Poetry, by William Blake

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:55 am


Engraved 1793


The shadowy Daughter of Urthona stood before red Orc,
When fourteen suns had faintly journey'd o'er his dark abode:
His food she brought in iron baskets, his drink in cups of iron.
Crown'd with a helmet and dark hair the nameless Female stood;
A quiver with its burning stores, a bow like that of night,
When pestilence is shot from heaven -- no other arms she need!
Invulnerable tho' naked, save where clouds roll round her loins
Their awful folds in the dark air: silent she stood as night;
For never from her iron tongue could voice or sound arise,
But dumb till that dread day when Orc assay'd his fierce embrace.

`Dark Virgin,' said the hairy Youth, `thy father stern, abhorr'd,
Rivets my tenfold chains, while still on high my spirit soars;
Sometimes an eagle screaming in the sky, sometimes a lion
Stalking upon the mountains, and sometimes a whale, I lash
The raging fathomless abyss; anon a serpent folding
Around the pillars of Urthona, and round thy dark limbs
On the Canadian wilds I fold; feeble my spirit folds;
For chain'd beneath I rend these caverns: when thou bringest food
I howl my joy, and my red eyes seek to behold thy face --
In vain! these clouds roll to and fro, and hide thee from my sight.

Silent as despairing love, and strong as jealousy,
The hairy shoulders rend the links; free are the wrists of fire;
Round the terrific loins he seiz'd the panting, struggling womb;
It joy'd: she put aside her clouds and smilèd her first-born smile,
As when a black cloud shows its lightnings to the silent deep.

Soon as she saw the Terrible Boy, then burst the virgin cry:--

`I know thee, I have found thee, and I will not let thee go:
Thou art the image of God who dwells in darkness of Africa,
And thou art fall'n to give me life in regions of dark death.

On my American plains I feel the struggling afflictions
Endur'd by roots that writhe their arms into the nether deep.
I see a Serpent in Canada who courts me to his love,
In Mexico an Eagle, and a Lion in Peru;
I see a Whale in the South Sea, drinking my soul away.
O what limb-rending pains I feel! thy fire and my frost
Mingle in howling pains, in furrows by thy lightnings rent.
This is Eternal Death, and this the torment long foretold!'

A Prophecy

The Guardian Prince of Albion burns in his nightly tent:
Sullen fires across the Atlantic glow to America's shore,
Piercing the souls of warlike men who rise in silent night.
Washington, Franklin, Paine, and Warren, Gates, Hancock, and Green
Meet on the coast glowing with blood from Albion's fiery Prince.

Washington spoke: `Friends of America! look over the Atlantic sea;
A bended bow is lifted in Heaven, and a heavy iron chain
Descends, link by link, from Albion's cliffs across the sea, to bind
Brothers and sons of America; till our faces pale and yellow,
Heads depress'd, voices weak, eyes downcast, hands work-bruis'd,
Feet bleeding on the sultry sands, and the furrows of the whip
Descend to generations, that in future times forget.'

The strong voice ceas'd; for a terrible blast swept over the heaving sea:
The eastern cloud rent: on his cliffs stood Albion's wrathful Prince,
A dragon form, clashing his scales: at midnight he arose,
And flam'd red meteors round the land of Albion beneath;
His voice, his locks, his awful shoulders, and his glowing eyes
Appear to the Americans upon the cloudy night.

Solemn heave the Atlantic waves between the gloomy nations,
Swelling, belching from its deeps red clouds and raging fires.
Albion is sick! America faints! Enrag'd the Zenith grew.
As human blood shooting its veins all round the orbèd heaven,
Red rose the clouds from the Atlantic in vast wheels of blood,
And in the red clouds rose a Wonder o'er the Atlantic sea --
Intense! naked! a Human fire, fierce glowing, as the wedge
Of iron heated in the furnace; his terrible limbs were fire,
With myriads of cloudy terrors, banners dark, and towers
Surrounded: heat but not light went thro' the murky atmosphere.

The King of England looking westward trembles at the vision.

Albion's Angel stood beside the Stone of Night, and saw
The Terror like a comet, or more like the planet red,
That once enclos'd the terrible wandering comets in its sphere.
Then, Mars, thou wast our centre, and the planets three flew round
Thy crimson disk; so, ere the Sun was rent from thy red sphere,
The Spectre glow'd, his horrid length staining the temple long
With beams of blood; and thus a voice came forth, and shook the temple:--

`The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations;
The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrappèd up;
The bones of death, the cov'ring clay, the sinews shrunk and dry'd
Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing, awakening,
Spring like redeemèd captives, when their bonds and bars are burst
Let the slave grinding at the mill run out into the field,
Let him look up into the heavens and laugh in the bright air;
Let the enchainèd soul, shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years,
Rise and look out; his chains are loose, his dungeon doors are open;
And let his wife and children return from the oppressor's scourge.
They look behind at every step, and believe it is a dream,
Singing: "The Sun has left his blackness, and has found a fresher morning,
And the fair Moon rejoices in the clear and cloudless night;
For Empire is no more, and now the Lion and Wolf shall cease." '

In thunders ends the voice. Then Albion's Angel wrathful burnt
Beside the Stone of Night; and, like the Eternal Lion's howl
In famine and war, reply'd: `Art thou not Orc, who serpent-form'd
Stands at the gate of Enitharmon to devour her children?
Blasphemous Demon, Antichrist, hater of Dignities,
Lover of wild rebellion, and transgressor of God's Law,
Why dost thou come to Angel's eyes in this terrific form?'

The Terror answer'd: `I am Orc, wreath'd round the accursèd tree:
The times are ended; shadows pass, the morning 'gins to break;
The fiery joy, that Urizen perverted to ten commands,
What night he led the starry hosts thro' the wide wilderness,
That stony Law I stamp to dust; and scatter Religion abroad
To the four winds as a torn book, and none shall gather the leaves;
But they shall rot on desert sands, and consume in bottomless deeps,
To make the deserts blossom, and the deeps shrink to their fountains,
And to renew the fiery joy, and burst the stony roof;
That pale religious lechery, seeking Virginity,
May find it in a harlot, and in coarse-clad honesty
The undefil'd, tho' ravish'd in her cradle night and morn;
For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life;
Because the soul of sweet delight can never be defil'd.
Fires enwrap the earthly globe, yet Man is not consum'd;
Amidst the lustful fires he walks; his feet become like brass,
His knees and thighs like silver, and his breast and head like gold.

`Sound! sound! my loud war-trumpets, and alarm my Thirteen Angels!
Loud howls the Eternal Wolf! the Eternal Lion lashes his tail!
America is dark'ned; and my punishing Demons, terrifièd,
Crouch howling before their caverns deep, like skins dry'd in the wind.
They cannot smite the wheat, nor quench the fatness of the earth;
They cannot smite with sorrows, nor subdue the plough and spade;
They cannot wall the city, nor moat round the castle of princes;
They cannot bring the stubbèd oak to overgrow the hills;
For terrible men stand on the shores, and in their robes I see
Children take shelter from the lightnings: there stands Washington,
And Paine, and Warren, with their foreheads rear'd toward the East--
But clouds obscure my agèd sight. A vision from afar!
Sound! sound! my loud war-trumpets, and alarm my Thirteen Angels!
Ah, vision from afar! Ah, rebel form that rent the ancient
Heavens! Eternal Viper self-renew'd, rolling in clouds,
I see thee in thick clouds and darkness on America's shore,
Writhing in pangs of abhorrèd birth; red flames the crest rebellious
And eyes of death; the harlot womb, oft openèd in vain,
Heaves in enormous circles: now the times are return'd upon thee,
Devourer of thy parent, now thy unutterable torment renews.
Sound! sound! my loud war-trumpets, and alarm my Thirteen Angels!
Ah, terrible birth! a young one bursting! Where is the weeping mouth,
And where the mother's milk? Instead, those ever-hissing jaws
And parchèd lips drop with fresh gore: now roll thou in the clouds;
Thy mother lays her length outstretch'd upon the shore beneath.
Sound! sound! my loud war-trumpets, and alarm my Thirteen Angels!
Loud howls the Eternal Wolf! the Eternal Lion lashes his tail!'

Thus wept the Angel voice, and as he wept the terrible blasts
Of trumpets blew a loud alarm across the Atlantic deep.
No trumpets answer; no reply of clarions or of fifes:
Silent the Colonies remain and refuse the loud alarm.

On those vast shady hills between America and Albion's shore,
Now barr'd out by the Atlantic sea, call'd Atlantean hills,
Because from their bright summits you may pass to the Golden World,
An ancient palace, archetype of mighty Emperies,
Rears its immortal pinnacles, built in the forest of God
By Ariston, the King of Beauty, for his stolen bride.

Here on their magic seats the Thirteen Angels sat perturb'd,
For clouds from the Atlantic hover o'er the solemn roof.

Fiery the Angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll'd
Around their shores, indignant burning with the fires of Orc;
And Boston's Angel cried aloud as they flew thro' the dark night.

He cried: `Why trembles honesty; and, like a murderer,
Why seeks he refuge from the frowns of his immortal station?
Must the generous tremble, and leave his joy to the idle, to the pestilence
That mock him? Who commanded this? What God? What Angel?
To keep the gen'rous from experience till the ungenerous
Are unrestrain'd performers of the energies of nature;
Till pity is become a trade, and generosity a science
That men get rich by; and the sandy desert is giv'n to the strong?
What God is he writes laws of peace, and clothes him in a tempest?
What pitying Angel lusts for tears, and fans himself with sighs?
What crawling villain preaches abstinence and wraps himself
In fat of lambs? No more I follow, no more obedience pay!'

So cried he, rending off his robe and throwing down his sceptre
In sight of Albion's Guardian; and all the Thirteen Angels
Rent off their robes to the hungry wind, and threw their golden sceptres
Down on the land of America; indignant they descended

Headlong from out their heav'nly heights, descending swift as fires
Over the land; naked and flaming are their lineaments seen
In the deep gloom; by Washington and Paine and Warren they stood;
And the flame folded, roaring fierce within the pitchy night,
Before the Demon red, who burnt towards America,
In black smoke, thunders, and loud winds, rejoicing in its terror,
Breaking in smoky wreaths from the wild deep, and gath'ring thick
In flames as of a furnace on the land from North to South,
What time the Thirteen Governors, that England sent, convene
In Bernard's house. The flames cover'd the land; they rouse; they cry;
Shaking their mental chains, they rush in fury to the sea
To quench their anguish; at the feet of Washington down fall'n
They grovel on the sand and writhing lie, while all
The British soldiers thro' the Thirteen States sent up a howl
Of anguish, threw their swords and muskets to the earth, and run
From their encampments and dark castles, seeking where to hide
From the grim flames, and from the visions of Orc, in sight
Of Albion's Angel; who, enrag'd, his secret clouds open'd
From North to South, and burnt outstretch'd on wings of wrath, cov'ring
The eastern sky, spreading his awful wings across the heavens.
Beneath him roll'd his num'rous hosts, all Albion's Angels camp'd
Darken'd the Atlantic mountains; and their trumpets shook the valleys,
Arm'd with diseases of the earth to cast upon the Abyss --
Their numbers forty millions, must'ring in the eastern sky.

In the flames stood and view'd the armies drawn out in the sky,
Washington, Franklin, Paine, and Warren, Allen, Gates, and Lee,
And heard the voice of Albion's Angel give the thunderous command;
His plagues, obedient to his voice, flew forth out of their clouds,
Falling upon America, as a storm to cut them off,
As a blight cuts the tender corn when it begins to appear.
Dark is the heaven above, and cold and hard the earth beneath:
And, as a plague-wind, fill'd with insects, cuts off man and beast,
And, as a sea o'erwhelms a land in the day of an earthquake,
Fury, rage, madness, in a wind swept through America;
And the red flames of Orc, that folded roaring, fierce, around
The angry shores; and the fierce rushing of th' inhabitants together!
The citizens of New York close their books and lock their chests;
The mariners of Boston drop their anchors and unlade;
The scribe of Pennsylvania casts his pen upon the earth;

The builder of Virginia throws his hammer down in fear.

Then had America been lost, o'erwhelm'd by the Atlantic,
And Earth had lost another portion of the Infinite;
But all rush together in the night in wrath and raging fire.
The red fires rag'd! The plagues recoil'd! Then roll'd they back with fury
On Albion's Angels: then the Pestilence began in streaks of red
Across the limbs of Albion's Guardian; the spotted plague smote Bristol's,
And the Leprosy London's Spirit, sickening all their bands:
The millions sent up a howl of anguish and threw off their hammer'd mail,
And cast their swords and spears to earth, and stood, a naked multitude:
Albion's Guardian writhèd in torment on the eastern sky,
Pale, quiv'ring toward the brain his glimmering eyes, teeth chattering,
Howling and shuddering, his legs quivering, convuls'd each muscle and sinew:
Sick'ning lay London's Guardian, and the ancient mitred York,
Their heads on snowy hills, their ensigns sick'ning in the sky.

The plagues creep on the burning winds, driven by flames of Orc,
And by the fierce Americans rushing together in the night,
Driven o'er the Guardians of Ireland, and Scotland and Wales.
They, spotted with plagues, forsook the frontiers; and their banners, sear'd
With fires of hell, deform their ancient Heavens with shame and woe.
Hid in his caves the Bard of Albion felt the enormous plagues,
And a cowl of flesh grew o'er his head, and scales on his back and ribs;
And, rough with black scales, all his Angels fright their ancient heavens.
The doors of marriage are open, and the Priests, in rustling scales,
Rush into reptile coverts, hiding from the fires of Orc,
That play around the golden roofs in wreaths of fierce desire,
Leaving the Females naked and glowing with the lusts of youth.

For the Female Spirits of the dead, pining in bonds of religion,
Run from their fetters; reddening, and in long-drawn arches sitting,
They feel the nerves of youth renew, and desires of ancient times
Over their pale limbs, as a vine when the tender grape appears.

Over the hills, the vales, the cities rage the red flames fierce:
The Heavens melted from North to South; and Urizen, who sat
Above all heavens, in thunders wrapp'd, emerg'd his leprous head
From out his holy shrine, his tears in deluge piteous

Falling into the deep sublime; flagg'd with grey-brow'd snows
And thunderous visages, his jealous wings wav'd over the deep;
Weeping in dismal howling woe, he dark descended, howling
Around the smitten bands, clothèd in tears and trembling, shudd'ring, cold.
His storèd snows he pourèd forth, and his icy magazine,
He open'd on the deep, and on the Atlantic sea, white, shiv'ring;
Leprous his limbs, all over white, and hoary was his visage;
Weeping in dismal howlings before the stern Americans,
Hiding the Demon red with clouds and cold mists from the earth;
Till Angels and weak men twelve years should govern o'er the strong;
And then their end should come, when France receiv'd the Demon's light.

Stiff shudderings shook the heav'nly thrones! France, Spain, and Italy
In terror view'd the bands of Albion, and the ancient Guardians,
Fainting upon the elements, smitten with their own plagues!
They slow advance to shut the five gates of their law-built Heaven,
Fillèd with blasting fancies and with mildews of despair,
With fierce disease and lust, unable to stem the fires of Orc,
But the five gates were consum'd, and their bolts and hinges melted;
And the fierce flames burnt round the heavens, and round the abodes of men.
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:56 am


Engraved 1794

`Five windows light the cavern'd Man: thro' one he breathes the air;
Thro' one hears music of the spheres; thro' one the Eternal Vine
Flourishes, that he may receive the grapes; thro' one can look
And see small portions of the Eternal World that ever groweth;
Thro' one himself pass out what time he please, but he will not;
For stolen joys are sweet, and bread eaten in secret pleasant.'
So sang a Fairy, mocking, as he sat on a streak'd tulip,
Thinking none saw him: when he ceas'd I started from the trees,
And caught him in my hat, as boys knock down a butterfly.
`How know you this,' said I, `small Sir? where did you learn this song?'
Seeing himself in my possession, thus he answer'd me:
`My Master, I am yours! command me, for I must obey.'

`Then tell me, what is the Material World, and is it dead?'
He, laughing, answer'd: `I will write a book on leaves of flowers,
If you will feed me on love-thoughts, and give me now and then
A cup of sparkling poetic fancies; so, when I am tipsy,
I'll sing to you to this soft lute, and show you all alive
The World, when every particle of dust breathes forth its joy.'

I took him home in my warm bosom: as we went along
Wild flowers I gatherèd; and he show'd me each Eternal Flower:
He laugh'd aloud to see them whimper because they were pluck'd.
They hover'd round me like a cloud of incense. When I came
Into my parlour and sat down, and took my pen to write,
My Fairy sat upon the table, and dictated EUROPE.


The nameless Shadowy Female rose from out the breast of Orc,
Her snaky hair brandishing in the winds of Enitharmon;
And thus her voice arose:--

`O mother Enitharmon, wilt thou bring forth other sons,
To cause my name to vanish, that my place may not be found?
For I am faint with travel,
Like the dark cloud disburden'd in the day of dismal thunder.
`My roots are brandish'd in the heavens, my fruits in earth beneath
Surge, foam, and labour into life, first born and first consum'd!
Consumèd and consuming!
Then why shouldst thou, Accursèd Mother, bring me into life?

`I wrap my turban of thick clouds around my lab'ring head,
And fold the sheety waters as a mantle round my limbs;
Yet the red sun and moon
And all the overflowing stars rain down prolific pains.

`Unwilling I look up to heaven, unwilling count the stars:
Sitting in fathomless abyss of my immortal shrine
I seize their burning power,
And bring forth howling terrors, all-devouring fiery kings,

`Devouring and devourèd, roaming on dark and desolate mountains,
In forests of Eternal Death, shrieking in hollow trees.
Ah, mother Enitharmon!
Stamp not with solid form this vig'rous progeny of fires.

`I bring forth from my teeming bosom myriads of flames,
And thou dost stamp them with a signet; then they roam abroad,
And leave me void as death.
Ah! I am drown'd in shady woe and visionary joy.

`And who shall bind the Infinite with an eternal band
To compass it with swaddling bands? and who shall cherish it
With milk and honey?
I see it smile, and I roll inward, and my voice is past.'

She ceas'd, and roll'd her shady clouds
Into the secret place.

