The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - William Blake - ebook
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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is a book by the English poet and printmaker William Blake. It is a series of texts written in imitation of biblical prophecy but expressing Blake’s own intensely personal Romantic and revolutionary beliefs. The book is written in prose, except for the opening “Argument” and the “Song of Liberty”, and describes the poet's visit to Hell.

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THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL

BY

WILLIAM BLAKE

First digital edition 2017 by Maria Ruggieri

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE ARGUMENT

THE VOICE OF THE DEVIL

A MEMORABLE FANCY - 1

PROVERBS OF HELL

A MEMORABLE FANCY - 2

A MEMORABLE FANCY -3

A MEMORABLE FANCY - 4

A MEMORABLE FANCY - 5

A SONG OF LIBERTY

CHORUS

THE ARGUMENT

Engraved circa 1790

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 bleachèd 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 xxxi v 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 causes of the following Errors:

- 1. That Man has two real existing principles, viz. a Body and a Soul.

- 2. That Energy, call’d Evil, is alone from the Body; and that Reason, call’d 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 call’d Body is a portion of Soul discern’d 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.