. The design, however, enters the controversy from a very d i f f e r e n t d i r e c -tion, concerning i t s e l f not with worldly success but with the interdependence of a l l things, and showing that the Clod supports l i f e while the Pebble does not. But because the design presents an overview, i t does not completely reject Experience, though i t s sympathies l i e with Innocence. Renewed Innocence i s the end of the a r t i s t ' s v i s i o n , but the Clod, never having l o s t i t s v i s i o n , cannot be renewed. So the Pebble becomes the focus of attention for a growth be-yond Experience, symbolized by the exuberant and growing water l i l y . The fact that the water l i l y also symbolizes the f u l f i l l m e n t of love, which both Clod and Pebble have tr i e d to define in the poem, indicates the tight r e l a t i o n -ship of the two art forms, and also the r e l a t i v e a f f i n i t i e s of each. The text lends i t s e l f to r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , which i s a process t y p i c a l of Experience. So the speakers i n "The F l y , " "The Tyger," "NURSES Song," "The Clod and the Pebble," and 177 "To Tirzah" a l l attempt to follow l o g i c a l processes to ar-rive at a sa t i s f a c t o r y conclusion, but a l l are e s s e n t i a l l y unimaginative. The conclusions i n each case are e i t h e r inconclusive ("Did he who made the Lamb make thee?"), non-committal ("Then am I / A happy f l y , / If I li v e / Or i f I die" ) , or perverse ("Your spring % your day are wasted in play"). The designs, on the other hand, present a v i s i o n in the eternal present: they are not r e s t r i c t e d by the grammatical structure of subject-verb-object, which implies a sequence of cause and e f f e c t and a progression from past to future. Rather, they present a t o t a l i t y of interaction, s i m i l a r to the t o t a l i t y of Innocence. Thus when text and design s p l i t apart in Songs of Experience, i t tends to be the text which gets trapped in the r a t i o n a l i z i n g state, and the design which retains the eternal v i s i o n . In "To Tirzah," we again find the text presenting the confused reasoning of Experience. But because the rhetoric is such a mixture of truth and error as to possibly mislead the reader, the design concentrates on exposing the error, rather than presenting an alternative to i t . Like "NURSES Song," the main scene serves to concentrate Blake's cl e a r v i s i o n on the mistaken b e l i e f s and a c t i v i t i e s of the experi-enced. The alternative here is not the upward moving grape-vine, which i n c i d e n t a l l y i s an emblem of the l i v i n g Christ, but the v e r t i c a l l y printed words: "It i s Raised a S p i r i t u a l Eody." Typically, they work against not only the text but 1?8 also the main current of the design, where the three figures form a flattened cave over the dead body, the li n e of which is reinforced by the rounded h i l l on the l e f t and the h o r i -zontal branch of the tree at the right and center. In Songs of Experience, then, the text usually pre-sents the confused and tormented attempts of f a l l e n man to see and to understand both himself and his f a l l e n world. The design usually does two things simultaneously, acting as both Dante's Bridle and Dante's Whip, though sometimes i t does only one or the other. As a B r i d l e , i t gives a clear look down on Experience, exposing the forest of e r r o r in the text. As a Whip, i t gives an alternate and Innocent v i s i o n of what things could be and w i l l be i n a renewed states a glimpse of the way out of the woods. NOTES """Traditionally, the Clod's view of love has been pre-ferred: see S. Foster Damon, Philosophy and Symbols, pp. 279-80: Joseph Wicksteed, Blake *s Innocence and Experience, pp. 171-73; and Mark Shorer, William Blake: The P o l i t i c s of Vision (19^6; rpt. Vintage Eooks, Random House, 1 9 5 9 ) , pp. 205-6. Recently, however, Jean H. Hagstrum, "William Blake's 'The Clod & the Pebble,'" i n Restoration and Eighteenth- Century Literature: Essays in Honor of Alan Dugold McKillop, ed. C a r r o l l Camden (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press f o r William Marsh Rice Univ., 1 9 6 3 ) , pp. 381-88, has come out i n support of the Pebble, and D. G. Gillham, Blake's Contrary States, pp. 220-22, has claimed both the Clod's view and that of the Pebble are inadequate. 