A Prophecy

The deep of winter came,
What time the Secret Child
Descended through the orient gates of the Eternal day:
War ceas'd, and all the troops like shadows fled to their abodes.
Then Enitharmon saw her sons and daughters rise around;
Like pearly clouds they meet together in the crystal house;
And Los, possessor of the Moon, joy'd in the peaceful night,
Thus speaking, while his num'rous sons shook their bright fiery wings:--

`Again the night is come,
That strong Urthona takes his rest;
And Urizen, unloos'd from chains,
Glows like a meteor in the distant North.
Stretch forth your hands and strike the elemental strings!
Awake the thunders of the deep!

`The shrill winds wake,
Till all the sons of Urizen look out and envy Los.
Seize all the spirits of life, and bind
Their warbling joys to our loud strings!
Bind all the nourishing sweets of earth
To give us bliss, that we may drink the sparkling wine of Los!
And let us laugh at war,
Despising toil and care,
Because the days and nights of joy in lucky hours renew.

`Arise, O Orc, from thy deep den!
First-born of Enitharmon, rise!
And we will crown thy head with garlands of the ruddy vine;
For now thou art bound,
And I may see thee in the hour of bliss, my eldest-born.'

The horrent Demon rose, surrounded with red stars of fire,
Whirling about in furious circles round the Immortal Fiend.

Then Enitharmon down descended into his red light,
And thus her voice rose to her children: the distant heavens reply:--

`Now comes the night of Enitharmon's joy!
Who shall I call? Who shall I send,
That Woman, lovely Woman, may have dominion?
Arise, O Rintrah! thee I call, and Palamabron, thee!
Go! tell the Human race that Woman's love is Sin;
That an Eternal life awaits the worms of sixty winters,
In an allegorical abode, where existence hath never come.
Forbid all Joy; and, from her childhood, shall the little Female
Spread nets in every secret path.
`My weary eyelids draw towards the evening; my bliss is yet but new.

`Arise! O Rintrah, eldest-born, second to none but Orc!
O lion Rintrah, raise thy fury from thy forests black!
Bring Palamabron, hornèd priest, skipping upon the mountains,
And silent Elynittria, the silver-bowèd queen.
Rintrah, where hast thou hid thy bride?
Weeps she in desert shades?
Alas! my Rintrah, bring the lovely jealous Ocalythron.

`Arise, my son! bring all thy brethren, O thou King of Fire!
Prince of the Sun! I see thee with thy innumerable race,
Thick as the summer stars;
But each, ramping, his golden mane shakes,
And thine eyes rejoice because of strength, O Rintrah, furious King!'

Enitharmon slept
Eighteen hundred years. Man was a dream,
The night of Nature and their harps unstrung!
She slept in middle of her nightly song
Eighteen hundred years, a Female dream.

Shadows of men in fleeting bands upon the winds
Divide the heavens of Europe;
Till Albion's Angel, smitten with his own plagues, fled with his bands.
The cloud bears hard on Albion's shore,
Fill'd with immortal Demons of futurity:
In council gather the smitten Angels of Albion;
The cloud bears hard upon the council-house, down rushing
On the heads of Albion's Angels.

One hour they lay burièd beneath the ruins of that hall;
But as the stars rise from the Salt Lake, they arise in pain,
In troubled mists, o'erclouded by the terrors of struggling times.
In thoughts perturb'd they rose from the bright ruins, silent following
The fiery King, who sought his ancient temple, serpent-form'd,
That stretches out its shady length along the Island white.
Round him roll'd his clouds of war; silent the Angel went
Along the infinite shores of Thames to golden Verulam.
There stand the venerable porches, that high-towering rear
Their oak-surrounded pillars, form'd of massy stones, uncut
With tool, stones precious! -- such eternal in the heavens,
Of colours twelve (few known on earth) give light in the opaque,
Plac'd in the order of the stars; when the five senses whelm'd
In deluge o'er the earth-born man, then turn'd the fluxile eyes
Into two stationary orbs, concentrating all things:
The ever-varying spiral ascents to the Heavens of Heavens
Were bended downward, and the nostrils' golden gates shut,
Turn'd outward, barr'd, and petrify'd against the Infinite.

Thought chang'd the Infinite to a Serpent, that which pitieth
To a devouring flame; and Man fled from its face and hid
In forests of night: then all the eternal forests were divided
Into earths, rolling in circles of Space, that like an ocean rush'd
And overwhelmèd all except this finite wall of flesh.
Then was the Serpent temple form'd, image of Infinite,
Shut up in finite revolutions, and Man became an Angel,
Heaven a mighty circle turning, God a tyrant crown'd.

Now arriv'd the ancient Guardian at the southern porch,
That planted thick with trees of blackest leaf, and in a vale
Obscure enclos'd the Stone of Night; oblique it stood, o'erhung
With purple flowers and berries red, image of that sweet South,
Once open to the heavens, and elevated on the human neck,
Now overgrown with hair, and cover'd with a story roof
Downward 'tis sunk beneath th' attractive North, that round the feet,
A raging whirlpool, draws the dizzy enquirer to his grave.

Albion's Angel rose upon the Stone of Night.
He saw Urizen on the Atlantic;
And his brazen Book,
That Kings and Priests had copièd on Earth,
Expanded from North to South.

And the clouds and fires pale roll'd round in the night of Enitharmon,
Round Albion's cliffs and London's walls: still Enitharmon slept.
Rolling volumes of grey mist involve Churches, Palaces, Towers;
For Urizen unclasp'd his Book, feeding his soul with pity.
The youth of England, hid in gloom, curse the pain'd heavens, compell'd
Into the deadly night to see the form of Albion's Angel.
Their parents brought them forth, and Agèd Ignorance preaches, canting,
On a vast rock, perceiv'd by those senses that are clos'd from thought--
Bleak, dark, abrupt it stands, and overshadows London city.
They saw his bony feet on the rock, the flesh consum'd in flames;
They saw the Serpent temple lifted above, shadowing the Island white;
They heard the voice of Albion's Angel, howling in flames of Orc,
Seeking the trump of the Last Doom.
Above the rest the howl was heard from Westminster, louder and louder:
The Guardian of the secret codes forsook his ancient mansion,
Driven out by the flames of Orc; his furr'd robes and false locks
Adherèd and grew one with his flesh and nerves, and veins shot thro' them.
With dismal torment sick, hanging upon the wind, he fled
Grovelling, along Great George Street, thro' the Park gate: all the soldiers
Fled from his sight: he dragg'd his torments to the wilderness.

Thus was the howl thro' Europe!
For Orc rejoic'd to hear the howling shadows;
But Palamabron shot his lightnings, trenching down his wide back;
And Rintrah hung with all his legions in the nether deep.

Enitharmon laugh'd in her sleep to see (O woman's triumph!)
Every house a den, every man bound: the shadows are fill'd
With spectres, and the windows wove over with curses of iron:
Over the doors `Thou shalt not', and over the chimneys `Fear' is written:
With bands of iron round their necks fasten'd into the walls
The citizens, in leaden gyves the inhabitants of suburbs
Walk heavy; soft and bent are the bones of villagers.

Between the clouds of Urizen the flames of Orc roll heavy
Around the limbs of Albion's Guardian, his flesh consuming:
Howlings and hissings, shrieks and groans, and voices of despair
Arise around him in the cloudy heavens of Albion. Furious,
The red-limb'd Angel seiz'd in horror and torment
The trump of the Last Doom; but he could not blow the iron tube!
Thrice he assay'd presumptuous to awake the dead to Judgment.
A mighty Spirit leap'd from the land of Albion,
Nam'd Newton: he seiz'd the trump, and blow'd the enormous blast!
Yellow as leaves of autumn, the myriads of Angelic hosts
Fell thro' the wintry skies, seeking their graves,
Rattling their hollow bones in howling and lamentation.
Then Enitharmon woke, nor knew that she had slept;
And eighteen hundred years were fled
As if they had not been.
She call'd her sons and daughters
To the sports of night
Within her crystal house,
And thus her song proceeds:--

`Arise, Ethinthus! tho' the earth-worm call,
Let him call in vain,
Till the night of holy shadows
And human solitude is past!

`Ethinthus, Queen of Waters, how thou shinest in the sky!
My daughter, how do I rejoice! for thy children flock around,
Like the gay fishes on the wave, when the cold moon drinks the dew.
Ethinthus! thou art sweet as comforts to my fainting soul,
For now thy waters warble round the feet of Enitharmon.

`Manatha-Varcyon! I behold thee flaming in my halls.
Light of thy mother's soul! I see thy lovely eagles round;
Thy golden wings are my delight, and thy flames of soft delusion.

`Where is my luring bird of Eden? Leutha, silent love!
Leutha, the many-colour'd bow delights upon thy wings!
Soft soul of flowers, Leutha!
Sweet smiling Pestilence! I see thy blushing light;
Thy daughters, many changing,
Revolve like sweet perfumes ascending, O Leutha, Silken Queen!

`Where is the youthful Antamon, Prince of the Pearly Dew?
O Antamon! why wilt thou leave thy mother Enitharmon?
Alone I see thee, crystal form,
Floating upon the bosom'd air,
With lineaments of gratified desire.
My Antamon! the seven churches of Leutha seek thy love.
`I hear the soft Oothoon in Enitharmon's tents;
Why wilt thou give up woman's secrecy, my melancholy child?
Between two moments Bliss is ripe.
O Theotormon! robb'd of joy, I see thy salt tears flow
Down the steps of my crystal house.

`Sotha and Thiralatha! secret dwellers of dreamful caves,
Arise and please the horrent Fiend with your melodious songs;
Still all your thunders, golden-hoof'd, and bind your horses black.
Orc! smile upon my children,
Smile, son of my afflictions!
Arise, O Orc, and give our mountains joy of thy red light!'

She ceas'd; for all were forth at sport beneath the solemn moon
Waking the stars of Urizen with their immortal songs;
That Nature felt thro' all her pores the enormous revelry,
Till Morning opened the eastern gate;
Then every one fled to his station, and Enitharmon wept.

But terrible Orc, when he beheld the morning in the East,
Shot from the heights of Enitharmon,
And in the vineyards of red France appear'd the light of his fury.

The Sun glow'd fiery red!
The furious Terrors flew around
On golden chariots, raging with red wheels, dropping with blood
The Lions lash their wrathful tails!
The Tigers crouch upon the prey and suck the ruddy tide;
And Enitharmon groans and cries in anguish and dismay.

Then Los arose: his head he rear'd, in snaky thunders clad;
And with a cry that shook all Nature to the utmost pole,
Call'd all his sons to the strife of blood.
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:58 am


Engraved 1794


Preludium to the First Book of Urizen

Of the primeval Priest's assum'd power,
When Eternals spurn'd back his Religion,
And gave him a place in the North,
Obscure, shadowy, void, solitary.

Eternals! I hear your call gladly.
Dictate swift wingèd words, and fear not
To unfold your dark visions of torment.


1. Lo, a Shadow of horror is risen
In Eternity! unknown, unprolific,
Self-clos'd, all-repelling. What Demon
Hath form'd this abominable Void,
This soul-shudd'ring Vacuum? Some said
It is Urizen. But unknown, abstracted,
Brooding, secret, the dark Power hid.

2. Times on times he divided, and measur'd
Space by space in his ninefold darkness,
Unseen, unknown; changes appear'd
Like desolate mountains, rifted furious
By the black winds of perturbation.

3. For he strove in battles dire,
In unseen conflictions with Shapes,
Bred from his forsaken wilderness,
Of beast, bird, fish, serpent, and element,
Combustion, blast, vapour, and cloud.

4. Dark, revolving in silent activity,
Unseen in tormenting passions,
An Activity unknown and horrible,
A self-contemplating Shadow,
In enormous labours occupièd.

5. But Eternals beheld his vast forests;
Ages on ages he lay, clos'd, unknown,
Brooding, shut in the deep; all avoid
The petrific, abominable Chaos.

6. His cold horrors, silent, dark Urizen
Prepar'd; his ten thousands of thunders,
Rang'd in gloom'd array, stretch out across
The dread world; and the rolling of wheels,
As of swelling seas, sound in his clouds,

In his hills of stor'd snows, in his mountains
Of hail and ice; voices of terror
Are heard, like thunders of autumn,
When the cloud blazes over the harvests.


1. Earth was not, nor globes of attraction;
The will of the Immortal expanded
Or contracted his all-flexible senses;
Death was not, but Eternal life sprung.

2. The sound of a trumpet the heavens
Awoke, and vast clouds of blood roll'd
Round the dim rocks of Urizen, so nam'd
That solitary one in Immensity.

3. Shrill the trumpet! and myriads of Eternity
Muster around the bleak deserts,
Now fill'd with clouds, darkness, and waters,
That roll'd perplex'd, lab'ring; and utter'd
Words articulate, bursting in thunders,
That roll'd on the tops of his mountains:--

4. `From the depths of dark solitude, from
The Eternal abode in my Holiness,
Hidden, set apart, in my stern counsels,
Reserv'd for the days of futurity,
I have sought for a joy without pain,
For a solid without fluctuation.
Why will you die, O Eternals?
Why live in unquenchable burnings?

5. `First I fought with the fire, consum'd
Inwards into a deep world within,
A Void immense, wild, dark and deep,
Where nothing was--Nature's wide womb;
And self-balanc'd, stretch'd o'er the void,
I alone, even I! the winds merciless
Bound; but condensing in torrents
They fall and fall; strong I repell'd
The vast waves, and arose on the waters
A wide World of solid obstruction.

6. `Here alone I, in books form'd of metals,
Have written the secrets of Wisdom,
The secrets of dark Contemplation,
By fightings and conflicts dire
With terrible monsters sin-bred,
Which the bosoms of all inhabit--
Seven deadly Sins of the Soul.

7. `Lo! I unfold my darkness, and on
This rock place, with strong hand, the Book
Of Eternal brass, written in my solitude:

8. `Laws of peace, of love, of unity,
Of pity, compassion, forgiveness;
Let each choose one habitation,
His ancient infinite mansion,
One command, one joy, one desire,
One curse, one weight, one measure,
One King, one God, one Law.'


1. The voice ended: they saw his pale visage
Emerge from the darkness, his hand
On the rock of Eternity unclasping
The Book of brass. Rage seiz'd the strong--

2. Rage, fury, intense indignation,
In cataracts of fire, blood, and gall,
In whirlwinds of sulphurous smoke,
And enormous forms of energy,
In living creations appear'd,
In the flames of eternal fury.

3. Sund'ring, dark'ning, thund'ring,
Rent away with a terrible crash,
Eternity roll'd wide apart,
Wide asunder rolling;
Mountainous, all around
Departing, departing, departing,
Leaving ruinous fragments of life,
Hanging, frowning cliffs, and, all between,
An Ocean of voidness unfathomable.

4. The roaring fires ran o'er the heav'ns
In whirlwinds and cataracts of blood,
And o'er the dark deserts of Urizen
Fires pour thro' the void, on all sides,
On Urizen's self-begotten armies.

5. But no light from the fires! all was darkness
In the flames of Eternal fury.

6. In fierce anguish and quenchless flames
To the deserts and rocks he ran raging,
To hide; but he could not. Combining,
He dug mountains and hills in vast strength,
He pilèd them in incessant labour,
In howlings and pangs and fierce madness,
Long periods in burning fires labouring;
Till hoary, and age-broke, and agèd,
In despair and the shadows of death

7. And a roof vast, petrific, around
On all sides he fram'd, like a womb,
Where thousands of rivers, in veins
Of blood, pour down the mountains to cool
The eternal fires, beating without
From Eternals; and like a black Globe,
View'd by sons of Eternity, standing
On the shore of the infinite ocean,
Like a human heart, struggling and beating,
The vast world of Urizen appear'd.

8. And Los, round the dark globe of Urizen,
Kept watch for Eternals to confine
The obscure separation alone;
For Eternity stood wide apart,
As the stars are apart from the earth,

9. Los wept, howling around the dark Demon,
And cursing his lot; for in anguish
Urizen was rent from his side,
And a fathomless Void for his feet,
And intense fires for his dwelling.

10. But Urizen, laid in a story sleep,
Unorganiz'd, rent from Eternity.

11. The Eternals said: `What is this? Death?
Urizen is a clod of clay!'

12. Los howl'd in a dismal stupor,
Groaning, gnashing, groaning,
Till the wrenching apart was healèd.

13. But the wrenching of Urizen heal'd not.
Cold, featureless, flesh or clay,
Rifted with direful changes,
He lay in a dreamless night,

14. Till Los rous'd his fires, affrighted
At the formless, unmeasurable Death.


1. Los, smitten with astonishment,
Frighten'd at the hurtling bones

2. And at the surging, sulphureous,
Perturbèd, immortal, mad raging

3. In whirlwinds, and pitch, and nitre
Round the furious limbs of Los.

4. And Los formèd nets and gins,
And threw the nets round about.

5. He watch'd in shudd'ring fear
The dark changes, and bound every change
With rivets of iron and brass.

6. And these were the changes of Urizen:--


1. Ages on ages roll'd over him;
In stony sleep ages roll'd over him,
Like a dark waste stretching, changeable,
By earthquakes riv'n, belching sullen fires:
On ages roll'd ages in ghastly
Sick torment; around him in whirlwinds
Of darkness the Eternal Prophet howl'd,
Beating still on his rivets of iron,
Pouring solder of iron; dividing
The horrible night into watches.

2. And Urizen (so his eternal name)
His prolific delight obscur'd more and more,
In dark secrecy hiding in surging
Sulphureous fluid his phantasies.
The Eternal Prophet heav'd the dark bellows,
And turn'd restless the tongs, and the hammer
Incessant beat, forging chains new and new,
Numb'ring with links hours, days, and years.

3. The Eternal mind, bounded, began to roll
Eddies of wrath, ceaseless, round and round,
And the sulphureous foam, surging thick,
Settled, a lake, bright and shining clear,
White as the snow on the mountains cold.

4. Forgetfulness, dumbness, necessity,
In chains of the mind lockèd up,
Like fetters of ice shrinking together,
Disorganiz'd, rent from Eternity,
Los beat on his fetters of iron;
And heated his furnaces, and pour'd
Iron solder and solder of brass.

5. Restless turn'd the Immortal, enchain'd,
Heaving dolorous, anguish'd, unbearable;
Till a roof, shaggy, wild, enclos'd
In an orb his fountain of thought.

6. In a horrible, dreamful slumber,
Like the linkèd infernal chain,
A vast Spine writh'd in torment
Upon the winds, shooting pain'd
Ribs, like a bending cavern;
And bones of solidness froze
Over all his nerves of joy--
And a first Age passèd over,
And a state of dismal woe.

