WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827)
THE BOOK OF URIZEN (EXCERPT)
1 Lo, a shadow of horror is risen
2 In Eternity! Unknown, unprolific,
3 Self-clos'd, all-repelling: what demon
4 Hath form'd this abominable void,
5 This soul-shudd'ring vacuum? Some said
6 "It is Urizen." But unknown, abstracted,
7 Brooding, secret, the dark power hid.
8 Times on times he divided and measur'd
9 Space by space in his ninefold darkness,
10 Unseen, unknown; changes appear'd
11 Like desolate mountains, rifted furious
12 By the black winds of perturbation.
13 For he strove in battles dire,
14 In unseen conflictions with shapes
15 Bred from his forsaken wilderness
16 Of beast, bird, fish, serpent and element,
17 Combustion, blast, vapour and cloud.
18 Dark, revolving in silent activity:
19 Unseen in tormenting passions:
20 An activity unknown and horrible,
21 A self-contemplating shadow,
22 In enormous labours occupied.
23 But Eternals beheld his vast forests;
24 Age on ages he lay, clos'd, unknown,
25 Brooding shut in the deep; all avoid
26 The petrific, abominable chaos.
27 His cold horrors silent, dark Urizen
28 Prepar'd; his ten thousands of thunders,
29 Rang'd in gloom'd array, stretch out across
30 The dread world; and the rolling of wheels,
31 As of swelling seas, sound in his clouds,
32 In his hills of stor'd snows, in his mountains
33 Of hail and ice; voices of terror
34 Are heard, like thunders of autumn
35 When the cloud blazes over the harvests