2 Alan McCabe Watson, "William Blake's I l l u s t r a t e d Writings: The Ear l y Period," Diss. Univ. of New Mexico I 9 6 9 , p. 92. The plate bound i n with Copy E of the Songs i s p a r t i c u l a r l y interesting, f or i t colours the background of the text a pale blue wash, which runs down to the green border at the bottom. Damon also assumes the brook extends behind the text, f o r he claims that the sheep and c a t t l e "drink from the brook." Philosophy and Symbols, p. 285. Dictionary of Symbols, p. 2 3 6 . h In Copies A and E the worm i s c l e a r l y segmented, and in a l l the copies I have seen i t appears to be s l i d i n g into the water. Many segmented worms li v e e i t h e r i n water or i n the mud at the bottom and edges of ponds. See Larousse En-cyclopedia of Animal Life (London: Paul HamlynT 1967), pp. 97-98. 5 j . E. C i r l o t , A Dictionary of Symbols, p. 1 0 9 . ^S. Foster Damon, A Blake Dictionary, p. 240. 'Philosophy and Symbols, p. 285. o Keynes chooses to add the apostrophe, presumably f o r the sake of grammatical correctness, but I w i l l not include i t . "NURSES Song" of Experience w i l l be written i n thi s un-conventional manner to distinguish i t from the Innocence ve r s i on. 9 l n Copy E, the boy i s dressed in blue s a t i n with 179 180 white leggings, perhaps a parody of Thomas Gainsborough's The Blue Boy. In Copy A he i s also blue, while i n Copy N he has a green jacket with yellow pants. x 0He may also be saying that abortion i s preferable to sexual denial and f r u s t r a t i o n bred by fear of pregnancy, which i n t h e i r turn breed cruelty and perversion. x l I n 3 of the 4 copies I have seen, Z, N and E, the Nurse i s in a wine or mauve dress, and the grapes on her side are purple, though the colour of the grapes in Copy E is questionable. In Copy A, the nurse i s i n yellow, while the g i r l i n the background i s in mauve. The reversal of colours there corresponds with a reversal of the purple and yellow grapes. In Copy E, both the g i r l in the doorway and the grapes on her side are green, while in Copy N, the g i r l is blue and the grapes are purple, the only copy I have seen where grapes and g i r l are not i d e n t i c a l l y coloured. x 2 T h i s i s the only plate i n Songs of Experience which has a willow tree, but i t occurs at least twice i n Songs of Innocence, i n "The L i t t l e Black Boy," second plate, and "Nurse's Song." l ^ i n The Book of The 1, Thel only looks at the embrac-ing couple, and never herself makes the t r a n s i t i o n beyond f i r s t Innocence to sexual f u l f i l l m e n t . l^Damon, A Blake Dictionary, p. 93* x ^ I t s position and p a r t i c u l a r l y i t s open mouth, ex-posing a forked tongue, a l l y i t iconographically with the serpents of America, esp. those on p i . 14, which Northrop Frye i d e n t i f i e s as "aspects of a Covering Cherub which faces westward," Fearful Symmetry, p. 433. See also Damon, A Blake Dictionary, pp. 3°"5-66, for serpent as symbol of hypocrisy and the natural world, and p i . 6 of The Book of Thel, where naked children ride a bridled serpent, innocents enjoying and guiding the energy of nature. l 6Kathleen Raine, for instance, c a l l s the poem "a composition of t r a d i t i o n a l symbolism worked upon i n the l i g h t of t r a d i t i o n a l doctrine." When the symbolism does not work according to her expectations, she can only consider the deviation a f a i l u r e on Blake's part. See Blake and Tradition, Bollingen Series, 35 s H (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1968), I, 127-49, esp. p. 149 for quotation and p. 141 for example. x?Wicksteed sees the beasts as the passions and sleep as "the budding maturity of the body," Blake's Innocence and Experience, p. 116. Damon sees sleep as Experience and the 181 beasts, esp. the l i o n , as "the Angel of Death," Philosophy and Symbols, p. 279- V/icksteed then interprets the