7. From the caverns of his jointed Spine
Down sunk with fright a red
Round Globe, hot, burning, deep,
Deep down into the Abyss;
Panting, conglobing, trembling,
Shooting out ten thousand branches
Around his solid bones--
And a second Age passèd over,
And a state of dismal woe.

8. In harrowing fear rolling round,
His nervous Brain shot branches
Round the branches of his Heart,
On high, into two little orbs,
And fixèd in two little caves,
Hiding carefully from the wind,
His Eyes beheld the deep--
And a third Age passèd over,
And a state of dismal woe.

9. The pangs of hope began.
In heavy pain, striving, struggling,
Two Ears, in close volutions,
From beneath his orbs of vision
Shot spiring out, and petrified
As they grew--And a fourth Age passèd,
And a state of dismal woe.

10. In ghastly torment sick,
Hanging upon the wind,
Two Nostrils bent down to the deep--
And a fifth Age passèd over,
And a state of dismal woe.

11. In ghastly torment sick,
Within his ribs bloated round
A craving, hungry Cavern;
Thence arose his channell'd Throat,
And, like a red flame, a Tongue
Of thirst and of hunger appear'd--
And a sixth Age passèd over,
And a state of dismal woe.

12. Enragèd and stifled with torment,
He threw his right Arm to the North,
His left Arm to the South,
Shooting out in anguish deep,
And his Feet stamp'd the nether Abyss
In trembling and howling and dismay--
And a seventh Age passèd over,
And a state of dismal woe.


1. In terrors Los shrunk from his task:
His great hammer fell from his hand;
His fires beheld, and sickening
Hid their strong limbs in smoke;
For with noises, ruinous, loud,
With hurtlings and clashings and groans,
The Immortal endur'd his chains,
Tho' bound in a deadly sleep.

2. All the myriads of Eternity,
All the wisdom and joy of life
Roll like a sea around him;
Except what his little orbs
Of sight by degrees unfold.

3. And now his Eternal life,
Like a dream, was obliterated.

4. Shudd'ring, the Eternal Prophet smote
With a stroke from his North to South region.
The bellows and hammer are silent now;
A nerveless silence his prophetic voice
Seiz'd; a cold Solitude and dark Void
The Eternal Prophet and Urizen clos'd.

5. Ages on ages roll'd over them,
Cut off from life and light, frozen
Into horrible forms of deformity.
Los suffer'd his fires to decay;
Then he look'd back with anxious desire,
But the Space, undivided by existence,
Struck horror into his soul.

6. Los wept, obscur'd with mourning,
His bosom earthquak'd with sighs;
He saw Urizen, deadly, black,
In his chains bound; and Pity began,

7. In anguish dividing and dividing--
For Pity divides the soul--
In pangs, Eternity on Eternity,
Life in cataracts pour'd down his cliffs.
The Void shrunk the lymph into Nerves,
Wand'ring wide on the bosom of night,
And left a round globe of blood
Trembling upon the Void.
Thus the Eternal Prophet was divided
Before the death image of Urizen;
For in changeable clouds and darkness,
In a winterly night beneath,
The Abyss of Los stretch'd immense;
And now seen, now obscur'd, to the eyes
Of Eternals the visions remote
Of the dark separation appear'd:
As glasses discover Worlds
In the endless Abyss of space,
So the expanding eyes of Immortals
Beheld the dark visions of Los,
And the globe of life-blood trembling.

8. The globe of life-blood trembled,
Branching out into roots,
Fibrous, writhing upon the winds,
Fibres of blood, milk, and tears,
In pangs, Eternity on Eternity.
At length in tears and cries embodièd,
A Female form, trembling and pale,
Waves before his deathy face.

9. All Eternity shudder'd at sight
Of the first Female, now separate,
Pale as a cloud of snow,
Waving before the face of Los.

10. Wonder, awe, fear, astonishment
Petrify the Eternal myriads
At the first Female form now separate.
They call'd her Pity, and fled.

11. `Spread a Tent with strong curtains around them!
Let cords and stakes bind in the Void,
That Eternals may no more behold them.'

12. They began to weave curtains of darkness,
They erected large pillars round the Void,
With golden hooks fasten'd in the pillars;
With infinite labour the Eternals
A woof wove, and callèd it Science.


1. But Los saw the Female, and pitièd;
He embrac'd her; she wept, she refus'd;
In perverse and cruel delight
She fled from his arms, yet he follow'd.

2. Eternity shudder'd when they saw
Man begetting his likeness
On his own Divided Image!

3. A time passèd over: the Eternals
Began to erect the tent,
When Enitharmon, sick,
Felt a Worm within her womb.

4. Yet helpless it lay, like a Worm
In the trembling womb,
To be moulded into existence.

5. All day the Worm lay on her bosom;
All night within her womb
The Worm lay till it grew to a Serpent,
With dolorous hissings and poisons
Round Enitharmon's loins folding.

6. Coil'd within Enitharmon's womb
The Serpent grew, casting its scales;
With sharp pangs the hissings began

To change to a grating cry --
Many sorrows and dismal throes,
Many forms of fish, bird, and beast
Brought forth an Infant form
Where was a Worm before.

7. The Eternals their tent finishèd,
Alarm'd with these gloomy visions,
When Enitharmon, groaning,
Produc'd a Man-Child to the light.

8. A shriek ran thro' Eternity,
And a paralytic stroke,
At the birth of the Human Shadow.

9. Delving earth in his resistless way,
Howling, the Child with fierce flames
Issu'd from Enitharmon.

10. The Eternals closèd the tent;
They beat down the stakes, the cords
Stretch'd for a work of Eternity --
No more Los beheld Eternity!

11. In his hands he seiz'd the Infant,
He bathèd him in springs of sorrow,
He gave him to Enitharmon.


1. They namèd the child Orc; he grew,
Fed with milk of Enitharmon.

2. Los awoke her. O sorrow and pain!
A tight'ning girdle grew
Around his bosom. In sobbings
He burst the girdle in twain;
But still another girdle
Oppress'd his bosom. In sobbings

Again he burst it. Again
Another girdle succeeds.
The girdle was form'd by day;
By night was burst in twain.

3. These falling down on the Rock
Into an iron Chain,
In each other link by link lock'd.

4. They took Orc to the top of a mountain.
O how Enitharmon wept!
They chain'd his young limbs to the Rock
With the Chain of Jealousy,
Beneath Urizen's deathful Shadow.

5. The Dead heard the voice of the Child,
And began to awake from sleep;
All things heard the voice of the Child,
And began to awake to life.

6. And Urizen, craving with hunger,
Stung with the odours of Nature,
Explor'd his dens around.

7. He form'd a line and a plummet
To divide the Abyss beneath;
He form'd a dividing rule;

8. He formèd scales to weigh,
He formèd massy weights;
He formèd a brazen quadrant;
He formèd golden compasses,
And began to explore the Abyss;
And he planted a garden of fruits.

9. But Los encircled Enitharmon
With fires of Prophecy
From the sight of Urizen and Orc.

10. And she bore an enormous race.


1. Urizen explor'd his dens,
Mountain, moor, and wilderness,
With a globe of fire lighting his journey --
A fearful journey, annoy'd
By cruel enormities, forms
Of life on his forsaken mountains.

2. And his World teem'd vast enormities,
Fright'ning, faithless, fawning,
Portions of life, similitudes
Of a foot, or a hand, or a head,
Or a heart, or an eye; they swam mischievous,
Dread terrors, delighting in blood!

3. Most Urizen sicken'd to see
His eternal creations appear,
Sons and daughters of sorrow, on mountains,
Weeping, wailing. First Thiriel appear'd,
Astonish'd at his own existence,
Like a man from a cloud born; and Utha,
From the waters emerging, laments;
Grodna rent the deep earth, howling,
Amaz'd; his heavens immense crack
Like the ground parch'd with heat; then Fuzon
Flam'd out, first begotten, last born;
All his Eternal sons in like manner;
His daughters, from green herbs and cattle,
From monsters and worms of the pit.

4. He in darkness clos'd view'd all his race,
And his soul sicken'd! He curs'd
Both sons and daughters; for he saw
That no flesh nor spirit could keep
His iron laws one moment.

5. For he saw that Life liv'd upon Death:
The Ox in the slaughter-house moans;
The Dog at the wintry door;
And he wept, and he callèd it Pity,
And his tears flowèd down on the winds.

6. Cold he wander'd on high, over their Cities,
In weeping and pain and woe;
And wherever he wander'd, in sorrows
Upon the agèd Heavens,
A cold Shadow follow'd behind him
Like a spider's web, moist, cold, and dim,
Drawing out from his sorrowing soul,
The dungeon-like heaven dividing,
Wherever the footsteps of Urizen
Walkèd over the cities in sorrow;

7. Till a Web, dark and cold, throughout all
The tormented element stretch'd
From the sorrows of Urizen's soul.
And the Web is a Female in embryo;
None could break the Web, no wings of fire,

8. So twisted the cords, and so knotted
The meshes, twisted like to the human brain.

9. And all call'd it the Net of Religion.


1. Then the Inhabitants of those Cities
Felt their Nerves change into Marrow,
And hardening Bones began
In swift diseases and torments,
In throbbings and shootings and grindings,
Thro' all the coasts; till weaken'd
The Senses inward rush'd, shrinking
Beneath the dark Net of infection;

2. Till the shrunken eyes, clouded over,
Discern'd not the woven Hypocrisy;
But the streaky slime in their heavens,
Brought together by narrowing perceptions,
Appear'd transparent air; for their eyes
Grew small like the eyes of a man,
And, in reptile forms shrinking together,
Of seven feet stature they remain'd.

3. Six days they shrunk up from existence,
And on the seventh day they rested,
And they bless'd the seventh day, in sick hope,
And forgot their Eternal life.

4. And their Thirty Cities divided
In form of a Human Heart.
No more could they rise at will
In the infinite Void, but bound down
To earth by their narrowing perceptions,
They livèd a period of years;
Then left a noisome body
To the jaws of devouring darkness.

5. And their children wept, and built
Tombs in the desolate places,
And form'd Laws of Prudence, and call'd them
The Eternal Laws of God.

6. And the Thirty Cities remain'd,
Surrounded by salt floods, now call'd
Africa: its name was then Egypt.

7. The remaining sons of Urizen
Beheld their brethren shrink together
Beneath the Net of Urizen.
Persuasion was in vain;
For the ears of the inhabitants
Were with 29b er'd and deafen'd and cold,
And their eyes could not discern
Their brethren of other cities.

8. So Fuzon call'd all together
The remaining children of Urizen,
And they left the pendulous earth.
They callèd it Egypt, and left it.

9. And the salt Ocean rollèd englob'd.
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:59 am


Engraved 1795


I Will sing you a song of Los, the Eternal Prophet:
He sung it to four harps, at the tables of Eternity,
In heart-formèd Africa.
Urizen faded! Ariston shudder'd!
And thus the Song began;--

Adam stood in the garden of Eden,
And Noah on the mountains of Ararat;
They saw Urizen give his Laws to the Nations
By the hands of the children of Los.

Adam shudder'd! Noah faded! Black grew the sunny African
When Rintrah gave Abstract Philosophy to Brahma in the East.
(Night spoke to the Cloud:
`Lo! these Human-form'd spirits, in smiling hypocrisy, war
Against one another; so let them war on, slaves to the eternal elements.')
Noah shrunk beneath the waters,
Abram fled in fires from Chaldaea;
Moses beheld upon Mount Sinai forms of dark delusion.

To Trismegistus, Palamabron gave an abstract Law;
To Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato.

Times rollèd on o'er all the sons of Har: time after time
Orc on Mount Atlas howl'd, chain'd down with the Chain of Jealousy;
Then Oothoon hover'd over Judah and Jerusalem,
And Jesus heard her voice -- a Man of Sorrows! -- He receiv'd
A Gospel from wretched Theotormon.

The human race began to wither; for the healthy built
Secluded places, fearing the joys of Love,

And the diseasèd only propagated.
So Antamon call'd up Leutha from her valleys of delight,
And to Mahomet a loose Bible gave;
But in the North, to Odin, Sotha gave a Code of War,
Because of Diralada, thinking to reclaim his joy.

These were the Churches, Hospitals, Castles, Palaces,
Like nets and gins and traps, to catch the joys of Eternity,
And all the rest a desert;
Till, like a dream, Eternity was obliterated and erasèd,

Since that dread day when Har and Heva fled,
Because their brethren and sisters liv'd in War and Lust;
And, as they fled, they shrunk
Into two narrow doleful forms,
Creeping in reptile flesh upon
The bosom of the ground;
And all the vast of Nature shrunk
Before their shrunken eyes.

Thus the terrible race of Los and Enitharmon gave
Laws and Religions to the sons of Har, binding them more
And more to Earth, closing and restraining;
Till a Philosophy of Five Senses was complete:
Urizen wept, and gave it into the hands of Newton and Locke.

Clouds roll heavy upon the Alps round Rousseau and Voltaire,
And on the mountains of Lebanon round the deceasèd Gods
Of Asia, and on the deserts of Africa round the Fallen Angels.
The Guardian Prince of Albion burns in his nightly tent.

The Kings of Asia heard
The howl rise up from Europe,
And each ran out from his Web,
From his ancient woven Den;
For the darkness of Asia was startled
At the thick-flaming, thought-creating fires of Orc.

And the Kings of Asia stood
And crièd in bitterness of soul:--

`Shall not the King call for Famine from the heath,
Nor the Priest for Pestilence from the fen,
To restrain, to dismay, to thin
The inhabitants of mountain and plain,
In the day of full-feeding prosperity
And the night of delicious songs?

Shall not the Counsellor throw his curb
Of Poverty on the laborious,
To fix the price of labour,
To invent allegoric riches?

And the privy admonishers of men
Call for Fires in the City,
For heaps of smoking ruins,
In the night of prosperity and wantonness,

To turn man from his path,
To restrain the child from the womb,
To cut off the bread from the city;
That the remnant may learn to obey,

That the pride of the heart may fail,
That the lust of the eyes may be quench'd,
That the delicate ear in its infancy
May be dull'd, and the nostrils clos'd up,
To teach Mortal Worms the path
That leads from the gates of the Grave?'

Urizen heard them cry,
And his shudd'ring, waving wings
Went enormous above the red flames,
Drawing clouds of despair thro' the Heavens
Of Europe as he went.
And his Books of brass, iron, and gold
Melted over the land as he flew,
Heavy-waving, howling, weeping.

And he stood over Judaea,
And stay'd in his ancient place,
And stretch'd his clouds over Jerusalem;

For Adam, a mouldering skeleton,
Lay bleach'd on the garden of Eden;
And Noah, as white as snow,
On the mountains of Ararat.

Then the thunders of Urizen bellow'd aloud
From his woven darkness above.

Orc, raging in European darkness,
Arose like a pillar of fire above the Alps,
Like a serpent of fiery flame!
The sullen Earth

Forth from the dead dust, rattling bones to bones
Join. Shaking, convuls'd, the shiv'ring Clay breathes,
And all Flesh naked stands: Fathers and Friends,
Mothers and Infants, Kings and Warriors.

The Grave shrieks with delight, and shakes
Her hollow womb, and clasps the solid stem:
Her bosom swells with wild desire;
And milk and blood and glandous wine
In rivers rush, and shout and dance,
On mountain, dale, and plain.

The Song of Los is ended
Urizen Wept.
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:00 am


Engraved 1795


1. Fuzon, on a chariot iron-wing'd,
On spikèd flames rose; his hot visage
Flam'd furious; sparkles his hair and beard
Shot down his wide bosom and shoulders.
On clouds of smoke rages his chariot,
And his right hand burns red in its cloud,
Moulding into a vast Globe his wrath,
As the thunder-stone is moulded,
Son of Urizen's silent burnings.

2. `Shall we worship this Demon of smoke,'
Said Fuzon, `this abstract Nonentity,
This cloudy God seated on waters,
Now seen, now obscur'd, King of Sorrow?'

3. So he spoke in a fiery flame,
On Urizen frowning indignant,
The Globe of wrath shaking on high.
Roaring with fury, he threw
The howling Globe; burning it flew,
Length'ning into a hungry beam. Swiftly

4. Oppos'd to the exulting flam'd beam,
The broad Disk of Urizen upheav'd
Across the Void many a mile.

5. It was forg'd in mills where the winter
Beats incessant: ten winters the disk,
Unremitting, endur'd the cold hammer.

6. But the strong arm that sent it remember'd
The sounding beam: laughing, it tore through
That beaten mass, keeping its direction,
The cold loins of Urizen dividing.

7. Dire shriek'd his invisible Lust!
Deep groan'd Urizen; stretching his awful hand,
Ahania (so name his parted Soul)
He seiz'd on his mountains of Jealousy.
He groan'd, anguish'd, and callèd her Sin,
Kissing her and weeping over her;
Then hid her in darkness, in silence,
Jealous, tho' she was invisible.

8. She fell down, a faint Shadow, wand'ring
In Chaos, and circling dark Urizen,
As the moon, anguish'd, circles the earth,
Hopeless! abhorr'd! a death-shadow,
Unseen, unbodièd, unknown,
The mother of Pestilence!

9. But the fiery beam of Fuzon
Was a pillar of fire to Egypt,
Five hundred years wand'ring on earth,
Till Los seiz'd it, and beat in a mass
With the body of the sun.


1. But the forehead of Urizen gathering,
And his eyes pale with anguish, his lips
Blue and changing, in tears and bitter
Contrition he prepar'd his Bow,

2. Form'd of Ribs, that in his dark solitude,
When obscur'd in his forests, fell monsters
Arose. For his dire Contemplations
Rush'd down like floods from his mountains,
In torrents of mud settling thick,
With eggs of unnatural production:
Forthwith hatching, some howl'd on his hills,
Some in vales, some aloft flew in air.

3. Of these, an enormous dread Serpent,
Scalèd and poisonous, hornèd,
Approach'd Urizen, even to his knees,
As he sat on his dark-rooted Oak.

4. With his horns he push'd furious:
Great the conflict and great the jealousy
In cold poisons; but Urizen smote him!

5. First he poison'd the rocks with his blood,
Then polish'd his ribs, and his sinews
Drièd, laid them apart till winter;
Then a Bow black prepar'd: on this Bow
A poisonèd Rock plac'd in silence.
He utter'd these words to the Bow:--

6. `O Bow of the clouds of Secrecy!
O nerve of that lust-form'd monster!
Send this Rock swift, invisible, thro'
The black clouds on the bosom of Fuzon.'

