Virgil’s First Eclogue is about farmers who had been dispossessed as a result of the civil war in Italy after Julius Caesar seized power in 49BC. Thenot (Tityrus) has retained his farm. Meliboeus (Colinet) has lost his.
Thenot agrees that Colinet was born in a ‘hapless…time’. The illustration of Blighted Corn echoes Virgil’s description of the state of chaos in the land. In his hymn Jerusalem Blake sings for those dispossessed of their ‘own Imaginations’ as he describes them in the Preface to Milton.
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