poems as the t r a n s i t i o n of Lyca from Innocence to Experience, which is sexual maturity, and the f i n a l acceptance by the parents of this maturity, as something not to be feared. Damon i n -terprets the poems as Lyca's t r a n s i t i o n from Innocence to Experience and through death to E t e r n i t y , and as the par-ents' s i m i l a r t r a n s i t i o n , s t a r t i n g from Experience. The f i n a l state is free from the terrors of Experience because i t i s not Experience but Paradise. l 8The Four Zoas, N 1: 223, K 270. This length of time varies, but seems to become s t a b i l i z e d at 6,000 years by the time of Jerusalem. l ^ c i r l o t , A Dictionary of Symbols, p. 223-20 • The name Lyca has several possible derivations, but three seem p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant. F i r s t , the Old English "lych," spelled variously, means a body, eithe r l i v i n g or dead, and f i t s i n well with Lyca as Earth in need of regen-eration. The OED also states that the same word i s a variant of " l i g h t , " which suggests that Lyca w i l l i n fact bring en-lightenment and renewal. Second, "lycaena" is the name of the genus of the b u t t e r f l y , a t r a d i t i o n a l symbol of r e b i r t h and regeneration. Third, the Lyceum, i n Athens, was dedi-cated to the Lycian Apollo. As the God of Prophecy and the God of Light, Patron of poetry and music, with connections with the sun, Apollo implies the f u l f i l l m e n t of the opening prophecy, the return of the morning and of c r e a t i v i t y , and the end of the night of Experience and the sleep of Lyca or the Earth. 21 In his textual notes, p. 220 and p. 894, Keynes suggests that "To Tirzah" may be as late as 1801. But the Gensus has the poem appearing f i r s t in Copy E, which i t dates around 1795- On the basis of t h i s , Damon in his Blake Dictionary, p. 407, takes 1795 as the date of the poem. Kathleen Raine, Blake and Tradition, I, 164, suggests about 1801. The E&B text, p. 722, concludes: "The style of l e t -tering points to a date l a t e r than 1802, though th i s upsets the t r a d i t i o n a l (but highly conjectural) dating of copies F, 1-0, which contain this poem yet are assigned dates of 1795, 1796-98, and 1799-1801 i n the Keynes and Wolf Census." Erd-man implies the Census dating may be wrong, and asserts that the f i r s t clear dating of a copy including "To Tirzah" i s Copy P, dated 1802. I agree with Erdman, on the basis of tone and symbolism as well as pr i n t i n g , that the poem should probably be dated about 1801-2. Gillham, Blake's Contrary States, pp. 231-36. 182 f i r s t recognized the f a l l e n nature of the speaker and the ironic dimension of the poem. "In Experience . . . even the idea of resurrection may be used to avoid r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , reject the affections and, i n an odd way, both disclaim and clutch at the l i f e of the body" (p. 2 3 1 ) . 23"The Laocoon," K 7 7 6 . See also Damon, A Blake Dictionary, p. 84. 2^See FZ, N 8 1 293-9^» K 348 and M 131 41, K 494. 2^see Gertrud S c h i l l e r , Iconography of Chr i s t i a n Art, trans. Janet Seligman, Vol. II (Greenwich,Conn.1 New York Graphic Society, 1 9 7 2 ) , 1 3 2 - 3 3 and N. 7 6 . "The Tree of Knowledge at the F a l l has been represented in many d i f f e r e n t ways; the source for the fig-tree i s Genesis 3 » 7 . " ^Reproduced in C. H. C o l l i n s Baker, [compiler!, Cata-logue of William Blake's Drawings and Paintings i n the Hunt-ington Library, 2 n d . ed. Note that the leaves covering Adam and Eve in plates XI and XIII, "Judgement of Adam and Eve" and "The Expulsion," are i d e n t i c a l to the leaves on the Tree of Knowledge in plates VII and X, "Raphael Warns Adam and Eve," and "Temptation and F a l l of Eve." 2?Damon, A Blake Dictionary, p. 134. 