7. So saying, in torment of his wounds
He bent the enormous ribs slowly --
A circle of darkness! -- then fixèd
The sinew in its rest; then the Rock,
Poisonous source, plac'd with art, lifting difficult
Its weighty bulk. Silent the Rock lay,

8. While Fuzon, his tigers unloosing,
Thought Urizen slain by his wrath.
`I am God!' said he, `eldest of things.'

9. Sudden sings the Rock; swift and invisible
On Fuzon flew, enter'd his bosom;
His beautiful visage, his tresses,
That gave light to the mornings of heaven,
Were smitten with darkness, deform'd,
And outstretch'd on the edge of the forest.

10. But the Rock fell upon the Earth,
Mount Sinai, in Arabia.


1. The Globe shook, and Urizen, seated
On black clouds, his sore wound anointed;
The ointment flow'd down on the Void
Mix'd with blood -- here the snake gets her poison!

2. With difficulty and great pain Urizen
Lifted on high the dead corse:
On his shoulders he bore it to where
A Tree hung over the Immensity.

3. For when Urizen shrunk away
From Eternals, he sat on a Rock,
Barren -- a Rock which himself,
From redounding fancies, had petrifièd.
Many tears fell on the Rock,
Many sparks of vegetation.
Soon shot the painèd root
Of Mystery under his heel:
It grew a thick tree: he wrote
In silence his Book of Iron;
Till the horrid plant bending its boughs,
Grew to roots when it felt the earth,
And again sprung to many a tree,

4. Amaz'd started Urizen when
He beheld himself compassèd round
And high-roofed over with trees.
He arose, but the stems stood so thick,
He with difficulty and great pain
Brought his Books -- all but the Book
Of Iron -- from the dismal shade.

5. The Tree still grows over the Void,
Enrooting itself all around,
An endless labyrinth of woe!

6. The corse of his first begotten
On the accursèd Tree of Mystery,
On the topmost stem of this Tree
Urizen nail'd Fuzon's corse.


1. Forth flew the arrows of Pestilence
Round the pale living Corse on the Tree.

2. For in Urizen's slumbers of abstraction,
In the infinite ages of Eternity,
When his Nerves of Joy melted and flow'd,
A white Lake on the dark blue air,
In perturb'd pain and dismal torment,
Now stretching out, now swift conglobing,

3. Effluvia vapour'd above
In noxious clouds; these hover'd thick
Over the disorganiz'd Immortal,
Till petrific pain scurf'd o'er the Lakes,
As the bones of Man, solid and dark.

4. The clouds of Disease hover'd wide
Around the Immortal in torment,
Perching around the hurtling bones--
Disease on disease, shape on shape,
Wingèd, screaming in blood and torment!

5. The Eternal Prophet beat on his Anvils,
Enrag'd in the desolate darkness;
He forg'd Nets of iron around,
And Los threw them around the bones.

6. The Shapes, screaming, flutter'd vain:
Some combin'd into muscles and glands,
Some organs for craving and lust;
Most remain'd on the tormented Void--
Urizen's army of horrors!

7. Round the pale living Corse on the Tree.
Forty years, flew the arrows of Pestilence.

8. Wailing and terror and woe
Ran thro' all his dismal world;

Forty years all his sons and daughters
Felt their skulls harden; then Asia
Arose in the pendulous deep.

9. They reptilize upon the Earth.

10. Fuzon groan'd on the Tree.


1. The lamenting voice of Ahania,
Weeping upon the Void!
And round the Tree of Fuzon,
Distant in solitary night,
Her voice was heard, but no form
Had she; but her tears from clouds
Eternal fell round the Tree.

2. And the voice cried: `Ah, Urizen! Love!
Flower of morning! I weep on the verge
Of Nonentity -- how wide the Abyss
Between Ahania and thee!

3. `I lie on the verge of the deep;
I see thy dark clouds ascend;
I see thy black forests and floods,
A horrible waste to my eyes!

4. `Weeping I walk over rocks,
Over dens, and thro' valleys of death.
Why didst thou despise Ahania,
To cast me from thy bright presence
Into the World of Loneness?

5. `I cannot touch his hand,
Nor weep on his knees, nor hear
His voice and bow, nor see his eyes
And joy; nor hear his footsteps, and
My heart leap at the lovely sound!

I cannot kiss the place
Whereon his bright feet have trod;
But I wander on the rocks
With hard necessity.

6. `Where is my golden palace?
Where my ivory bed?
Where the joy of my morning hour?
Where the Sons of Eternity singing,

7. `To awake bright Urizen, my King,
To arise to the mountain sport,
To the bliss of eternal valleys;

8. `To awake my King in the morn,
To embrace Ahania's joy
On the breath of his open bosom,
From my soft cloud of dew to fall
In showers of life on his harvests?

9. `When he gave my happy soul
To the Sons of Eternal Joy;
When he took the Daughters of Life
Into my chambers of love;

10. `When I found Babes of bliss on my beds,
And bosoms of milk in my chambers,
Fill'd with eternal seed --
O! eternal births sung round Ahania,
In interchange sweet of their joys!

11. `Swell'd with ripeness and fat with fatness,
Bursting on winds, my odours,
My ripe figs and rich pomegranates,
In infant joy at thy feet,
O Urizen! sported and sang.

12. `Then thou with thy lap full of seed,
With thy hand full of generous fire,
Walkèd forth from the clouds of morning;

On the virgins of springing joy,
On the Human soul to cast
The seed of eternal Science.

13. `The sweat pourèd down thy temples,
To Ahania return'd in evening;
The moisture awoke to birth
My mother's joys, sleeping in bliss.

14. `But now alone! over rocks, mountains,
Cast out from thy lovely bosom!
Cruel Jealousy, selfish Fear,
Self-destroying! how can delight
Renew in these chains of darkness,
Where bones of beasts are strown
On the bleak and snowy mountains,
Where bones from the birth are burièd
Before they see the light?'
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:03 am


Sometimes called `Vala' -- Manuscript circa 1797-1804

Introduction to Night the First

The song of the Agèd Mother, which shook the heavens with wrath,
Hearing the march of long-resounding, strong, heroic Verse,
Marshall'd in order for the day of Intellectual Battle.

Four Mighty Ones are in every Man: a perfect Unity
Cannot exist but from the Universal Brotherhood of Eden,
The Universal Man, to Whom be glory evermore. Amen.
What are the Natures of those Living Creatures the Heavenly Father only
Knoweth: no Individual knoweth, nor can know in all Eternity.

The Wanderer

Enion brooded o'er the rocks: the rough rocks groaning vegetate --
Such power was given to the solitary Wanderer --
The barkèd Oak, the long-limb'd Beech, the Chestnut-tree, the Pine,
The Pear-tree mild, the frowning Walnut, the sharp Crab, and Apple sweet
The rough bark opens, twittering peep forth little beaks and wings,
The Nightingale, the Goldfinch, Robin, Lark, Linnet and Thrush;
The Goat leap'd from the craggy cliff, the Sheep awoke from the mould;
Upon its green stalk rose the Corn, waving innumerable,
Enfolding the bright infants from the desolating winds.

A Vision of Eternity

Eternity appear'd above them as One Man, enfolded
In Luvah's robes of blood, and bearing all his afflictions:
As the sun shines down on the misty earth, such was the Vision.
But purple Night, and crimson Morning, and golden Day, descending

Thro' the clear changing atmosphere, display'd green fields among
The varying clouds, like Paradises stretch'd in the expanse,
With towns, and villages, and temples, tents, sheep-folds and pastures,
Where dwell the children of the Elemental worlds in harmony.

The Song sung at the Feast of Los and Enitharmon

The Mountain callèd out to the Mountain: `Awake, O Brother Mountain!
Let us refuse the Plough and Spade, the heavy Roller and spikèd
Harrow; burn all these corn-fields; throw down all these fences!

Fatten'd on human blood, and drunk with wine of life is better far
Than all these labours of the harvest and the vintage. See the river,
Red with the blood of Men, swells lustful round my rocky knees:
My clouds are not the clouds of verdant fields and groves of fruit,
But Clouds of Human Souls: my nostrils drink the Lives of Men.

`The Villages lament, they faint, outstretch'd upon the plain:
Wailing runs round the Valleys from the mill and from the barn:
But most the polish'd Palaces, dark, silent, bow with dread,
Hiding their books and pictures underneath the dens of Earth.

`The Cities send to one another saying: "My sons are mad
With wine of cruelty! Let us plait a scourge, O Sister City!
Children are nourish'd for the slaughter. Once the child was fed
With milk; but wherefore now are children fed with blood?"'

The Song of Enitharmon over Los

I seize the sphery harp, strike the strings!

At the first sound the golden Sun arises from the deep,
And shakes his awful hair;
The Echo wakes the moon to unbind her silver locks:
The golden Sun bears on my song,
And nine bright Spheres of harmony rise round the fiery king.

The joy of Woman is the death of her most best-belovèd,
Who dies for love of her
In torments of fierce jealousy and pangs of adoration:
The Lovers' night bears on my song,
And the nine Spheres rejoice beneath my powerful control.

They sing unceasing to the notes of my immortal hand.
The solemn, silent Moon
Reverberates the living harmony upon my limbs;
The birds and beasts rejoice and play,
And every one seeks for his mate to prove his inmost joy.

Furious and terrible they sport and rend the nether Deep;
The Deep lifts up his rugged head,
And, lost in infinite humming wings, vanishes with a cry.
The fading cry is ever dying:
The living voice is ever living in its inmost joy.

Arise, you little glancing wings and sing your infant joy!
Arise and drink your bliss!
For everything that lives in holy; for the Source of Life
Descends to be a Weeping Babe;
For the Earthworm renews the moisture of the sandy plain.

Now my left hand I stretch to Earth beneath,
And strike the terrible string.
I wake sweet joy in dens of sorrow, and I plant a smile
In forests of affliction,
And wake the bubbling springs of life in regions of dark death.

O, I am weary! Lay thine hand upon me, or I faint.
I faint beneath these beams of thine;
For thou hast touchèd my five Senses, and they answer'd thee.
Now I am nothing, and I sink,
And on the bed of silence sleep, till thou awakest me.

The Wail of Enion

I am made to sow the thistle for wheat, the nettle for a nourishing dainty:
I have planted a false oath in the earth, it has brought forth a Poison Tree:
I have chosen the serpent for a counsellor, and the dog
For a schoolmaster to my children:
I have blotted out from light and living the dove and nightingale,
And I have causèd the earthworm to beg from door to door:
I have taught the thief a secret path into the house of the just:
I have taught pale Artifice to spread his nets upon the morning
My heavens are brass, my earth is iron, my moon a clod of clay,
My sun a pestilence burning at noon, and a vapour of death in night.

What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song,
Or Wisdom for a dance in the street? No! it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath -- his house, his wife, his children.
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy,
And in the wither'd field where the farmer ploughs for bread in vain.

It is an easy thing to triumph in the summer's sun,
And in the vintage, and to sing on the waggon loaded with corn:
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted,
To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer,
To listen to the hungry raven's cry in wintry season,
When the red blood is fill'd with wine and with the marrow of lambs:

It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements;
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter-house moan;
To see a God on every wind and a blessing on every blast;
To hear sounds of Love in the thunderstorm that destroys our enemy's house;
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, and the sickness that cuts off his children,
While our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door, and our children bring fruits and flowers.

Then the groan and the dolour are quite forgotten, and the slave grinding at the mill,

And the captive in chains, and the poor in the prison, and the soldier in the field
When the shatter'd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead:
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity --
Thus would I sing and thus rejoice; but it is not so with me.


Still the faint harps and silver voices calm the weary couch;
But from the caves of deepest Night, ascending in clouds of mist,
The Winter spread his wide black wings across from pole to pole;
Grim Frost beneath and terrible Snow, link'd in a marriage chain,
Began a dismal dance. The Winds around on pointed rocks
Settled like bats innumerable, ready to fly abroad.

The Woes of Urizen in the Dens of Urthona

Ah! how shall Urizen the King submit to this dark mansion?
Ah! how is this? Once on the heights I stretch'd my throne sublime.
The mountains of Urizen, once of silver, where the sons of wisdom dwelt,
And on whose tops the virgins sang, are rocks of Desolation.

My fountains, once the haunt of swans, now breed the scaly tortoise,
The houses of my harpers are become a haunt of crows,
The gardens of Wisdom are become a field of horrid graves,
And on the bones I drop my tears, and water them in vain.

Once how I walkèd from my Palace in gardens of delight!
The sons of wisdom stood around, the harpers follow'd with harps,
Nine virgins, cloth'd in light, compos'd the song to their immortal voices,
And at my banquets of new wine my head was crown'd with joy.

Then in my ivory pavilions I slumber'd in the noon,
And walkèd in the silent night among sweet-smelling flowers,
Till on my silver bed I slept, and sweet dreams round me hover'd;
But now my land is darken'd and my wise men are departed.

My songs are turnèd to cries of lamentation
Heard on my mountains, and deep sighs under my palace roof;
Because the steeds of Urizen, once swifter than the light,
Were kept back from my Lord and from his chariot of mercies.

O! did I keep the horses of the Day in silver pastures!
O! I refus'd the Lord of Day the horses of his Prince!
O! did I close my treasuries with roofs of solid stone,
And darken all my palace walls with envyings and hate!

O fool! to think that I could hide from his all-piercing eyes
The gold and silver and costly stones, his holy workmanship.
O fool! could I forget the light that fillèd my bright spheres
Was a reflection of his face who call'd me from the deep!

I well remember, for I heard the mild and holy voice
Saying: `O Light, spring up and shine,' and I sprang up from the deep.
He gave to me a silver sceptre, and crown'd me with a golden crown,
And said: `Go forth and guide my Son who wanders on the ocean.'

I went not forth: I hid myself in black clouds of my wrath:
I call'd the stars around my feet in the night of councils dark;
The stars threw down their spears, and fled naked away.
We fell: I seiz'd thee, dark Urthona, in my left hand, falling,

I seiz'd thee, beauteous Luvah; thou art faded like a flower,
And like a lily thy wife Vala, wither'd by winds.
When thou didst bear the golden cup at the immortal tables,
Thy children smote their fiery wings, crown'd with the gold of Heaven.

Thy pure feet stept on the steps divine, too pure for other feet,
And thy fair locks shadow'd thine eyes from the divine effulgence.
Then thou didst keep with strong Urthona the living gates of Heaven;
But now thou art bow'd down with him, even to the gates of Hell.

Because thou gavest Urizen the wine of the Almighty
For steeds of Light, that they might run in thy golden chariot of pride,
I gave to thee the steeds. I pour'd the stolen wine,
And, drunken with the immortal draught, fell from my throne sublime.

I will arise, explore these dens, and find that deep pulsation
That shakes my caverns with strong shudders. Perhaps this is the Night
Of Prophecy, and Luvah hath burst his way from Enitharmon.
When Thought is clos'd in Caves, then Love shall show its root in deepest Hell.

Los in his Wrath

Los rear'd his mighty stature: on Earth stood his feet; above
The Moon his furious forehead, cricled with black bursting thunders;
His naked limbs glitt'ring upon the dark blue sky, his knees
Bathèd in bloody clouds; his loins in fires of War, where spears
And swords rage, where the Eagles cry and Vultures laugh, saying:

`Now comes the night of carnage, now the flesh of Kings and Princes
Pamper'd in palaces for our food, the blood of Captains nurtur'd
With lust and murder for our drink. The drunken Raven shall wander
All night among the slain, and mock the wounded that groan in the field.'

The War-Song of Orc

Loud sounds the war-song round red Orc in his fury,
And round the nameless Shadowy Female in her howling terror,
When all the Elemental Gods join'd in the wondrous song: --
`Sound the war-trumpet terrific, souls clad in attractive steel!
Sound the shrill fife, Serpents of War! I hear the northern drum
Awake! I hear the flappings of the folding banners!
The Dragons of the North put on their armour;
Upon the eastern sea direct they take their course;
The glitt'ring of their horses' trappings stains the vault of night.

`Stop we the rising of the glorious King! spur, spur your clouds
Of death! O northern drum, awake! O hand of iron, sound
The northern drum! Now give the charge! bravely obscur'd

With darts of wintry hail! Again the black bow draw;
Again the elemental strings to your right breasts draw;
eAnd let the thund'ring drum speed on the arrows black!

Vala's Going Forth

And she went forth and saw the forms of Life and of Delight
Walking on mountains, or flying in the open expanse of heaven.
She heard sweet voices in the winds, and in the voices of birds
That rose from waters; for the waters were as the voice of Luvah,
Not seen to her like waters, or like this dark world of death;
Tho' all those fair perfections, which men known only by name.
In beautiful substantial forms appear'd, and servèd her
As food or drink or ornament, or in delightful works
To build her bowers. For the elements brought forth abundantly
The living Soul in glorious forms; and every one came forth,
Walking before her Shadowy face and bowing at her feet.
But, in vain, delights were pourèd forth on the howling Melancholy!
For her delight the Horse his proud neck bow'd, and his white mane;
And the strong Lion deign'd in his mouth to wear the golden bit;
While the far-beaming Peacock waited on the fragrant wind
To bring her fruits of sweet delight from trees of richest wonders;
And the strong-pinion'd Eagle bore the fire of Heaven in the night-season.

Urizen's Words of Wisdom

And Urizen read in his Book of Brass in sounding tones: --
`Listen, O Daughters, to my voice! listen to the words of wisdom!
Compel the Poor to live upon a crust of bread by soft mild arts:
So shall you govern over all. Let Moral Duty tune your tongue,
But be your hearts harder than the nether millstone;
To bring the Shadow of Enitharmon beneath our wondrous Tree,
That Los may evaporate like smoke, and be no more.
Draw down Enitharmon to the Spectre of Urthona,
And let him have dominion over Los, the terrible Shade.
Smile when they frown, frown when they smile; and when a man looks pale
With labour and abstinence, say he looks healthy and happy;

And when his children sicken, let them die: there are enough
Born, even too many, and our earth will soon be overrun
Without these arts. If you would make the Poor live with temper,
With pomp give every crust of bread you give; with gracious cunning
Magnify small gifts; reduce the man to want a gift, and then give with pomp.
Say he smiles, if you hear him sigh; if pale, say he is ruddy
Preach temperance: say he is overgorg'd, and drowns his wit
In strong drink, tho' you know that bread and water are all
He can afford. Flatter his wife, pity his children, till we can
Reduce all to our will, as spaniels are taught with art.'

