3 September 2013

William Blake in Lambeth

This plaque is on a block of flats in Hercules Road, Lambeth.
Centaur Street, which is mainly a tunnel under Waterloo railway lines, looking towards Hercules Street. This is home to the Blake mosaics.
This information plaque briefly mentions the work of William Blake (1757–1827) and speaks of what it calls the 'paradox' of a deeply spiritual man who hated organised religion. It points out that he was virtually unknown in his own lifetime, even considered mad by some. It also mentions his patrons who strove to keep his name alive. Blake lived near here from 1780 to 1790, and the tributes here represent the work he produced during this fruitful period.
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
Newton, obviously now very familiar from the sculpture inside the grounds of the British Library.
of the Daughters of
Albion Rose, also known as Glad Day or The Dance of Albion.
The Shepherd
How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot!
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

For he hears the lamb's innocent call,
And he hears the ewe's tender reply;
He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.
The Little Boy Lost

Father, father, where are you going
O do not walk so fast.
Speak father, speak to your little boy
 Or else I shall be lost,
The night was dark no father was there
The child was wet with dew.
The mire was deep, & the child did weep
 And away the vapour flew.
Infant Joy
'I have no name;
I am but two days old.'
What shall I call thee?
'I happy am,
Joy is my name.'
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy, but two days old.
Sweet Joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile,
I sing the while;
Sweet joy befall thee!

The Clod & the Pebble
'Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a heaven in hell's despair.'

So sung a little Clod of Clay,
Trodden with the cattle's feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:

'Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another's loss of ease,
And builds a hell in heaven's despite.'
The Chimney Sweeper
A little black thing among the snow,
Crying 'weep! 'weep!' in notes of woe!
Where are thy father and mother? Say!'
'They are both gone up to the church to pray.

'Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smiled among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

 'And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his priest and king,
Who make up a heaven of our misery.
The Sick Rose
O Rose, thou art sick.
The invisible worm
That flies in the night
In the howling storm

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
The Tyger
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And ‘Thou shalt not’ writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys & desires.
I wandered through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
A mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every man,
In every infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear:

How the chimney-sweeper's cry
Every blackening church appals,
And the hapless soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down palace-walls.

But most, through midnight streets I hear
How the youthful harlot's curse
Blasts the new-born infant's tear,
And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.

'Project Blake

'The artists and volunteers who worked on these mosaics at
Southbank Mosaics studios included: Helen Goodman,
Suzie Balazs, Zahir Shaikh, Amy Williams, Josie Harris,
Shreen Ahmed, Helen Lees, Juliana Simoes, Sylvie Jacobs,
Peter Whelan, Sabina Michael, Amy Pettipher, Catherine Chimes,
Anna Robertson, Shaun Cambell, Nonaletta Lewis, Ray Pettit,
Anna Jellinek, Sebasiain Crump, Jessica Kaufmann,
M. J. Maccardini, Alice Northgreaves, Jessica Crowther,
Joyce E Crowther, Alison Shapton, Joanna Hammond,
Chloe Easton, Matthew Lawrence, Sonia Cala-Lesina,
Esther Bada, Lawrence Sevume, Annabel Thomas,
Marvin Afrane, Sharon Carr, Dele Akindele, Alison Webb,
elena Grebenchtchikova, Alison Russell,Albany Rivera,
Angela McMahon, Nicola Shorvan, Jackie Chambers,
Philip Sunshine, Michelle Russell, Felix Pirani, Sandra Wiseman,
Jalisha Israel, Mohammed Abbas, Manuel Roman, Lisa Hornby,
Dee Smith, Anna Bachene, Eleanor Crawford, Junior Wildman,
Abu Shaid, Sean Gerrard, Wayne Menezes, Martin Chandler,
Bryan Fulton, Peaches Farnes, Le'Mari McBeth, Peter O'Donovan,
Robin Richter, Ricardo Johnson, Lynn Newlyn, Daisy Newlyn,
Grace Bryant, Martha Bryant, David Tootill
and many others.

'If any work is damaged and needs repair, please report
this to: Southbank Mosaics, St Johns Crypt, 73 Waterloo Rd,
London, SE1 8UD
Tel: 020 7620 6070 e:

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