Письма Уильяма Блейка/Томасу Баттсу 22 ноября 1802/2

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[To Thomas Butts, 22 November 1802]

Dear Sir After I had finishd my Letter I found that I had not said half what I intended to say & in particular I wish to ask you what subject you choose to be painted on the remaining Canvas which I brought down with me (for there were three) and to tell you that several of the Drawings were in great forwardness you will see by the Inclosed Account that the remaining Number of Drawings which you gave me orders for is Eighteen I will finish these with all possible Expedition if indeed I have not tired you or as it is politely calld Bored you too much already or if you would rather cry out Enough Off Off! tell me in a Letter of forgiveness if you were offended & of accustomd friendship if you were not. But I will bore you more with some Verses which My Wife desires me to Copy out & send you with her kind love & Respect they were Composed <above> a twelvemonth ago [ in a ] <while>Walk <ing> from Felpham to Lavant to meet my Sister


With happiness stretchd across the hills
In a cloud that dewy sweetness distills
With a blue sky spread over with wings
And a mild sun that mounts & sings
With trees & fields full of Fairy elves 5
And little devils who fight for themselves
Remembring the Verses that Hayley sung t
When my heart knockd against the root of my tongue
With Angels planted in Hawthorn bowers
And God himself in the passing hours10
With Silver Angels across my way
And Golden Demons that none can stay
With my Father hovering upon the wind
And my Brother Robert just behind
And my Brother John the evil one15
In a black cloud making his mone
Tho dead they appear upon my path
Notwithstanding my terrible wrath
They beg they intreat they drop their tears
Filld full of hopes filld full of fears20
With a thousand Angels upon the Wind
Pouring disconsolate from behind
To drive them off & before my way
A frowning Thistle implores my stay
What to others a trifle appears25
Fills me full of smiles or tears
For double the vision my Eyes do see
And a double vision is always with me
With my inward Eye 'tis an old Man grey
With my outward a Thistle across my way30
“If thou goest back the thistle said
Thou art to endless woe betrayd
For here does Theotormon lower
And here is Enitharmons bower
And Los the terrible thus hath sworn35
Because thou backward dost return
Poverty Envy old age & fear
Shall bring thy Wife upon a bier
And Butts shall give what Fuseli gave
A dark black Rock & a gloomy Cave.”40
I struck the Thistle with my foot
And broke him up from his delving root
“Must the duties of life each other cross”
“Must every joy be dung & dross”
“Must my dear Butts feel cold neglect”45
“Because I give Hayley his due respect'
“Must Flaxman look upon me as wild”
“And all my friends be with doubts beguild'
“Must my Wife live in my Sisters bane”
“Or my sister survive on my Loves pain'50
“The curses of Los the terrible shade”
“And his dismal terrors make me afraid”
So I spoke & struck in my wrath
The old man weltering upon my path
Then Los appeard in all his power55
In the Sun he appeard descending before
My face in fierce flames in my double sight
Twas outward a Sun: inward Los in his might
“My hands are labourd day & night”
“And Ease comes never in my sight”60
“My Wife has no indulgence given”
“Except what comes to her from heaven”
“We eat little we drink less”
“This Earth breeds not our happiness”
“Another Sun feeds our lifes streams”65
“We are not warmed with thy beams”
“Thou measurest not the Time to me”
“Nor yet the Space that I do see”
“My Mind is not with thy light arrayd”
“Thy terrors shall not make me afraid”70
When I had my Defiance given
The Sun stood trembling in heaven
The Moon that glowd remote below
Became leprous & white as snow
And every Soul of men on the Earth75
Felt affliction & sorrow & sickness & dearth
Los flamd in my path & the Sun was hot
With the bows of my Mind & the Arrows of Thought
My bowstring fierce with Ardour breathes
My arrows glow in their golden sheaves80
My brothers & father march before
The heavens drop with human gore
Now I a fourfold vision see
And a fourfold vision is given to me
Tis fourfold in my supreme delight85
And three fold in soft Beulahs night
And twofold Always. May God us keep
From Single vision & Newtons sleep

723 b15.23.2 I also inclose you some Ballads by M r Hayley with prints to them by Your H ble . Serv t . I should have sent them before now but could not get any thing done for You to please myself for I do assure you that I have truly studied the two little pictures I now send & do not repent of the time I have spent upon them God bless you

Yours W B P. S.I have taken the liberty to trouble you with a letter to my Brother which you will be so kind as to send or give him & oblige yours W B b15.24