The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

- By William Blake
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William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language".[2] His visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced".[3] In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.[4] While he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham,[5] he produced a diverse and symbolically rich œuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God"[6] or "human existence itself".[7] Although Blake was considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, he is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of the Romantic movement and as "Pre-Romantic".[8] A committed Christian who was hostile to the Church of England (indeed, to almost all forms of organised religion), Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions.[9][10] Though later he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine; he was also influenced by thinkers such as Emanuel Swedenborg.[11] Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th-century scholar William Michael Rossetti characterised him as a "glorious luminary",[12] and "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors".[13]
THE ARGUMENT
RINTRAH roars and shakes his fires in the burden'd air, Hungry clouds swag on the deep. Once meek, and in a perilous path The just man kept his course along The Vale of Death. Roses are planted where thorns grow, And on the barren heath Sing the honey bees. Then the perilous path was planted, And a river and a spring On every cliff and tomb; And on the bleached bones Red clay brought forth: Till the villain left the paths of ease To walk in perilous paths, and drive The just man into barren climes. Now the sneaking serpent walks In mild humility; And the just man rages in the wilds Where lions roam. Rintrah roars and shakes his fires in the burden'd air, Hungry clouds swag on the deep.
As a new heaven is begun, and it is now thirty-three years since its advent, the Eternal Hell revives. And lo! Swedenborg is the angel sitting at the tomb: his writings are the linen clothes folded up. Now is the dominion of Edom, and the return of Adam into Paradise.-See Isaiah xxxiv. and xxxv. chap.
Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil. Good is the passive that obeys reason; Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is heaven. Evil is hell.
THE VOICE OF THE DEVIL
All Bibles or sacred codes have been the cause of the following errors:-
1. That man has two real existing principles, viz., a Body and a Soul.
2. That Energy, called Evil, is alone from the Body; and that Reason, called Good, is alone from the Soul.
3. That God will torment man in Eternity for following his Energies.
But the following contraries to these are true:-
1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul. For that called Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.
2. Energy is the only life, and is from the Body; and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
3. Energy is Eternal Delight.
Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place and governs the unwilling.
And being restrained, it by degrees becomes passive, till it is only the shadow of desire.
The history of this is written in Paradise Lost, and the Governor or Reason is called Messiah.
And the original Archangel or possessor of the command of the heavenly host is called the Devil, or Satan, and his children are called Sin and Death.
But in the book of Job, Milton's Messiah is called Satan.
For this history has been adopted by both parties. It indeed appeared to Reason as if[10] desire was cast out, but the Devil's account is, that the Messiah fell, and formed a heaven of what he stole from the abyss.
This is shown in the Gospel, where he prays to the Father to send the Comforter or desire that Reason may have ideas to build on, the Jehovah of the Bible being no other than he who dwells in flaming fire. Know that after Christ's death he became Jehovah.
But in Milton, the Father is Destiny, the Son a ratio of the five senses, and the Holy Ghost vacuum! Note.-The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels and God, and at liberty when of Devils and Hell, is because he was a true poet, and of the Devil's party without knowing it.

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Word Lists:

Perilous : full of danger or risk

Passive : accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance

Clime : a region considered with reference to its climate

Bleach : whiten by exposure to sunlight or by a chemical process

Restrained : characterized by reserve or moderation; unemotional or dispassionate

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Additional Information:

Rating: A

Words: 612

Unique Words : 269

Sentences : 45

Reading Time : 2:43

Noun : 214

Conjunction : 73

Adverb : 19

Interjection : 2

Adjective : 47

Pronoun : 23

Verb : 93

Preposition : 69

Letter Count : 2,594

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Formal

Difficult Words : 141

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