2^Paul's theology emphasizes Christ as the bringer of salvation for three main reasons: his humility, his r i g h t -eousness, and his obedience. These are the orthodox points Blake expressly repudiates i n The Ev e r l a s t i n g Gospel. To Blake, Paul i s the Covering Cherub of established r e l i g i o n . In M 37* 41-46, K 5 2 8 , Blake sees Paul as one of "the Male-Females, the Dragon Forms, / Religion hid in War, a Dragon red & hidden Harlot. // A l l these are seen i n Milton's Shad-ow, who i s the Covering Cherub, / The Spectre of Albion." For a review of Paul's theology, see James Hastings, ed., Dictionary of the Bible, rev. ed. by Frederick C. Grant and H. H. Rowley (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1 9 6 3 ) , pp. 736-42, esp. 739 -2 9 F e a r f u l Symmetry, p. 3 8 7 . The inner quotation comes from J 9 0 : 38, K 7 3 7 , though Frye omits the c a p i t a l B on "body." 3°In Book of Urizen, Los p i t i e s Urizen and as a consequence Enitharmon i s divided from him. In The Four Zoas, Los i s divided as he confronts the c o n f l i c t between Urizen and Luvah. The separated Enitharmon then seeks r e f -uge i n Tharmas, who p i t i e s her and i s i n turn divided from Enion. 183 Fearful Symmetry, p. 3 0 1 . 3 2Northrop Frye, too, feels The Four Zoas "has not given us an imaginatively coherent account of how we can get from eighteenth century Deism to a Last Judgement through the power of Los." Fearful Symmetry, p. 3 ° 9 . 33Northrop Frye points out that A n t i c h r i s t is three-f o l d , consisting of Rahab, Tirzah and Satan. With this i n mind, the Urizenic p r i e s t i n white can also be seen as Sa-tan. And since "Blake i d e n t i f i e s the dead body of Jesus with the body of A n t i c h r i s t , " the dead body of the design can be so i d e n t i f i e d as well, rein f o r c i n g the ironic i n t e r -pretation. Jesus is part of every man, but i f we worship the c r u c i f i e d Jesus, that is the Jesus we become. See Fear-f u l Symmetry, p. 301 and p. 3 8 7 . 3^Like the poem "Ah! Sun-Flower," "To Tirzah" turns around the irony of the speaker's f a i l u r e to realize that the eternal "golden clime" for which he longs is the world he already inhabits. After they arise from t h e i r graves, the f r i g i d Youth and Virgin of "Ah! Sun-Flower" s t i l l aspire for someplace else, for li k e the speaker of "To Tirzah," t h e i r denial of the body keeps s p i r i t u a l f u l f i l l m e n t always at a distance. Again, Blake s a t i r i z e s the orthodox concept of resurrection as a freeing of the s p i r i t from the confines of the body. Body and Soul are one. 35 J- See "Joseph of Arimathea preaching to the Inhabit-ants of B r i t a i n , " 179^» i n Kathleen Raine, William Blake, Praeger World of Art Paperbacks Series (New York: Praeger, 1971), p. 9 2 , p i . 7 0 . CHAPTER FIVE THE BOOK OF URIZEN: THEME AND STRUCTURE In Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Blake deals with two psychological states that determine the way i n which man perceives r e a l i t y . In The Book of Urizen, Blake i s concerned with how man gets from one state to the other. Instead of focusing on Innocence and Experience separately, he focuses on the moment at which Innocence becomes Experi-ence. Blake also expands his theme to cosmic or mythic terms, so that instead of a chimney sweeper or nurse, seen before and a f t e r , we have Urizen and Los, Blake's great prophetic characters, seen while the F a l l progresses. The setting i s expanded from the London or the English country-side of the Songs to unfallen E t e r n i t y , which gradually shrinks throughout the book to become, f i n a l l y , the "pendu-lous earth." For the F a l l now involves the creation of the universe as we know i t . As in the Songs, we confront The Book of Urizen by looking f i r s t at the designs, which present themselves most i n s i s t e n t l y . From this f i r s t acquaintance with the designs, we are struck with the basic motifs of the work: separation and contraction. An awareness of other more p a r t i c u l a r mo-t i f s of the F a l l and Creation i s also acquired: the four main characters and t h e i r progeny, the four elements they 184 185 inhabit, the globular world and the net of r e l i g i o n they create, and even an upside-down version of the F a l l . But before the designs can be interpreted i n a s i g n i f i c a n t , de-t a i l e d , and consistent way, we must complete a detailed study of the text. For the text provides the narrative