The Shade of Enitharmon

Her Shadow went forth and return'd. Now she was pale as snow,
When the mountains and hills are cover'd over, and the paths of men shut up;
But, when her Spirit return'd, as ruddy as a morning when
The ripe fruit blushes into joy in Heaven's eternal halls.

The Serpent Orc

He saw Orc, a Serpent form, augmenting times on times
In the fierce battle; and he saw the Lamb of God, and the world of Los
Surrounded by his dark machines; for Orc augmented swift
In fury, a Serpent wondrous, among the constellations of Urizen.
A crest of fire rose on his forehead, red as the carbuncle;
Beneath, down to his eyelids, scales of pearl; then gold and silver,
Immingled with the ruby, overspread his visage; down
His furious neck, writhing contortive in dire budding pains,
The scaly armour shot out. Stubborn, down his back and bosom,
The emerald, onyx, sapphire, jasper, beryl, amethyst,
Strove in terrific emulation which should gain a place
Upon the mighty fiend -- the fruit of the Mysterious. Tree
Kneaded in Uvith's kneading-trough.

The Last Judgment

Terrifièd at Non-Existence--

For such they deem'd the death of the body -- Los his vegetable hands
Outstretch'd; his right hand, branching out in fibrous strength,
Seiz'd the Sun; his left hand, like dark roots, cover'd the Moon,
And tore them down, cracking the heavens across from immense to immense.
Then fell the fires of Eternity, with loud and shrill
Sound of loud Trumpet, thundering along from heaven to heaven,
A mighty sound articulate: `Awake! ye Dead, and come
To Judgment from the four winds! awake, and come away!'
Folding like scrolls of the enormous volume of Heaven and Earth,
With thunderous noise and dreadful shakings, rocking to and fro,
The Heavens are shaken, and the Earth removèd from its place;
The foundations of the eternal hills discover'd.
The thrones of Kings are shaken, they have lost their robes and crowns;
The Poor smite their oppressors, they awake up to the harvest;
The naked warriors rush together down to the seashore,
Trembling before the multitudes of slaves now set at liberty:
They are become like wintry flocks, like forests stripp'd of leaves.
The Oppressèd pursue like the wind; there is no room for escape. . . .
The Books of Urizen unroll with dreadful noise! The folding Serpent
Of Orc began to consume in fierce raving fire; his fierce flames
Issu'd on all sides, gathering strength in animating volumes,
Roaring abroad on all the winds, raging intense, reddening
Into resistless pillars of fire, rolling round and round, gathering
Strength from the earths consum'd, and heavens, and all hidden abysses,
Where'er the Eagle has explor'd, or Lion or Tiger trod,
Or where the comets of the night, or stars of day
Have shot their arrows or long-beamèd spears in wrath and fury.

And all the while the Trumpet sounds.
From the clotted gore, and from the hollow den
Start forth the trembling millions into flames of mental fire,
Bathing their limbs in the bright visions of Eternity.

Then, like the doves from pillars of smoke, the trembling families
Of women and children throughout every nation under heaven
Cling round the men in bands of twenties and of fifties, pale

As snow that falls round a leafless tree upon the green.
Their oppressors are fall'n; they have stricken them; they awake to life.
Yet, pale, the Just man stands erect, and looking up to Heav'n.
Trembling and strucken by the universal stroke, the trees unroot;
The rocks groan horrible and run about; the mountains and
Their rivers cry with a dismal cry; the cattle gather together,
Lowing they kneel before the heavens; the wild beasts of the forests
Tremble. The Lion, shuddering, asks the Leopard: `Feelest thou
The dread I feel, unknown before? My voice refuses to roar,
And in weak moans I speak to thee. This night,
Before the morning's dawn, the Eagle call'd the Vulture,
The Raven call'd the Hawk. I heard them from my forests,
Saying: "Let us go up far, for soon I smell upon the wind
A terror coming from the South." The Eagle and Hawk fled away
At dawn, and ere the sun arose, the Raven and Vulture follow'd.
Let us flee also to the North.' They fled. The Sons of Men
Saw them depart in dismal droves. The trumpets sounded loud,
And all the Sons of Eternity descended into Beulah.

The Lament of Albion

O weakness and O weariness! O war within my members!
My sons, exilèd from my breast, pass to and fro before me.
My birds are silent in my hills; flocks die beneath my branches;
My tents are fallen; my trumpets and the sweet sounds of my harp
Is silent on my clouded hills that belch forth storms and fires;
My milk of cows, and honey of bees, and fruit of golden harvest
Are gather'd in the scorching heat and in the driving rain.
My robe is turnèd to confusion, and my bright gold to stone.
Where once I sat, I weary walk in misery and pain;
For from within my wither'd breast, grown narrow with my woes,
The corn is turn'd to thistles, and the apples into poison;
The birds of song to murderous crows, my joys to bitter groans;
The voices of children in my tents to cries of helpless infants.
And all exilèd from the face of light and shine of morning,
In this dark World, a narrow house! I wander up and down:
I hear Mystery howling in these flames of Consummation.
When shall the Man of future times become as in days of old?
O weary life! why sit I here and give up all my powers

To indolence, to the night of death, when indolence and mourning
Sit hovering over my dark threshold? Tho' I arise, look out
And scorn the war within my members, yet my heart is weak
And my head faint. -- Yet will I look again into the morning!
Whence is this sound of rage of men drinking each other's blood,
Drunk with the smoking gore, and red, but not with nourishing wine.

Accuser and Accused

They see him whom they have pierc'd; they wail because of him;
They magnify themselves no more against Jerusalem, nor
Against her little ones. The Innocent, accusèd before the judges,
Shines with immortal glory: trembling, the Judge springs from his throne,
Hiding his face in the dust beneath the prisoner's feet, and saying:
`Brother of Jesus, what have I done? Entreat thy Lord for me!
Perhaps I may be forgiven.'

The Tillage of Urizen

Then seiz'd the sons of Urizen the plough: they polish'd it
From rust of ages: all its ornament of gold and silver and ivory
Re-shone across the field immense, where all the nations
Darken'd like mould in the divided fallows, where the weed
Triumphs in its own destruction. They took down the harness
From the blue walls of Heaven, starry, jingling, ornamented
With beautiful art, the study of Angels, the workmanship of Demons,
When Heaven and Hell in emulation strove in sports of glory.
The noise of rural work resounded thro' the heavens of heavens:
The horses neigh from the battle, the wild bulls from the sultry waste,
The tigers from the forests, and the lions from the sandy deserts.
They sing; they seize the instruments of harmony; they throw away
The spear, the bow, the gun, the mortar; they level the fortifications;
They beat the iron engines of destruction into wedges;
They give them to Urthona's sons. Ringing, the hammers sound
In dens of death, to forge the spade, the mattock, and the axe,
The heavy roller to break the clods, to pass over the nations.

Song of the Sinless Soul

`Come forth, O Vala! from the grass and from the silent dew;
Rise from the dews of death, for the Eternal Man is risen!'

She rises among flowers and looks toward the eastern clearness;
She walks, yea runs -- her feet are wing'd -- on the tops of the bending grass;
Her garments rejoice in the vocal wind, and her hair glistens with dew.

She answer'd thus: `Whose voice is this in the voice of the nourishing air,
In the spirit of the morning, awaking the Soul from its grassy bed?
Where dost thou dwell? for it is thee I seek, and but for thee
I must have slept eternally, nor have felt the dew of thy morning.
Look how the opening dawn advances with vocal harmony!
Look how the beams foreshow the rising of some glorious power!
The Sun is thine; he goeth forth in his majestic brightness.
O thou creating voice that callest! and who shall answer thee?

`Where dost thou flee, O Fair One! where dost thou seek thy happy place?
To yonder brightness? There I haste, for sure I came from thence;
Or I must have slept eternally, nor have felt the dew of morning.'

`Eternally thou must have slept, nor have felt the morning dew,
But for yon nourishing Sun: 'tis that by which thou art arisen.
The birds adore the Sun; the beasts rise up and play in his beams,
And every flower and every leaf rejoices in his light.
Then, O thou Fair One, sit thee down, for thou art as the grass,
Thou risest in the dew of morning, and at night art folded up.'

`Alas! am I but as a flower? Then will I sit me down;
Then will I weep; then I'll complain, and sigh for immortality,
And chide my maker, thee O Sun, that raisedst me to fall.'

So saying she sat down and wept beneath the apple-trees.

`O! be thou blotted out, thou Sun, that raisedst me to trouble,
That gavest me a heart to crave, and raisedst me, thy phantom,
To feel thy heart, and see thy light, and wander here alone,
Hopeless, if I am like the grass, and so shall pass away.'

`Rise, sluggish Soul! Why sitt'st thou here? why dost thou sit and weep?
Yon Sun shall wax old and decay, but thou shalt ever flourish.
The fruit shall ripen and fall down, and the flowers consume away,
But thou shalt still survive. Arise! O dry thy dewy tears!'

`Ha! shall I still survive? Whence came that sweet and comforting voice,
And whence that voice of sorrow? O Sun! thou art nothing now to me:
Go on thy course rejoicing, and let us both rejoice together!
I walk among His flocks and hear the bleating of His lambs.
O! that I could behold His face and follow His pure feet!
I walk by the footsteps of His flocks. Come hither, tender flocks!
Can you converse with a pure Soul that seeketh for her Maker?
You answer not: then am I set your mistress in this garden.
I'll watch you and attend your footsteps. You are not like the birds
That sing and fly in the bright air; but you do lick my feet,
And let me touch your wooly backs: follow me as I sing;
For in my bosom a new Song arises to my Lord:

`Rise up, O Sun! most glorious minister and light of day!
Flow on, ye gentle airs, and bear the voice of my rejoicing!
Wave freshly, clear waters, flowing around the tender grass;
And thou, sweet-smelling ground, put forth thy life in fruit and flowers!
Follow me, O my flocks, and hear me sing my rapturous song!
I will cause my voice to be heard on the clouds that glitter in the sun.
I will call, and who shall answer me? I shall sing; who shall reply?
For, from my pleasant hills, behold the living, living springs,
Running among my green pastures, delighting among my trees!
I am not here alone: my flocks, you are my brethren;
And you birds, that sing and adorn the sky, you are my sisters.
I sing, and you reply to my song; I rejoice, and you are glad.
Follow me, O my flocks! we will now descend into the valley.
O, how delicious are the grapes, flourishing in the sun!
How clear the spring of the rock, running among the golden sand!
How cool the breezes of the valley! And the arms of the branching trees
Cover us from the sun: come and let us sit in the shade.
My Luvah here hath plac'd me in a sweet and pleasant land,
And given me fruits and pleasant waters, and warm hills and cool valleys.
Here will I build myself a house, and here I'll call on His name;
Here I'll return, when I am weary, and take my pleasant rest.'

Vala in Lower Paradise

So saying, she arose and walkèd round her beautiful house;
And then from her white door she look'd to see her bleating lambs,
But her flocks were gone up from beneath the trees into the hills.

`I see the hand that leadeth me doth also lead my flocks.'
She went up to her flocks, and turnèd oft to see her shining house.
She stopp'd to drink of the clear spring, and eat the grapes and apples;
She bore the fruits in her lap; she gather'd flowers for her bosom.
She callèd to her 318 flocks, saying: `Follow me, O my flocks!'

They follow'd her to the silent valley beneath the spreading trees,
And on the river's margin she ungirded her golden girdle;
She stood in the river and view'd herself within the wat'ry glass,
And her bright hair was wet with the waters. She rose up from the river,
And as she rose her eyes were open'd to the world of waters;
She saw Tharmas sitting upon the rocks beside the wavy sea.
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:06 am


Engraved 1804-1809


The stolen and perverted writings of Homer and Ovid, of Plato and Cicero, which all men ought to condemn, are set up by artifice against the Sublime of the Bible; but when the New Age is at leisure to pronounce, all will be set right, and those grand works of the more ancient, and consciously and professedly Inspired men will hold their proper rank, and the Daughters of Memory shall become the Daughters of Inspiration. Shakespeare and Milton were both curb'd by the general malady and infection from the silly Greek and Latin slaves of the sword.

Rouse up, O Young Men of the New Age! Set your foreheads against the ignorant hirelings! For we have hirelings in the Camp, the Court, and the University, who would, if they could, for ever depress mental, and prolong corporeal war. Painters! on you I call. Sculptors! Architects! suffer not the fashionable fools to depress your powers by the prices they pretend to give for contemptible works, or the expensive advertising boasts that they make of such works: believe Christ and His Apostles that there is a class of men whose whole delight is in destroying. We do not want either Greek or Roman models if we are but just and true to our own Imaginations, those Worlds of Eternity in which we shall live for ever, in Jesus our Lord.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

Would to God that all the Lord's people were Prophets

Numbers xi: 29

The Invocation

Daughters of Beulah! Muses who inspire the Poet's Song,
Record the journey of immortal Milton thro' your realms
Of terror and mild moony lustre, in soft Sexual delusions
Of varièd beauty, to delight the wanderer, and repose
His burning thirst and freezing hunger! Come into my hand,
By your mild power descending down the nerves of my right arm
From out the portals of my Brain, where by your ministry
The Eternal Great Humanity Divine planted His Paradise,
And in it caus'd the Spectres of the Dead to take sweet form
In likeness of Himself. Tell also of the False Tongue, vegetated
Beneath your land of Shadows, of its sacrifices and
Its offerings; even till Jesus, the image of the Invisible God,
Became its prey; a curse, an offering, and an atonement
For Death Eternal, in the Heavens of Albion, and before the Gates
Of Jerusalem his Emanation, in the Heavens beneath Beulah!

The Mills of Satan

And the Mills of Satan were separated into a moony Space
Among the rocks of Albion's Temples, and Satan's Druid Sons
Offer the Human Victims throughout all the Earth; and Albion's
Dread Tomb, immortal on his Rock, overshadow'd the whole Earth,
Where Satan, making to himself Laws from his own identity,
Compell'd others to serve him in moral gratitude and submission,
Being call'd God, setting himself above all that is callèd God.
And all the Spectres of the Dead, calling themselves Sons of God,
In his Synagogues worship Satan under the Unutterable Name.

The Sin of Leutha

The Sin was begun in Eternity, and will not rest to Eternity,
Till two Eternities meet together. Ah! lost! lost! lost for ever!

Milton's Journey to Eternal Death

Then Milton rose up from the Heavens of Albion ardorous:
The whole Assembly wept prophetic, seeing in Milton's face
And in his lineaments divine the shades of Death and Ulro;
He took off the robe of the Promise, and ungirded himself from the oath of God.

And Milton said: `I go to Eternal Death! The Nations still
Follow after the detestable Gods of Priam, in pomp
Of warlike Selfhood, contradicting and blaspheming.
When will the Resurrection come to deliver the sleeping body
From corruptibility? O when, Lord Jesus! wilt Thou come?
Tarry no longer, for my soul lies at the gates of death.
I will arise and look forth for the morning of the grave;
I will go down to the sepulchre to see if morning breaks;
I will go down to self-annihilation and Eternal Death;
Lest the Last Judgement come and find me unannihilate,
And I be seiz'd and giv'n into the hands of my own Selfhood.
The Lamb of God is seen thro' mists and shadows, hov'ring
Over the sepulchres, in clouds of Jehovah and winds of Elohim,
A disk of blood, distant; and Heav'ns and Earths roll dark between.
What do I here before the Judgement without my Emanation,
With the Daughters of Memory, and not with the Daughters of Inspiration?
I, in my Selfhood, am that Satan! I am that Evil One!
He is my Spectre! In my obedience to loose him from my Hells,
To claim the Hells, my Furnaces, I go to Eternal Death.'

And Milton said: `I go to Eternal Death!' Eternity shudder'd;
For he took the outside course, among the graves of the dead,
A mournful Shade. Eternity shudder'd at the image of Eternal Death.

Then on the verge of Beulah he beheld his own Shadow,
A mournful form, double, hermaphroditic, male and female
In one wonderful body, and he enter'd into it
In direful pain; for the dread Shadow, twenty-seven-fold,
Reach'd to the depths of direst Hell, and thence to Albion's land,
Which is this Earth of Vegetation on which now I write.

The Nature of Infinity

The nature of Infinity is this: That every thing has its
Own Vortex; and when once a traveller thro' Eternity
Has pass'd that Vortex, he perceives it roll backward behind
His path, into a Globe itself enfolding, like a sun,
Or like a moon, or like a universe of starry majesty,
While he keeps onwards in his wondrous journey on the Earth,
Or like a human form, a friend with whom he liv'd benevolent.
As the eye of man views both the East and West, encompassing
Its vortex, and the North and South with all their starry host,
Also the rising sun and setting moon he views, surrounding
His corn-fields and his valleys of five hundred acres square.
Thus is the Earth one infinite plane, and not as apparent
To the weak traveller confin'd beneath the moony shade.
Thus is the Heaven a Vortex pass'd already, and the Earth
A Vortex not yet pass'd by the traveller thro' Eternity.

The Sea of Time and Space

First Milton saw Albion upon the Rock of Ages,
Deadly pale, outstretch'd, and snowy cold, storm-cover'd --
A Giant form of perfect beauty, outstretch'd on the Rock
In solemn death: the Sea of Time and Space thunder'd aloud
Against the Rock, which was enwrappèd with the weeds of Death.
Hovering over the cold bosom in its vortex, Milton bent down
To the bosom of Death: what was underneath soon seem'd above,
A cloudy heaven mingled with stormy seas in loudest ruin;
But as a wintry globe descends precipitant, thro' Beulah bursting,
With thunders loud and terrible, so Milton's Shadow fell
Precipitant, loud thund'ring, into the Sea of Time and Space.

The Mundane Shell

The Mundane Shell is a vast Concave Earth, an immense
Harden'd Shadow of all things upon our Vegetated Earth,
Enlarg'd into Dimension and deform'd into indefinite Space,
In Twenty-seven Heavens and all their Hells, with Chaos
And Ancient Night and Purgatory. It is a cavernous Earth
Of labyrinthine intricacy, twenty-seven folds of Opaqueness,
And finishes where the lark mounts.

