"It is curious that Blake uses Druidic religion as the allegory for the revolutionary impulses ravaging the continental mainland. Druidism is a cult of Ancient Britain, native to the land which Albion represents. The implication would seem to be that, for all the grand claims about imminent human redemption and utopia, these revolutionary forces unleash some primitive urge for bloodshed. Burke’s “general bank and capital” of the ages is lost. That which considers itself progressive and utopian results in realities which are regressive and dystopian. The unquestionable promise of a bright and universal future has triggered the re-emergence of once buried impulses, things previously restrained by the accumulated wisdom of tradition. For if the horizon of human capability broadens too far, people lose sight of the very place on which they stand. The effect is a giddying loss of orientation; the richness of concrete contexts give way to the insipid, empty space of abstract truth. The vitality of concrete life is thinned down, and tradition is eviscerated. As in Blake’s image, the culture’s guts are torn out. Of course, Blake himself was deeply sympathetic to certain aspects of the new, radical thinking of these times. Indeed, much of his work is inseparable from it. But, like Wordsworth and Coleridge, he affords an example of one who also drew out the limits and consequences of that radicalism from his being personally invested in it, and reorientated its initial hopes on bases which today can be considered broadly conservative."
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor