A comment by new blog follower srs666, a.k.a Masterymistery, who, in reality, is Steven R. Schwarz (of greater Sydney, Australia) was kind of the inspiration for this post. More accurately, my reply to his comment:

Thought-provoking. I suppose he would. Incidentally, there is a painting by William Blake calledThe Number of the Beast is 666″.

The Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake (c. 1794)

This post, however, is not about the number of the Beast but, it is related. William Blake (1757 – 1827), the English poet, painter, and printmaker, is another arts history bonanza. Via Wiki:

His visual artistry has led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”.

Blake’s prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”.

I say, prophesy be damned. A William Blake mini-series post of the “least read body of poetry in the English language” shall now commence!

FROM: SONGS OF INNOCENCE  

This lyric anthology evokes a predominantly pastoral world prior to the dualisms of adult consciousness. Human, natural, and divine states of being have yet to be separated. The child is the chief representative of this condition; other recurrent figures, such as the shepherd and lamb, point ultimately to the figure of Christ as the incarnation of the unity of innocence.

The Lamb, from "Songs of Innocence" by William Blake (c. 1789)

THE LAMB (c. 1794) 

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, & bid thee feed
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, wooly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee,
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb.
He is meek, & he is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
 In 1794, Blake combined Innocence with its contrary companion, the “Songs of Experience”, to create the combined “Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The printing history of the combined Songs is complicated because Blake printed it while also continuing to print Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience separately.– BlakeArchive.org
                                                                            
Now, here is Blake’s The Tyger from Spoken Verse, Poetry Read by Tom O’Bedlam
 NOTE: The contrast with The Lamb is obvious. The Tyger asks, “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” And the answer is, “Yes, God made the Tyger too.”
♠♠♠
Painted in oils on canvas 76 x 51 cm
Steven R. Schwarz


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