A River in Eden

There is in Eden a sweet River of milk and liquid pearl
Nam'd Ololon, on whose mild banks dwelt those who Milton drove
Down into Ulro; and they wept in long-resounding song
For seven days of Eternity, and the River's living banks,
The mountains wail'd, and every plant that grew, in solemn sighs, lamented.


I am that Shadowy Prophet, who, six thousand years ago,
Fell from my station in the Eternal bosom. Six thousand years
Are finish'd. I return! Both Time and Space obey my will.
I in six thousand years walk up and down; for not one moment
Of Time is lost, nor one event of Space unpermanent;
But all remain; every fabric of six thousand years
Remains permanent: tho' on the Earth, where Satan
Fell and was cut off, all things vanish and are seen no more,
They vanish not from me and mine; we guard them first and last.
The Generations of Men run on in the tide of Time,
But leave their destin'd lineaments permanent for ever and ever.


O Swedenborg! strongest of men, the Samson shorn by the Churches;
Showing the Transgressors in Hell, the proud Warriors in Heaven,
Heaven as a Punisher, and Hell as One under Punishment;
With Laws from Plato and his Greeks to renew the Trojan Gods
In Albion, and to deny the value of the Saviour's blood.

Whitefield and Wesley

He sent his two Servants, Whitefield and Wesley: were they Prophets,
Or were they Idiots or Madmen? -- Show us Miracles!
Can you have greater Miracles than these? Men who devote
Their life's whole comfort to entire scorn and injury and death?
Awake! thou sleeper on the Rock of Eternity, Albion, awake!
The trumpet of Judgement hath twice sounded: all Nations are awake,
But thou art still heavy and dull. Awake, Albion, awake!

The Forge of Los

In Bowlahoola Los's Anvils stand and his Furnaces rage;
Thundering the Hammers beat, and the Bellows blow loud,
Living, self-moving, mourning, lamenting, and howling incessantly
Bowlahoola thro' all its porches feels, tho' too fast founded,
Its pillars and porticoes to tremble at the force
Of mortal or immortal arm; and softly lilling flutes,
Accordant with the horrid labours, make sweet melody
The Bellows are the Animal Lungs, the Hammers the Animal Heart,
The Furnaces the Stomach for digestion; terrible their fury!
Thousands and thousands labour, thousands play on instruments,
Stringèd or fluted, to ameliorate the sorrows of slavery.
Loud sport the dancers in the Dance of Death, rejoicing in carnage.
The hard dentant Hammers are lull'd by the flutes' lula lula,
The bellowing Furnaces' blare by the long-sounding clarion,
The double drum drowns howls and groans, the shrill fife shrieks and cries,
The crooked horn mellows the hoarse raving serpent -- terrible but harmonious.

The Wine-Press of Los

But the Wine-press of Los is eastward of Golgonooza, before the Seat
Of Satan: Luvah laid the foundation, and Urizen finish'd it in howling woe.
How red the Sons and Daughters of Luvah! here they tread the grapes,
Laughing and shouting, drunk with odours; many fall, o'erwearièd;
Drown'd in the wine is many a youth and maiden: those around
Lay them on skins of tigers and of the spotted leopard and the wild ass,
Till they revive; or bury them in cool grots, making lamentation.

This Wine-press is call'd War on Earth: it is the Printing-Press
Of Los; and here he lays his words in order above the mortal brain,
As cogs are form'd in a wheel to turn the cogs of the adverse wheel.

Timbrels and violins sport round the Wine-presses; the little Seed,
The sportive Root, the Earth-worm, the Gold-beetle, the wise Emmet
Dance round the Wine-presses of Luvah; the Centipede is there,
The Ground-spider with many eyes, the Mole clothèd in velvet,
The ambitious Spider in his sullen web, the lucky Golden-spinner,
The Earwig arm'd, the tender Maggot, emblem of immortality,
The Flea, Louse, Bug, the Tape-worm; all the Armies of Disease,
Visible or invisible to the slothful, Vegetating Man;
The slow Slug, the Grasshopper, that sings and laughs and drinks --
Winter comes: he folds his slender bones without a murmur.

The cruel Scorpion is there, the Gnat, Wasp, Hornet, and the Honey-bee,
The Toad and venomous Newt, the Serpent cloth'd in gems and gold:
They throw off their gorgeous raiment: they rejoice with loud jubilee,
Around the Wine-presses of Luvah, naked and drunk with wine.

There is the Nettle that stings with soft down, and there
The indignant Thistle, whose bitterness is bred in his milk,
Who feeds on contempt of his neighbour; there all the idle Weeds,
That creep around the obscure places, show their various limbs
Naked in all their beauty, dancing round the Wine-presses.

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.

The Building of Time

But others of the Sons of Los build Moments and Minutes and Hours,
And Days and Months and Years, and Ages and Periods: wondrous buildings!
And every Moment has a Couch of gold for soft repose --
A Moment equals a pulsation of the artery --
And between every two Moments stands a Daughter of Beulah,
To feed the Sleepers on their Couches with maternal care.
And every Minute has an azure Tent with silken Veils;
And every Hour has a bright golden Gate carvèd with skill;
And every Day and Night has Walls of brass and Gates of adamant,
Shining like precious stones, and ornamented with appropriate signs;
And every Month a silver-pavèd Terrace, builded high;
And every Year invulnerable Barriers with high Towers;
And every Age is moated deep with Bridges of silver and gold;
And every Seven Ages is encircled with a Flaming Fire.
Now Seven Ages is amounting to Two Hundred Years:
Each has its Guard, each Moment, Minute, Hour, Day, Month and Year;
All are the work of Fairy hands of the Four Elements:
The Guard are Angels of Providence on duty evermore.
Every Time less than a pulsation of the artery
Is equal in its period and value to Six Thousand Years;
For in this Period the Poet's Work is done; and all the great
Events of Time start forth and are conceiv'd in such a Period,
Within a Moment, a Pulsation of the Artery.

The Birds and the Flowers

Thou hearest the Nightingale begin the Song of Spring:
The Lark, sitting upon his earthy bed, just as the morn
Appears, listens silent; then, springing from the waving corn-field, loud
He leads the Choir of Day -- trill! trill! trill! trill!
Mounting upon the wings of light into the great Expanse,
Re-echoing against the lovely blue and shining heavenly Shell;
His little throat labours with inspiration; every feather
On throat and breast and wings vibrates with the effluence Divine
All Nature listens silent to him, and the awful Sun
Stands still upon the mountain looking on this little Bird
With eyes of soft humility and wonder, love and awe.
Then loud from their green covert all the Birds begin their song:
The Thrush, the Linnet and the Goldfinch, Robin and the Wren
Awake the Sun from his sweet revery upon the mountain:
The Nightingale again assays his song, and thro' the day
And thro' the night warbles luxuriant; every Bird of song
Attending his loud harmony with admiration and love.
This is a Vision of the lamentation of Beulah over Ololon.

Thou perceivest the Flowers put forth their precious Odours;
And none can tell how from so small a centre comes such sweet,
Forgetting that within that centre Eternity expands
Its ever-during doors, that Og and Anak fiercely guard.
First, ere the morning breaks, joy opens in the flowery bosoms,
Joy even to tears, which the Sun rising dries: first the Wild Thyme
And Meadow-sweet, downy and soft, waving among the reeds,
Light springing on the air, lead the sweet dance; they wake
The Honeysuckle sleeping on the oak; the flaunting beauty
Revels along upon the wind; the White-thorn, lovely May,
Opens her many lovely eyes; listening the Rose still sleeps --
None dare to wake her; soon she bursts her crimson-curtain'd bed
And comes forth in the majesty of beauty. Every Flower,
The Pink, the Jessamine, the Wallflower, the Carnation.
The Jonquil, the mild Lily opes her heavens; every Tree
And Flower and Herb soon fill the air with an innumerable dance,
Yet all in order sweet and lovely. Men are sick with love!
Such is a Vision of the lamentation of Beulah over Ololon.

Love and Jealousy

And the Divine Voice was heard in the Songs of Beulah, saying:
`When I first married you, I gave you all my whole soul;
I thought that you would love my loves and joy in my delights,
Seeking for pleasures in my pleasures, O Daughter of Babylon!
Then thou wast lovely, mild, and gentle; now thou art terrible
In Jealousy and unlovely in my sight, because thou hast cruelly
Cut off my loves in fury, till I have no Love left for thee.
Thy Love depends on him thou lovest, and on his dear loves
Depend thy pleasures, which thou hast cut off by Jealousy:
Therefore I show my Jealousy, and set before you Death.
Behold Milton, descended to redeem the Female Shade
From Death Eternal! such your lot to be continually redeem'd
By Death and misery of those you love, and by Annihilation.
When the Sixfold Female perceives that Milton annihilates
Himself, that seeing all his loves by her cut off, he leaves
Her also, entirely abstracting himself from Female loves,
She shall relent in fear of death; she shall begin to give
Her maidens to her husband, delighting in his delight.
And then, and then alone, begins the happy Female joy,
As it is done in Beulah; and thou, O Virgin Babylon! Mother of Whoredoms,
Shalt bring Jerusalem in thine arms in the night watches; and
No longer turning her a wandering Harlot in the streets,
Shalt give her into the arms of God, your Lord and Husband.'
Such are the Songs of Beulah, in the Lamentations of Ololon.

Reason and Imagination

The Negation is the Spectre, the Reasoning Power in Man:
This is a false Body, an Incrustation over my Immortal
Spirit, a Selfhood which must be put off and annihilated alway.
To cleanse the Face of my Spirit by self-examination,
To bathe in the waters of Life, to wash off the Not Human,
I come in Self-annihilation and the grandeur of Inspiration;
To cast off Rational Demonstration by Faith in the Saviour,
To cast off the rotten rags of Memory by Inspiration,
To cast off Bacon, Locke, and Newton from Albion's covering,
To take off his filthy garments and clothe him with Imagination;
To cast aside from Poetry all that is not Inspiration,
That it no longer shall dare to mock with the aspersion of Madness
Cast on the Inspirèd by the tame high finisher of paltry Blots
Indefinite or paltry Rhymes, or paltry Harmonies,
Who creeps into State Government like a caterpillar to destroy;
To cast off the idiot Questioner, who is always questioning,
But never capable of answering; who sits with a sly grin
Silent plotting when to question, like a thief in a cave;
Who publishes Doubt and calls it Knowledge; whose Science is Despair,
Whose pretence to knowledge is Envy, whose whole Science is
To destroy the wisdom of ages, to gratify ravenous 9d0 Envy
That rages round him like a Wolf, day and night, without rest.
He smiles with condescension; he talks of Benevolence and Virtue,
And those who act with Benevolence and Virtue they murder time on time.
These are the destroyers of Jerusalem! these are the murderers
Of Jesus! who deny the Faith and mock at Eternal Life,
Who pretend to Poetry that they may destroy Imagination
By imitation of Nature's Images drawn from Remembrance.
These are the Sexual Garments, the Abomination of Desolation,
Hiding the Human Lineaments, as with an Ark and Curtains
Which Jesus rent, and now shall wholly purge away with Fire,
Till Generation is swallow'd up in Regeneration.

The Song of the Shadowy Female

My Garments shall be woven of sighs and heart-broken lamentations:
The misery of unhappy Families shall be drawn out into its border,
Wrought with the needle, with dire sufferings, poverty, pain, and woe,
Along the rocky Island and thence throughout the whole Earth.
There shall be the sick Father and his starving Family; there
The Prisoner in the stone Dungeon, and the Slave at the Mill.
I will have writings written all over it in Human words,
That every Infant that is born upon the Earth shall read
And get by rote, as a hard task of a life of sixty years.
I will have Kings inwoven upon it, and Counsellors and Mighty Men:
The Famine shall clasp it together with buckles and clasps,
And the Pestilence shall be its fringe, and the War its girdle;
To divide into Rahab and Tirzah, that Milton may come to our tents.
For I will put on the Human Form, and take the Image of God,
Even Pity and Humanity; but my clothing shall be Cruelty.
And I will put on Holiness as a breastplate and as a helmet.
And all my ornaments shall be of the gold of broken hearts,
And the precious stones of anxiety and care, and desperation and death,
And repentance for sin, and sorrow, and punishment and fear;
To defend me from thy terrors, O Orc! my only belovèd!
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:10 am


Engraved 1804-(?)1820


To the Public


After my three years' slumber on the banks of the Ocean, I again display my Giant forms to the Public. My former Giants and Fairies having receiv'd the highest reward possible, the . . . and . . . of those with whom to be connected is to be . . ., I cannot doubt that this more consolidated and extended Work will be as kindly received. The Enthusiasm of the following Poem, the Author hopes . . . I also hope the Reader will be with me wholly one in Jesus our Lord, Who is the God . . . and Lord . . . to Whom the Ancients look'd, and saw His day afar off, with trembling and amazement.

The Spirit of Jesus is continual Forgiveness of Sin: he who waits to be righteous before he enters into the Saviour's Kingdom, the Divine Body, will never enter there. I am perhaps the most sinful of men: I pretend not to holiness; yet I pretend to love, to see, to converse with daily, as man with man, and the more to have an interest in the Friend of Sinners. Therefore . . . Reader . . . what you do not approve, and . . me for this energetic exertion of my talent.

Reader! . . . of books . . . of Heaven,
And of that God from whom . . .
Who in mysterious Sinai's awful cave
To Man the wondrous art of writing gave;
Again He speaks in thunder and in fire,
Thunder of Thought and flames of fierce Desire.
Even from the depths of Hell His voice I hear
Within the unfathom'd caverns of my Ear.
Therefore I print: nor vain my types shall be.
Heaven, Earth, and Hell, henceforth shall live in harmony

Of the Measure in which
the following Poem is written.

We who dwell on Earth can do nothing of ourselves; everything, is conducted by Spirits, no less than Digestion or Sleep. . .

When this Verse was first dictated to me, I consider'd a monotonous cadence like that used by Milton and Shakspeare, and all writers of English Blank Verse, derived from the modern bondage of Riming, to be a necessary and indispensable part of Verse. But I soon found that in the mouth of a true Orator such monotony was not only awkward, but as much a bondage as rime itself. I therefore have produced a variety in every line, both of cadences and number of syllables. Every word and every letter is studied and put into its fit place; the terrific numbers are reserved for the terrific parts, the mild and gentle for the mild and gentle parts, and the prosaic for inferior parts; all are necessary to each other. Poetry fetter'd fetters the Human Race. Nations are destroy'd or flourish, in proportion as their Poetry, Painting, and Music are destroy'd or flourish. The Primeval State of Man was Wisdom, Art, and Science.


This theme calls me in sleep night after night, and ev'ry morn
Awakes me at sunrise; then I see the Saviour over me
Spreading His beams of love, and dictating the words of this mild song:
`Awake! Awake! O sleeper of the Land of Shadows, wake! expand!
I am in you, and you in Me, mutual in Love Divine,
Fibres of love from man to man thro' Albion's pleasant land.'

The Reasoning Power

And this is the manner of the Sons of Albion in their strength:
They take the Two Contraries which are call'd Qualities, with which
Every Substance is clothèd; they name them Good and Evil.
From them they make an Abstract, which is a Negation
Not only of the Substance from which it is derivèd,
A murderer of its own Body, but also a murderer
Of every Divine Member. It is the Reasoning Power,
An Abstract objecting power, that negatives everything.
This is the Spectre of Man, the Holy Reasoning Power,
And in its Holiness is closèd the Abomination of Desolation!

The Words of Los

I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's;
I will not Reason and Compare: my business is to Create.

The Builders of Golgonooza

What are those Golden Builders doing? Where was the burying-place
Of soft Ethinthus? near Tyburn's fatal Tree? Is that
Mild Zion's hill's most ancient promontory, near mournful
Ever-weeping Paddington? Is that Calvary and Golgotha
Becoming a building of Pity and Compassion? Lo!
The stones are Pity, and the bricks well-wrought Affections
Enamell'd with Love and Kindness; and the tiles engraven gold,
Labour of merciful hands; the beams and rafters are Forgiveness,
The mortar and cement of the work, tears of Honesty, the nails
And the screws and iron braces are well-wrought Blandishments
And well-contrivèd words, firm fixing, never forgotten,
Always comforting the remembrance; the floors Humility,
The ceilings Devotion, the hearths Thanksgiving.
Prepare the furniture, O Lambeth, in thy pitying looms!
The curtains, woven tears and sighs, wrought into lovely forms
For Comfort; there the secret furniture of Jerusalem's chamber
Is wrought. Lambeth! the Bride, the Lamb's Wife loveth thee;
Thou art one with her, and knowest not of Self in thy supreme joy.
Go on, Builders in hope! tho' Jerusalem wanders far away
Without the Gate of Los, among the dark Satanic wheels.

A Vision of Albion

I see the Fourfold Man; the Humanity in deadly sleep,
And its fallen Emanation, the Spectre and its cruel Shadow.
I see the Past, Present, and Future existing all at once
Before me. O Divine Spirit! sustain me on thy wings,
That I may awake Albion from his long and cold repose;
For Bacon and Newton, sheath'd in dismal steel, their terrors hang
Like iron scourges over Albion. Reasonings like vast Serpents
Enfold around my limbs, bruising my minute articulations.

I turn my eyes to the Schools and Universities of Europe,
And there behold the Loom of Locke, whose Woof rages dire,
Wash'd by the Water-wheels of Newton: black the cloth
In heavy wreaths folds over every Nation: cruel Works
Of many Wheels I view, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic,
Moving by compulsion each other; not as those in Eden, which,
Wheel within wheel, in freedom revolve, in harmony and peace.

Punishment and Forgiveness

Why should Punishment weave the veil with Iron Wheels of War,
When Forgiveness might it weave with Wings of Cherubim?

The Lament of Albion

O what is Life and what is Man? O what is Death? Wherefore
Are you, my Children, natives in the Grave to where I go?
Or are you born to feed the hungry ravenings of Destruction,
To be the sport of Accident, to waste in Wrath and Love a weary
Life, in brooding cares and anxious labours, that prove but chaff?
O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! I have forsaken thy courts,
Thy pillars of ivory and gold, thy curtains of silk and fine
Linen, thy pavements of precious stones, thy walls of pearl
And gold, thy gates of Thanksgiving, thy windows of Praise,
Thy clouds of Blessing, thy Cherubims of Tender Mercy,
Stretching their Wings sublime over the Little Ones of Albion.
O Human Imagination! O Divine Body, I have crucifièd!
I have turnèd my back upon thee into the Wastes of Moral Law:
There Babylon is builded in the Waste, founded in Human desolation.
O Babylon! thy Watchman stands over thee in the night;
Thy severe Judge all the day long proves thee, O Babylon,
With provings of Destruction, with giving thee thy heart's desire.
But Albion is cast forth to the Potter, his Children to the Builders
To build Babylon, because they have forsaken Jerusalem.
The walls of Babylon are Souls of Men; her gates the Groans
Of Nations; her towers are the Miseries of once happy Families;
Her streets are pavèd with Destruction; her houses built with Death;
Her Palaces with Hell and the Grave; her Synagogues with Torments
Of ever-hardening Despair, squar'd and polish'd with cruel skill.


