The Scholars & A Grain of Sand
Other readers no doubt immediately recognized the lines quoted by Nelson Hilton in “The Shock of the New Blake” (Blake 58, [Fall 1981], 103), from p. 235 of Robert Hughes’ The Shock of the New (New York: Knopf, 1981):
Seek those imagesThis is the third of four stanzas from Yeats’ “Those Images,” published in Last Poems and written, so Richard Ellmann tells us (The Identity of Yeats, New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1975, p. 294), “before Aug. 10, 1937”—some dozen decades after Blake’s major works were composed. (Hughes’s capitalization of Virgin, Wild, Harlot, and Child are especially beguiling.)*↤ [The Yeats lines were also identified by F. S. Corlew, Ashtabula, Ohio. Eds.]
That constitute the Wild,
The lion and the Virgin,
The Harlot and the Child.
Scholars have long known how strongly Yeats identified with his precursor; but
Lord, what would William Butler say,
That Yeats should pass for Blake today?