The Twin Passions of Poetry and Religion.

If we look at William Blake and the Divine Image we perceive that Blake’s God Is Love. His poem stanzas in the Songs of Innocence have a great beauty in their message. It’s clear that Religion is a Romance, a love affair with GOD. Is that a Role, as in a Play in their thought, or is it a reality that we must be assured off?   Many of the poems in the book have a religious or spiritual essence. So perception being key, to this discussion, my filter of self,perceives that religion is a corner stone in Romantic poetry. This poem / song also illustrates Emanuel Swedenbourg influence on Blake as Swedenbourg, believed in the idea of God as man.

  The first verse opens with –:

 “All pray in their distress: And to these virtues of delight,

Return their thankfulness. For Mercy Pity Peace and Love, Is God our Father dear: And Mercy Pity Peace and Love,”

 We humans do resort to a GOD in times of sorrow, for exactly the gifts that he states. Mercy is a Grace from GOD, Pity while it may have a negative connotation. It means to me a deep compassion and forgiveness that can only come from the Divine. And Love, there is no greater gift that LOVE 

As we read the next verse- :

Is Man his child and care. For Mercy has a human heart, Pity, a human face And Love, the human form divine, And Peace, the human dress. Then every man of every clime that prays in his distress Prays to the human form divine, Love Mercy Pity Peace.”

 God loves Man, we are “his children” and God cares for us. Mercy is Jesus Christ and he was the son of God born with a Human Heart. Christ chose compassion and forgiveness and he was Divine, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Christ surrendered his life into the hands of GOD, after being crucified. Divinity is born. And is Resurrected – And Peace the Human dress. Dress implies, the Human condition, the cloak (dress) of Humanity. Then every man of every Clime, God serves everyone; all men are equal in the eyes of GOD.  Prays to the Human form Divine. No doubt that Christ is the Human Form divine, we pray for, Love Mercy Pity Peace.

 The final verse:

 And all must love the human form. In heathen, Turk or Jew, Where Mercy, Love and Pity dwell, There God is dwelling too.

 We are taught that we are brothers, brethren. Many cultures refer to each other as brothers and that we must love each other, in spite of Color, race (Turk or Jew) or creed ( heathen), we are all above all else HUMAN.

Love and pity dwell, if we love GOD, we love all others the same and pity is compassion and forgiveness and there in is GOD, a dweller with in the Human form.

 To look further into Religion and Romance, John Keats, addressed to Haydon, demonstrates there is a Symphony of religious fervor that is so beautiful to hear, to read and to feel. These words affect you Heart, your Mind and your Soul. This poem was a tribute to three of Keats’ heroes: Wordsworth, Hunt, and the painter, Benjamin Haydon. Opening line: Great spirits now on earth are sojourning; …

 Great spirits now on earth are sojourning;

Wordsworth, Hunt and Haydon are sleeping or death is the great sleep.

He of the cloud, the cataract, the lake,
Who of the Helvellyn’s summit, wide awake,

 Haydon painted Helvellyn’s summit, the lake and the clouds. Helvellyn’s is in Britain’s Lake District and the word cataract is a Greek word that means “waterfall”. This reference is to Woodsworth love of Helvellyns natural beauty. Wordsworth wrote about the mountain several times

Catches his freshness from Archangel’s wing:

In this verse The Archangel is Raphael known as the angel that heals, catches his freshness, his breath, his spirit. In some ways this may refer to Haydon himself, a deeply troubled man who in the end committed suicide and perhaps he wanted to be healed by the Archangel Raphael.

He of the rose, the violet, the spring,

In angelic lore, Roses are blessed by the Angels and in Meditation to the Archangel, one is supposed to use a Rose on an alter along with a yellow candle etc. The Violet and the Spring. Refer to a time of year where Roses and violets would be in bloom. Of note is that the Violet ray is the healing ray of the Archangel Raphael.

The social smile, the chain of Freedom’s sake:
And lo! – whose steadfastness would never take
A meaner sound than Raphael’s whispering.

He was self-willed to perversity, associated with so much vehemence and passion He proclaimed himself the apostle and martyr of high art. His suicides was brutal, he shot himself and then cut his own throat. He prayed with fervor as witnessed by the many short prayers interspersed in his autobiography. He was well known in society, in prisoned for debt and so willful that he took his own life.  The Archangel  Raphael  whispering could not be mean but meaner if the one that was asking in prayer to save his life, did not stop him from that Act. Of note, the gunshot failed – the archangel whispered and then in vehemence he, Haydon, slit his throat.

 And other spirits there are standing apart 

Upon the forhead of the age to come;

 Upon death, it is said that many spirits are standing rampart, a wall of spirits or apart as in separation from GOD.  His death was significant as he was incredibly talented, famous and prolific. Upon the forehead, a new start for the following age with out Haydon, but his work lives on.

These, these will give the world another heart,
And other pulses. Hear ye not the hum
Of mighty workings? –

 Others would be born (the world would have another Heart)

And the heart beats with a pulse and a hum, of mighty workings, within all is the Almighty workings of God,

 Listen awhile ye nations, and be dumb.

 Pay heed to those who pass on and be SILENT!

The twin passions of poetry and Religion, prayer by nature is a poem to GOD and prayer is a lover’s talk, a Romance with GOD.

Written By Cristoph De Caermichael  


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