Such Visions have appear'd to me,
As I my order'd course have run:
Jerusalem is nam'd Liberty
Among the Sons of Albion.


Jerusalem, the Emanation of the Giant Albion! Can it be? Is it a truth that the learned have explored? Was Britain the primitive seat of the Patriarchal Religion? If it is true, my title page is also true, that Jerusalem was, and is, the Emanation of the Giant Albion. It is true, and cannot be controverted. Ye are united, O ye inhabitants of Earth, in One Religion -- the Religion of Jesus, the most ancient, the Eternal, and the Everlasting Gospel. The Wicked will turn it to Wickedness, the Righteous to Righteousness. Amen! Huzza! Selah!

`All things begin and end in Albion's ancient Druid rocky shore.'

Your Ancestors derived their origin from Abraham, Heber, Shem, and Noah, who were Druids, as the Druid Temples (which are the patriarchal pillars and oak groves) over the whole Earth witness to this day.

You have a tradition that Man anciently contain'd in his mighty limbs all things in Heaven and Earth: this you received from the Druids.

`But now the starry Heavens are fled from the mighty limbs of Albion.'

Albion was the Parent of the Druids, and, in his Chaotic State of Sleep, Satan and Adam and the whole World was created by the Elohim.

The fields from Islington to Marybone,
To Primrose Hill and Saint John's Wood,
Were builded over with pillars of gold;
And there Jerusalem's pillars stood.

Her Little Ones ran on the fields,
The Lamb of God among them seen,
And fair Jerusalem, His Bride,
Among the little meadows green.

Pancras and Kentish Town repose
Among her golden pillars high,
Among her golden arches which
Shine upon the starry sky.

The Jew's-harp House and the Green Man,
The Ponds where boys to bathe delight,
The fields of cows by William's farm,
Shine in Jerusalem's pleasant sight.

She walks upon our meadows green;
The Lamb of God walks by her side;
And every English child is seen,
Children of Jesus and His Bride;

Forgiving trespasses and sins,
Lest Babylon, with cruel Og,
With Moral and Self-righteous Law,
Should crucify in Satan's Synagogue.

What are those Golden Builders doing
Near mournful ever-weeping Paddington,
Standing above that mighty ruin,
Where Satan the first victory won;

Where Albion slept beneath the fatal Tree,
And the Druid's golden knife
Rioted in human gore,
In offerings of Human Life?

They groan'd aloud on London Stone,
They groan'd aloud on tyburn's Brook:
Albion gave his deadly groan,
And all the Atlantic mountains shook.

Albion's Spectre, from his loins,
Tore forth in all the pomp of War;
Satan his name; in flames of fire
He stretch'd his Druid pillars far.

Jerusalem fell from Lambeth's vale,
Down thro' Poplar and Old Bow,
Thro' Malden, and across the sea,
In war and howling, death and woe.

The Rhine was red with human blood;
The Danube roll'd a purple tide;
On the Euphrates Satan stood,
And over Asia stretch'd his pride.

He wither'd up sweet Zion's hill
From every nation of the Earth;
He wither'd up Jerusalem's Gates,
And in a dark land gave her birth.

He wither'd up the Human Form
By laws of sacrifice for Sin,
Till it became a Mortal Worm,
But O! translucent all within.

The Divine Vision still was seen,
Still was the Human Form Divine;
Weeping, in weak and mortal clay,
O Jesus! still the Form was Thine!

And Thine the Human Face; and Thine
The Human Hands, and Feet, and Breath,
Entering thro' the Gates of Birth,
And passing thro' the Gates of Death.

And O Thou Lamb of God! whom I
Slew in my dark self-righteous pride,
Art Thou return'd to Albion's land,
And is Jerusalem Thy Bride?

Come to my arms, and nevermore
Depart; but dwell for ever here;
Create my spirit to Thy love;
Subdue my Spectre to Thy fear.

Spectre of Albion! warlike Fiend!
In clouds of blood and ruin roll'd,
I here reclaim thee as my own,
My Selfhood -- Satan arm'd in gold!

Is this thy soft Family-love,
Thy cruel patriarchal pride;
Planting thy Family alone,
Destroying all the World beside?

A man's worst Enemies are those
Of his own House and Family;
And he who makes his Law a curse,
By his own Law shall surely die!

In my Exchanges every land
Shall walk; and mine in every land,
Mutual shall build Jerusalem,
Both heart in heart and hand in hand.

If Humility is Christianity, you, O Jews! are the true Christians. If your tradition that Man contained in his limbs all animals is true, and they were separated from him by cruel sacrifices, and when compulsory cruel sacrifices had brought Humanity into a Feminine Tabernacle in the loins of Abraham and David, the Lamb of God, the Saviour, became apparent on Earth as the Prophets had foretold! The return of Israel is a return to mental sacrifice and war. Take up the Cross, O Israel! and follow Jesus.

A Female Will

What may Man be? who can tell? But what may Woman be,
To have power over Man from Cradle to corruptible Grave?
There is a Throne in every Man: it is the Throne of God.
This, Woman has claim'd as her own; and Man is no more:
Albion is the Tabernacle of Vala and her Temple,
And not the Tabernacle and Temple of the Most High.
O Albion! why wilt thou create a Female Will,
To hide the most evident God in a hidden covert, even
In the shadows of a Woman and a secluded Holy Place,
That we may pry after him as after a stolen treasure,
Hidden among the Dead and murèd up from the paths of Life?

The Universal Family

Our Wars are wars of life, and wounds of love,
With intellectual spears, and long wingèd arrows of thought.
Mutual in one another's love and wrath all renewing,
We live as One Man: for, contracting our Infinite senses,
We behold multitude; or, expanding, we behold as One,
As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man
We call Jesus the Christ. And He in us, and we in Him,
Live in perfect harmony in Eden, the land of Life,
Giving, receiving, and forgiving each other's trespasses.
He is the Good Shepherd, He is the Lord and Master;
He is the Shepherd of Albion, He is all in all,
In Eden, in the garden of God, and in heavenly Jerusalem.
If we have offended, forgive us! take not vengeance against us!

Man's Spectre

Each Man is in his Spectre's power
Until the arrival of that hour,
When his Humanity awake,
And cast his Spectre into the Lake.


A pretence of Art to destroy Art; a pretence of Liberty
To destroy Liberty; a pretence of Religion to destroy Religion.

Fourfold and Twofold Vision

The Visions of Eternity, by reason of narrowèd perceptions,
Are become weak Visions of Time and Space, fix'd into furrows of Death;
Till deep dissimulation is the only defence an honest man has left.

The Remembrance of Sin

Come, O thou Lamb of God, and take away the remembrance of Sin!
To sin, and to hide the Sin in sweet deceit, is lovely:
To sin in the open face of day is cruel and pitiless; but
To record the Sin for a reproach, to let the Sun go down
In a remembrance of the Sin, is a woe and a horror,
A brooder of an Evil Day, and a Sun rising in blood.
Come then, O Lamb of God, and take away the remembrance of Sin!

Rahab is an Eternal State.


The Spiritual States of
the Soul are all Eternal.
Distinguish between the
Man and his present State.

He never can be a friend to the Human Race who is the preacher of Natural Morality or Natural Religion; he is a flatterer who means to betray, to perpetuate tyrant Pride and the Laws of that Babylon which, he foresees, shall shortly be destroyed with the Spiritual and not the Natural Sword. He is in the State named Rahab; which State must be put off before he can be the Friend of Man.

You, O Deists! profess yourselves the enemies of Christianity, and you are so: you are also the enemies of the Human Race and of Universal Nature. Man is born a Spectre, or Satan, and is altogether an Evil, and requires a new Selfhood continually, and must continually be changed into his direct Contrary. But your Greek Philosophy, which is a remnant of Druidism, teaches that Man is righteous in his Vegetated Spectre -- an opinion of fatal and accursed consequence to Man, as the Ancients saw plainly by Revelation, to the entire abrogation of Experimental Theory; and many believed what they saw, and prophesied of Jesus.

Man must and will have some religion; if he has not the religion of Jesus, he will have the religion of Satan, and will erect the synagogue of Satan, calling the Prince of this World `God', and destroying all who do not worship Satan under the name of God. Will any one say: `Where are those who worship Satan under the name of God?' Where are they? Listen! Every religion that preaches Vengeance for Sin is the religion of the Enemy and Avenger, and not of the Forgiver of Sin, and their God is Satan, named by the Divine Name. Your Religion, O Deists! Deism is the worship of the God of this World by the means of what you call Natural Religion and Natural Philosophy, and of Natural Morality or Self-Righteousness, the selfish virtues of the Natural Heart. This was the religion of the Pharisees who murdered Jesus. Deism is the same, and ends in the same.

Voltaire, Rousseau, Gibbon, Hume charge the spiritually Religious with hypocrisy; but how a Monk, or a Methodist either, can be a hypocrite, I cannot conceive. We are Men of like passions with others, and pretend not to be holier than others; therefore, when a Religious Man falls into sin, he ought not to be call'd a hypocrite: this title is more properly to be given to a player who falls into sin, whose profession is virtue and morality, and the making men self-righteous. Foote, in calling Whitefield hypocrite, was himself one; for Whitefield pretended not to be holier than others, but confessed his sins before all the world. Voltaire! Rousseau! you cannot escape my charge that you are Pharisees and hypocrites; for you are constantly talking of the virtues of the human heart, and particularly of your own; that you may accuse others, and especially the Religious, whose errors you, by this display of pretended virtue, chiefly design to expose. Rousseau thought Men good by nature: he found them evil, and found no friend. Friendship cannot exist without Forgiveness of Sins continually. The book written by Rousseau, call'd his Confessions, is an apology and cloak for his sin, and not a confession.

But you also charge the poor Monks and Religious with being the causes of war, while you acquit and flatter the Alexanders and Caesars, the Louises and Fredericks, who alone are its causes and its actors. But the Religion of Jesus, Forgiveness of Sin, can never be the cause of a war, nor of a single martyrdom.

Those who martyr others, or who cause war, are Deists, but never can be Forgivers of Sin. The glory of Christianity is to conquer by Forgiveness. All the destruction, therefore, in Christian Europe has arisen from Deism, which is Natural Religion.

I saw a Monk of Charlemaine
Arise before my sight:
I talk'd with the Grey Monk as we stood
In beams of infernal light.

Gibbon arose with a lash of steel,
And Voltaire with a racking wheel;
The Schools, in clouds of learning roll'd,
Arose with War in iron and gold.

`Thou lazy Monk!' they sound afar,
`In vain condemning glorious War;
And in your cell you shall ever dwell:
Rise, War, and bind him in his cell!'

The blood red ran from the Grey Monk's side,
His hands and feet were wounded wide,
His body bent, his arms and knees
Like to the roots of ancient trees.

When Satan first the black bow bent
And the Moral Law from the Gospel rent,
He forg'd the Law into a sword,
And spill'd the blood of Mercy's Lord.

Titus! Constantine! Charlemaine!
O Voltaire! Rousseau! Gibbon! Vain
Your Grecian mocks and Roman sword
Against this image of his Lord;

For a Tear is an Intellectual thing;
And a Sigh is the sword of an angel king;
And the bitter groan of a Martyr's woe
Is an arrow from the Almighty's bow.

Albion's Spectre

But the Spectre, like a hoar-frost and a mildew, rose over Albion,
Saying: `I am God, O Sons of Men! I am your Rational Power!
Am I not Bacon and Newton and Locke, who teach Humility to Man,
Who teach Doubt and Experiment? and my two wings, Voltaire, Rousseau?
Where is that Friend of Sinners, that Rebel against my Laws,
Who teaches Belief to the Nations and an unknown Eternal Life?
Come hither into the desert and turn these stones to bread!
Vain, foolish Man! wilt thou believe without Experiment,
And build a World of Phantasy upon my great Abyss,
A World of Shapes in craving lust and devouring appetite?'

The Holiness of Minute Particulars

And many conversèd on these things as they labour'd at the furrow,
Saying `It is better to prevent misery than to release from misery;
It is better to prevent error than to forgive the criminal.
Labour well the Minute Particulars: attend to the Little Ones,
And those who are in misery cannot remain so long,
If we do but our duty: labour well the teeming Earth. . .
He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars.
General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer;
For Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars,
And not in generalizing Demonstrations of the Rational Power:
The Infinite alone resides in Definite and Determinate Identity.
Establishment of Truth depends on destruction of Falsehood continually,
On Circumcision, not on Virginity, O Reasoners of Albion!

A Vision of Joseph and Mary

Behold! in the Visions of Elohim Jehovah, behold Joseph and Mary!
And be comforted, O Jerusalem! in the Visions of Jehovah Elohim.

She lookèd and saw Joseph the Carpenter in Nazareth, and Mary,
His espousèd Wife. And Mary said: `If thou put me away from thee
Dost thou not murder me?' Joseph spoke in anger and fury: `Should I
Marry a harlot and an adulteress?' Mary answer'd: `Art thou more pure
Than thy Maker, Who forgiveth Sins and calls again her that is lost?
Tho' she hates, He calls her again in love. I love my dear Joseph,
But he driveth me away from his presence; yet I hear the voice of God
In the voice of my husband: tho' he is angry for a moment he will not
Utterly cast me away: if I were pure, never could I taste the sweets
Of the Forgiveness of Sins; if I were holy, I never could behold the tears
Of love, of him who loves me in the midst of his anger in furnace of fire.'
`Ah, my Mary,' said Joseph, weeping over and embracing her closely in
His arms, `doth He forgive Jerusalem and not exact Purity from her who is
Polluted? I heard His voice in my sleep and His Angel in my dream,
Saying: "Doth Jehovah forgive a Debt only on condition that it shall

Be payèd? Doth He forgive Pollution only on conditions of Purity?
That Debt is not forgiven! That Pollution is not forgiven!
Such is the Forgiveness of the Gods, the Moral Virtues of the
Heathen, whose tender Mercies are Cruelty. But Jehovah's Salvation
Is without Money and without Price, in the Continual Forgiveness of Sins,
In the Perpetual Mutual Sacrifice in Great Eternity. For behold!
There is none that liveth and sinneth not! And this is the Covenant
Of Jehovah: `If you forgive one another, so shall Jehovah forgive you;
That He Himself may dwell among you.' Fear not then to take
To thee Mary, thy Wife, for she is with Child by the Holy Ghost."'

Then Mary burst forth into a song! she flowèd like a river of
Many streams in the arms of Joseph, and gave forth her tears of joy
Like many waters, and emanating into gardens and palaces upon
Euphrates, and to forests and floods and animals, wild and tame, from
Gihon to Hiddekel, and to corn-fields and villages, and inhabitants
Upon Pison and Arnon and Jordan. And I heard the voice among
The Reapers, saying: `Am I Jerusalem, the lost Adulteress? or am I
Babylon come up to Jerusalem?' And another voice answer'd, saying:
`Does the voice of my Lord call me again? am I pure thro' his Mercy
And Pity? Am I become lovely as a Virgin in his sight, who am
Indeed a Harlot drunken with the Sacrifice of Idols? Does He
Call her pure, as he did in the days of her Infancy, when she
Was cast out to the loathing of her person? The Chaldean took
Me from my cradle; the Amalekite stole me away upon his camels
Before I had ever beheld with love the face of Jehovah, or known
That there was a God of Mercy. O Mercy! O Divine Humanity!
O Forgiveness and Pity and Compassion! If I were pure I should never
Have known Thee: if I were unpolluted I should never have
Glorifièd Thy Holiness, or rejoicèd in thy great Salvation.'
Mary leanèd her side against Jerusalem: Jerusalem receivèd
The Infant into her hands in the Visions of Jehovah. Times passèd on.
Jerusalem fainted over the Cross and Sepulchre. She heard the voice:--
`Wilt thou make Rome thy Patriarch Druid, and the Kings of Europe his
Horsemen? Man in the Resurrection changes his Sexual Garments at will:
Every Harlot was once a Virgin, every Criminal an infant Love.'


`O thou poor Human Form!' said she. `O thou poor child of woe!
Why wilt thou wander away from Tirzah, why me compel to bind thee?
If thou dost go away from me, I shall consume upon these Rocks.
These fibres of thine eyes, that usèd to beam in distant heavens
Away from me, I have bound down with a hot iron:
These nostrils, that expanded with delight in morning skies,
I have bent downward with lead, melted in my roaring furnaces
Of affliction, of love, of sweet despair, of torment unendurable.
My soul is seven furnaces, incessant roars the bellows
Upon my terribly flaming heart; the molten metal runs
In channels thro' my fiery limbs -- O love! O pity! O fear!
O pain! O the pangs, the bitter pangs of love forsaken!'

The Warrior and the Daughter of Albion

Look! the beautiful Daughter of Albion sits naked upon the Stone,
Her panting Victim beside her; her heart is drunk with blood,
Tho' her brain is not drunk with wine; she goes forth from Albion
In pride of beauty, in cruelty of holiness, in the brightness
Of her tabernacle, and her ark and secret place. The beautiful Daughter
Of Albion delights the eyes of the Kings; their hearts and the
Hearts of their Warriors glow hot before Thor and Friga. O Moloch!
O Chemosh! O Bacchus! O Venus! O Double God of Generation!
The Heavens are cut like a mantle around from the Cliffs of Albion,
Across Europe, across Africa, in howlings and deadly War.
A sheet and veil and curtain of blood is let down from Heaven
Across the hills of Ephraim, and down Mount Olivet to
The Valley of the Jebusite . . .
O beautiful Daughter of Albion, cruelty is thy delight!
O Virgin of terrible eyes, who dwellest by Valleys of springs
Beneath the Mountains of Lebanon, in the City of Rehob in Hamath,
Taught to touch the harp, to dance in the circle of Warriors
Before the Kings of Canaan, to cut the flesh from the Victim,
To roast the flesh in fire, to examine the Infant's limbs
In cruelties of holiness, to refuse the joys of love, to bring
The Spies from Egypt to raise jealousy in the bosoms of the twelve

Kings of Cannan; then to let the Spies depart to Meribah Kadesh,
To the place of the Amalekite. I am drunk with unsatiated love;
I must rush again to War, for the Virgin has frown'd and refus'd.
Sometimes I curse, and sometimes bless thy fascinating beauty.
Once Man was occupièd in intellectual pleasures and energies;
But now my Soul is harrow'd with grief and fear, and love and desire,
And now I hate, and now I love, and Intellect is no more:
There is no time for anything but the torments of love and desire:
The Feminine and Masculine Shadows, soft, mild, and ever varying
In beauty, are Shadows now no more, but Rocks in Horeb.