structure in coherent and definite terms, thus acting as a framework for the designs. However, just as a knowledge of the text must be acquired before the designs can be f u l l y understood, so also must an awareness of the designs be established before the text can be f u l l y appreciated. For i t i s the designs which draw our attention to the unusual structure of the work. They not only spotlight the key events of the narrative, as epiphanic moments or spots of time that Satan cannot f i n d , but they also present v i s u a l l y the recently discovered mir-ror structure of the text. For example, the f i r s t and l a s t plates are very s i m i l a r , emphasizing a return to the s t a r t -ing point, which could be seen as e i t h e r a c i r c u l a r or a down-then-up structure. The second and penultimate plates in Copy G (plates 2 and 26), in contrast, show opposite visions of Innocence and Experience: of protection, promise, and energy on the one hand; and r e j e c t i o n , despair, and s t a t i c s t e r i l i t y on the other.^ This counterpoint suggests a continual downward movement to the structure, where the end state has t o t a l l y perverted the beginning one. Taking these four plates together, we get two possible structures: 186 one a downward s p i r a l , which anticipates the Four Zoas* F a l l toward the center, the other a combination l i n e a r structure consisting of a downward diagonal movement, from upper l e f t to lower right, countered from the midpoint by an arm moving to the upper r i g h t , mirroring the downward movement of the la s t half of the work. V/e s h a l l see how the awareness of this movement, which we gain i n i t i a l l y from the counterpoint of the designs, acts as a clue to help us determine an a l -most i d e n t i c a l structure i n the text. In fa c t , i t i s prob-ably because the designs have not been studied u n t i l recently that this structure to The Rook of Urizen has just now been discovered. As explained i n Chapter One, text and design have di f f e r e n t inherent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ! the former being l i n e a r and sequential, hence suited to t e l l i n g a story; the l a t t e r being instantaneously complete, hence suited for presenting timeless or eternal truths. The designs have a more power-f u l immediate impact, p a r t l y because one sees the entire image at once, and pa r t l y because design by nature imitates v i s u a l r e a l i t y d i r e c t l y , while the text can only b u i l d up a v i s u a l image i n the mind through the intermediate means of language. The ambiguity inherent i n the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of figures presented v i s u a l l y adds to the eternal significance of the designt i t i s the archetype which i s presented, an archetype to which several d i f f e r e n t types or individuals can be successfully applied. Put t h i s same ambiguity demands 187 that we begin a structural and thematic analysis of the work with the more d e f i n i t i v e medium of language. In The Book of Urizen, the inherent d i s t i n c t i o n s be-tween text and design add up to a tension between the two art forms s i m i l a r to that i n fSongs of Experience. The text presents the F a l l as an event which takes place i n time, and which involves actions and reactions between various characters. It presents r e a l i t y so that the Urizenic mind can come to terms with i t : l o g i c a l l y , progressively, and in a controlled manner. For the text works only h o r i z o n t a l l y and one-dimensionally, i n a l e f t - t o - r i g h t d i r e c t i o n , h o r i -zontal movement being t y p i c a l of Experience. It also has a roughly three-beat l i n e , three again connoting Experience, and also A n t i c h r i s t or f a l l e n religion.3 The short line also i l l u s t r a t e s the confinement of energy which character-izes the F a l l . W. J. T. M i t c h e l l , attempting to reconcile text
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Text and design in Blake’s developing myth Ward, Marney Jean McLaughlin 1974
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