The Poetry Corner

The Book Of Urizen: Chapter III

By William Blake

I 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 siez'd the strong II Rage, fury, intense indignation In cataracts of fire blood & gall In whirlwinds of sulphurous smoke: And enormous forms of energy; All the seven deadly sins of the soul In living creations appear'd In the flames of eternal fury. III 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 & all between An ocean of voidness unfathomable. IV The roaring fires ran o'er the heav'ns In whirlwinds & cataracts of blood And o'er the dark desarts of Urizen Fires pour thro' the void on all sides On Urizens self-begotten armies. V But no light from the fires. all was darkness In the flames of Eternal fury VI In fierce anguish & quenchless flames To the desarts and rocks He ran raging To hide, but He could not: combining He dug mountains & hills in vast strength, He piled them in incessant labour, In howlings & pangs & fierce madness Long periods in burning fires labouring Till hoary, and age-broke, and aged, In despair and the shadows of death. VII 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; & like a black globe View'd by sons of Eternity, standing On the shore of the infinite ocean Like a human heart strugling & beating The vast world of Urizen appear'd. VIII 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 IX 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. X But Urizen laid in a stony sleep Unorganiz'd, rent from Eternity XI The Eternals said: What is this? Death Urizen is a clod of clay. XII Los howld in a dismal stupor, Groaning! gnashing! groaning! Till the wrenching apart was healed XIII But the wrenching of Urizen heal'd not Cold, featureless, flesh or clay, Rifted with direful changes He lay in a dreamless night XIV Till Los rouz'd his fires, affrighted At the formless unmeasurable death.