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William Blake (1757–1827). The Poetical Works. 1908.

Selections from ‘Milton’

[Love and Jealousy]

(Milton, f. 32, ll. 1–24.)

AND the Divine Voice was heard in the Songs of Beulah, saying:

‘When I first married you, I gave you all my whole soul;

I thought that you would love my loves and joy in my delights,

Seeking for pleasures in my pleasures, O Daughter of Babylon!

Then thou wast lovely, mild, and gentle; now thou art terrible

In Jealousy and unlovely in my sight, because thou hast cruelly

Cut off my loves in fury, till I have no Love left for thee.

Thy Love depends on him thou lovest, and on his dear loves

Depend thy pleasures, which thou hast cut off by Jealousy:

Therefore I show my Jealousy, and set before you Death.

Behold Milton, descended to redeem the Female Shade

From Death Eternal! such your lot, to be continually redeem’d

By Death and misery of those you love, and by Annihilation.

When the Sixfold Female perceives that Milton annihilates

Himself, that seeing all his loves by her cut off, he leaves

Her also, entirely abstracting himself from Female loves,

She shall relent in fear of death; she shall begin to give

Her maidens to her husband, delighting in his delight.

And then, and then alone, begins the happy Female joy,

As it is done in Beulah; and thou, O Virgin Babylon! Mother of Whoredoms,

Shalt bring Jerusalem in thine arms in the night watches; and

No longer turning her a wandering Harlot in the streets,

Shalt give her into the arms of God, your Lord and Husband.’

Such are the Songs of Beulah, in the Lamentations of Ololon.