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This volume of ten poems in Blake's hand is the unique source for seven of his poetic works, including "Auguries of Innocence. The manuscript is named for a previous owner, B. Pickering, who acquired it in and published it for the first time that year. The poems probably date from about to As a "fair copy," it shows that Blake had copied all of the poems into a neat form with few corrections.
Based on its paper stock and internal references, the manuscript has been dated to about William Blake — occupies a unique place in the history of Western art. His creativity included both the visual and literary arts. In his lifetime he was best known as an engraver; now he is also recognized for his innovative poetry, printmaking, and painting.
Blake's keen perception of the political and social climate found expression throughout his work. His strong sense of independence is evident in the complex mythology that he constructed in response to the age of revolution. Blake was already recognized as an engraver at age twenty-five, when his first volume of poems appeared. At thirty-three, in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, he audaciously claimed that his birth had marked the origin of a "new heaven" in which his own art would exemplify the creativity prefigured by Milton and Michelangelo.
By that time, Blake, in one of his most productive periods, had already produced Songs of Innocence and was at work on a series of illuminated books. In he met John Linnell, a young painter and engraver, through whom a group of young artists became Blake's followers. Calling themselves the Ancients, they helped perpetuate Blake's influence for generations.
The Morgan's Blake collection—one of this country's most distinguished—began with purchases as early as by Pierpont Morgan. During the tenure of Charles Ryskamp, director from to , major gifts almost doubled the size of its Blake holdings. In recent years Ryskamp's own gifts of engravings, letters, and related materials have significantly enriched its scholarly resources. An Angel is here from the heavenly Climes Or again does return the Golden times t Her eyes outshine every brilliant ray She opens her lips tis the Month of May.