Men and States

As the Pilgrim passes while the Country permanent remains,
So Men pass on, but States remain permanent for ever.


Devils are False Religions.
Saul! Saul! why persecutest thou me?

I give you the end of a golden string;
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven's gate,
Built in Jerusalem's wall.

We are told to abstain from fleshly desires that we may lose no time from the Work of the Lord. Every moment lost is a moment that cannot be redeemed: every pleasure that intermingles with the duty of our station is a folly unredeemable, and is planted like the seed of a wild flower among our wheat. All the tortures of repentance are tortures of self-reproach on account of our leaving the Divine Harvest to the Enemy, the struggles of entanglement with incoherent roots. I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body and mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination -- Imagination, the real and Eternal World of which this Vegetable Universe is but a faint shadow, and in which we shall live in our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more. The Apostles knew of no other Gospel. What were all their spiritual gifts? What is the Divine Spirit? Is the Holy Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain? What is the harvest of the Gospel and its labours? What is that talent which it is a curse to hide? What are the treasures of Heaven which we are to lay up for ourselves? Are they any other than mental studies and performances? What are all the gifts of the Gospel? Are they not all mental gifts? Is God a Spirit who must be worshipped in spirit and in truth? And are not the gifts of the Spirit everything to Man? O ye Religious, discountenance every one among you who shall pretend to despise Art and Science! I call upon you in the name of Jesus! What is the life of Man but Art and Science? Is it meat and drink? Is not the Body more than raiment? What is Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which dies? What is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which lives eternally? What is the Joy of Heaven but improvement in the things of the Spirit? What are the Pains of Hell but Ignorance, Bodily Lust, Idleness, and devastation of the things of the Spirit? Answer this to yourselves, and expel from among you those who pretend to despise the labours of Art and Science, which alone are the labours of the Gospel. Is not this plain and manifest to the thought? Can you think at all, and not pronounce heartily: that to labour in knowledge is to build up Jerusalem; and to despise knowledge is to despise Jerusalem and her Builders. And remember: He who despises and mocks a mental gift in another, calling it pride and selfishness and sin, mocks Jesus, the giver of every mental gift, which always appear to the ignorance-loving hypocrite as sins; but that which is a sin in the sight of cruel Man, is not so in the sight of our kind God. Let every Christian, as much as in him lies, engage himself openly and publicly, before all the World, in some mental pursuit for the Building up of Jerusalem.

I stood among my valleys of the south,
And saw a flame of fire, even as a Wheel
Of fire surrounding all the heavens: it went
From west to east against the current of
Creation, and devour'd all things in its loud
Fury and thundering course round Heaven and Earth
By it the Sun was roll'd into an orb;
By it the Moon faded into a globe,
Travelling thro' the night; for from its dire
And restless fury Man himself shrunk up
Into a little root a fathom long.
And I askèd a Watcher and a Holy One
Its name. He answer'd: `It is the Wheel of Religion.'

I wept and said: `Is this the law of Jesus,
This terrible devouring sword turning every way?'
He answer'd: `Jesus died because He strove
Against the current of this Wheel: its name
Is Caiaphas, the dark Preacher of Death,
Of sin, of sorrow, and of punishment,
Opposing Nature. It is Natural Religion.
But Jesus is the bright Preacher of Life,
Creating Nature from this fiery Law
By self-denial and Forgiveness of Sin.
Go, therefore, cast out devils in Christ's name,
Heal thou the sick of spiritual disease,
Pity the evil; for thou art not sent
To smite with terror and with punishments
Those that are sick, like to the Pharisees,
Crucifying, and encompassing sea and land,
For proselytes to tyranny and wrath.
But to the Publicans and Harlots go:
Teach them true happiness, but let no curse
Go forth out of thy mouth to blight their peace.
For Hell is open'd to Heaven; thine eyes beheld
The dungeons burst, and the prisoners set free.'

England! awake! awake! awake!
Jerusalem thy sister calls!
Why wilt thou sleep the sleep of death,
And close her from thy ancient walls?

Thy hills and valleys felt her feet
Gently upon their bosoms move:
Thy gates beheld sweet Zion's ways;
Then was a time of joy and love.

And now the time returns again:
Our souls exult, and London's towers
Receive the Lamb of God to dwell
In England's green and pleasant bowers.

A Vision of Jerusalem

I see thy Form, O lovely, mild Jerusalem! Wing'd with Six Wings
In the opacous Bosom of the Sleeper, lovely, threefold
In Head and Heart and Reins, three Universes of love and beauty.
Thy forehead bright, Holiness to the Lord! with gates of pearl
Reflects Eternity beneath thy azure wings of feathery down,
Ribb'd, delicate, and cloth'd with feather'd gold and azure and purple,
From thy white shoulders shadowing purity in holiness;
Thence, feather'd with soft crimson of the ruby, bright as fire,
Spreading into the azure wings which, like a canopy,
Bends over thy immortal Head in which Eternity dwells,
Albion! belovèd Land, I see thy mountains and thy hills
And valleys, and thy pleasant Cities, Holiness to the Lord!
I see the Spectres of thy Dead, O Emanation of Albion!

Thy Bosom white, translucent, cover'd with immortal gems,
A sublime ornament not obscurring the outlines of beauty,
Terrible to behold, for thy extreme beauty and perfection:
Twelvefold here all the Tribes of Israel I behold
Upon the Holy Land: I see the River of Life and Tree of Life
I see the New Jerusalem descending out of Heaven
Between thy Wings of gold and silver, feather'd immortal,
Clear as the rainbow, as the cloud of the Sun's tabernacle.

Thy Reins cover'd with Wings translucent, sometimes covering
And sometimes spread abroad, reveal the flames of holiness
Which like a robe covers, and like a Veil of Seraphim
In flaming fire unceasing burns from Eternity to Eternity.
Twelvefold I there behold Israel in her Tents;
A Pillar of a Cloud by day, a Pillar of Fire by night
Guides them; there I behold Moab and Ammon and Amalek,
There Bells of silver round thy knees, living, articulate
Comforting sounds of love and harmony; and on thy feet
Sandals of gold and pearl; and Egypt and Assyria before me,
The Isles of Javan, Philistia, Tyre, and Lebanon.

The Worship of God

It is easier to forgive an Enemy than to forgive a Friend.
The man who permits you to injure him deserves your vengeance;
He also will receive it. Go, Spectre! obey my most secret desire,
Which thou knowest without my speaking. Go to these Fiends of Righteousness,
Tell them to obey their Humanities, and not pretend Holiness,
When they are murderers. As far as my Hammer and Anvil permit,
Go tell them that the Worship of God is honouring His gifts
In other men, and loving the greatest men best, each according
To his Genius, which is the Holy Ghost in Man: there is no other
God than that God who is the intellectual fountain of Humanity.
He who envies or calumniates, which is murder and cruelty,
Murders the Holy One. Go tell them this, and overthrow their cup,
Their bread, their altar-table, their incense, and their oath,
Their marriage and their baptism, their burial and consecration.
I have tried to make friends by corporeal gifts, but have only
Made enemies; I never made friends but by spiritual gifts,
By severe contentions of friendship, and the burning fire of thought.
He who would see the Divinity must see Him in His Children,
One first in friendship and love, then a Divine Family, and in the midst
Jesus will appear. So he who wishes to see a Vision, a perfect Whole,
Must see it in its Minute Particulars, organized; and not as thou,
O Fiend of Righteousness, pretendest! thine is a disorganized
And snowy cloud, brooder of tempests and destructive War.
You smile with pomp and rigour, you talk of benevolence and virtue;
I act with benevolence and virtue, and get murder'd time after time;
You accumulate Particulars, and murder by analysing, that you
May take the aggregate, and you call the aggregate Moral Law;
And you call that swell'd and bloated Form a Minute Particular.
But General Forms have their vitality in Particulars; and every
Particular is a Man, a Divine Member of the Divine Jesus.

The Cry of Los

I care not whether a man is Good or Evil; all that I care
Is whether he is a Wise man or a Fool. Go! put off Holiness,
And put on Intellect; or my thund'rous hammer shall drive thee
To wrath, which thou condemnest, till thou obey my voice.

Albion upon the Rock

Albion cold lays on his Rock; storms and snows beat round him,
Beneath the Furnaces and the Starry Wheels and the Immortal Tomb;
Howling winds cover him; roaring seas dash furious against him;
In the deep darkness broad lightnings glare, long thunders roll.
The weeds of Death enwrap his hands and feet, blown incessant,
And wash'd incessant by the for-ever restless sea-waves, foaming abroad
Upon the white Rock. England, a Female Shadow, as deadly damps
ba5 Of the Mines of Cornwall and Derbyshire, lays upon his bosom heavy,
Movèd by the wind in volumes of thick cloud returning, folding round
His loins and bosom, unremovable by swelling storms and loud rending
Of enragèd thunders. Around them the Starry Wheels of their Giant Sons
Revolve, and over them the Furnaces of Los and the Immortal Tomb, around,
Erin sitting in the Tomb, to watch them unceasing night and day:
And the Body of Albion was closèd apart from all Nations.
Over them the famish'd Eagle screams on bony wings, and around
Them howls the Wolf of famine; deep heaves the Ocean, black, thundering
Around the wormy Garments of Albion, then pausing in deathlike silence.
Time was Finishèd!

The Wrath of God

The Breath Divine went forth over the morning hills. Albion rose
In anger, the wrath of God, breaking bright, flaming on all sides around
His awful limbs: into the Heavens he walkèd, clothèd in flames,
Loud thund'ring, with broad flashes of flaming lightning and pillars
Of fire, speaking the Words of Eternity in Human Forms, in direful
Revolutions of Action and Passion, thro' the Four Elements on all sides
Surrounding his awful Members. Thou seest the Sun in heavy clouds
Struggling to rise above the Mountains; in his burning hand
He takes his Bow, then chooses out his arrows of flaming gold;
Murmuring, the Bowstring breathes with ardour; clouds roll round the
Horns of the wide Bow; loud sounding winds sport on the mountain brows,
Compelling Urizen to his Furrow, and Tharmas to his Sheepfold,
And Luvah to his Loom.

The Divine Image

Jesus said: `Wouldest thou love one who never died
For thee, or ever die for one who had not died for thee?
And if God dieth not for Man, and giveth not Himself
Eternally for Man, Man could not exist; for Man is Love,
As God is Love: every kindness to another is a little Death
In the Divine Image; nor can Man exist but by Brotherhood.'

The End of the Song of Jerusalem

All Human Forms identifièd, even Tree, Metal, Earth, and Stone; all
Human Forms identifièd, living, going forth and returning wearied
Into the Planetary lives of Years, Months, Days and Hours; reposing,
And then awaking into His bosom in the Life of Immortality.
And I heard the Name of their Emanations: they are namèd Jerusalem.
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:10 am


Circa 1810


Mutual Forgiveness of each vice,
Such are the Gates of Paradise,
Against the Accuser's chief desire,
Who walk'd among the stones of fire.
Jehovah's Finger wrote the Law;
Then wept; then rose in zeal and awe,
And the dead corpse, from Sinai's heat,
Buried beneath His Mercy-seat.
O Christians! Christians! tell me why
You rear it on your altars high?

The Keys

The Caterpillar on the leaf
Reminds thee of thy Mother's grief

Of the Gates

1. My Eternal Man set in repose,
The Female from his darkness rose;
And she found me beneath a Tree,
A Mandrake, and in her Veil hid me.
Serpent Reasonings us entice
Of good and evil, virtue and vice,
2. Doubt self-jealous, Watery folly;
3. Struggling thro' Earth's melancholy;
4. Naked in Air, in shame and fear;
5. Blind in Fire, with shield and spear;
Two-horn'd Reasoning, cloven fiction,
In doubt, which is self-contradiction,
A dark Hermaphrodite we stood --

Rational truth, root of evil and good.
Round me flew the Flaming Sword;
Round her snowy Whirlwinds roar'd,
Freezing her Veil, the Mundane Shell.
6. I rent the Veil where the Dead dwell:
When weary Man enters his Cave,
He meets his Saviour in the grave.
Some find a Female Garment there,
And some a Male, woven with care;
Lest the Sexual Garments sweet
Should grow a devouring Winding-sheet.
7. One dies! Alas! the Living and Dead!
One is slain! and One is fled!
8. In Vain-glory hatcht and nurst,
By double Spectres, self-accurst.
My Son! my Son! thou treatest me
But as I have instructed thee.
9. On the shadows of the Moon,
Climbing thro' Night's highest noon;
10. In Time's Ocean falling, drown'd;
11 In Aged Ignorance profound,
Holy and cold, I clipp'd the wings
Of all sublunary things,
12. And in depths of my dungeons
Closed the Father and the Sons.
13. But when once I did descry
The Immortal Man that cannot die,
14. Thro' evening shades I haste away
To close the labours of my day.
15. The Door of Death I open found,
And the Worm weaving in the ground:
16. Thou'rt my Mother, from the womb;
Wife, Sister, Daughter, to the tomb;
Weaving to dreams the Sexual strife,
And weeping over the Web of Life.


To the Accuser who is The God of this World
Truly, my Satan, thou art but a dunce,
And dost not know the garment from the man;
Every harlot was a virgin once,
Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan.
Tho' thou art worship'd by the names divine
Of Jesus and Jehovah, thou art still
The Son of Morn in weary Night's decline,
The lost traveller's dream under the hill.
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Poetry, by William Blake

Postby admin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:11 am


Engraved 1822


To Lord Byron in the Wilderness:

What doest thou here, Elijah? Can a Poet doubt the Visions of Jehovah? Nature has no Outline, But Imagination has. Nature has no Tune, but Imagination has. Nature has no Supernatural, and dissolves: Imagination is eternity.

SCENE -- A rocky Country. EVE, fainted, over the dead body of ABEL, which lays near a Grave. ADAM kneels by her. JEHOVAH stands above.

Jehovah. Adam!

Adam. I will not hear Thee more, Thou Spiritual Voice Is this Death?

Jehovah. Adam!

Adam. It is in vain: I will not hear Thee Henceforth. Is this Thy Promise, that the Woman's seed Should bruise the Serpent's head? Is this the Serpent? Ah! Seven times, O Eve! thou hast fainted over the Dead. Ah! Ah!

EVE revives.

Eve. Is this the Promise of Jehovah? O! it is all a vain delusion, This Death, and this Life, and this Jehovah!

Jehovah. Woman, lift thine eyes!

A Voice is heard coming on.

Voice. O Earth, cover not thou my blood! cover not thou my blood!

Enter the Ghost of ABEL.

Eve. Thou visionary Phantasm, thou art not the real Abel.

Abel. Among the Elohim, a Human Victim I wander: I am their House.

Prince of the Air, and our dimensions compass Zenith and Nadir.

Vain is Thy Covenant, O Jehovah! I am the Accuser and Avenger

Of Blood. O Earth! cover not thou the blood of Abel.

Jehovah. What Vengeance dost thou require?

Abel. Life for Life! Life for Life!

Jehovah. He who shall take Cain's life must also die, O Abel! And who is he? Adam, wilt thou, or Eve, thou do this?

Adam. It is all a vain delusion of the all-creative Imagination. Eve, come away, and let us not believe these vain delusions. Abel is dead, and Cain slew him. We shall also die a death, And then -- what then? be, as poor Abel, a Thought; or as This? O! what shall I call Thee, Form Divine, Father of Mercies,

That appearest to my Spiritual Vision? Eve, seest thou also?

Eve. I see Him plainly with my Mind's Eye. I see also Abel living, Tho' terribly afflicted, as we also are; yet Jehovah sees him Alive and not dead. Were it not better to believe Vision With all our might and strength, tho' we are fallen and lost?

Adam. Eve, thou hast spoken truly; let us kneel before His feet.

They kneel before JEHOVAH.

Abel. Are these the sacrifices of Eternity, O Jehovah -- a broken spirit

And a contrite heart? O! I cannot forgive: the Accuser hath Enter'd into me as into his house, and I loathe Thy Tabernacles.

As Thou hast said, so is it come to pass. My desire is unto Cain,

And he doth rule over m 92f e; therefore my soul in fumes of blood

Cries for Vengeance, Sacrifice on Sacrifice, Blood on Blood!

Jehovah. Lo! I have given you a Lamb for an Atonement, instead Of the transgressor, or no Flesh or Spirit could ever live.

Abel.Compellèd I cry, O Earth! cover not the blood of Abel.

ABEL. sinks down into the Grave, from which arises SATAN, armed in glittering scales, with a Crown and a Spear.

Satan. I will have Human blood, and not the blood of bulls or goats,

And no Atonement, O Jehovah! The Elohim live on Sacrifice Of Men: hence I am God of Men! Thou human, O Jehovah!

By the rock and oak of the Druid, creeping mistletoe, and thorn,

Cain's city built with human blood, not blood of bulls and goats,

Thou shalt Thyself be sacrificed to Me, thy God! on Calvary.

Jehovah. Such is My Will -- (Thunders) -- that thou thyself go to Eternal Death.

In Self-Annihilation, even till Satan, self-subdu'd, put off Satan

Into the Bottomless Abyss, whose torment arises for ever and ever.

On each side a chorus of Angels, entering, sing the following:-

The Elohim of the Heathen swore Vengeance for Sin! Then Thou stood'st

Forth, O Elohim Jehovah! in the midst of the darkness of the Oath, all clothèd

In Thy Covenant of the Forgiveness of Sins. Death, O Holy! Is this Brotherhood?

The Elohim saw their Oath Eternal Fire: they rollèd apart, trembling, over the

Mercy-seat, each in his station fixt in the firmament by Peace Brotherhood, and Love.

The Curtain falls.
Site Admin
Posts: 31730
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Poetry

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest