(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

Milton: But In The Wine-Presses The Human Grapes Sing Not Nor Dance

But in the Wine-presses the human grapes sing not nor dance:
They howl and writhe in shoals of torment, in fierce flames consuming,
In chains of iron and in dungeons circled with ceaseless fires,
In pits and dens and shades of death, in shapes of torment and woe:
The plates and screws and racks and saws and cords and fires and cisterns
The cruel joys of Luvah's Daughters, lacerating with knives
And whips their victims, and the deadly sport of Luvah's Sons.

They dance around the dying and they drink the howl and groan,
They catch the shrieks in cups of gold, they hand them to one another:
These are the sports of love, and these the sweet delights of amorous play,
Tears of the grape, the death sweat of the cluster, the last sigh
Of the mild youth who listens to the luring songs of Luvah.

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Comments (2)

I did not realize until now that Blake sometimes wrote in long lines, as in this poem. Knowing who 'Luvah' was would reveal more meaning in the poem. As I see it, Milton's vision was beatific and heavenly: but Blake's is horrible and awful, the people tortured and tormented by Luvah's cruel daughters.
...............a fascinating write...and beautiful theme ★