The Poetry Corner

The Book Of Urizen: Chapter V

By William Blake

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 & clashings & groans The Immortal endur'd his chains, Tho' bound in a deadly sleep. 2. All the myriads of Eternity: All the wisdom & 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 & hammer are silent now A nerveless silence, his prophetic voice Siez'd; a cold solitude & dark void The Eternal Prophet & Urizen clos'd 5. Ages on ages rolld over them Cut off from life & 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, & Pity began, 7. In anguish dividing & dividing For pity divides the soul In pangs eternity on eternity Life in cataracts pourd 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 seperation 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; Fib'rous, writhing upon the winds; Fibres of blood, milk and tears; In pangs, eternity on eternity. At length in tears & cries imbodied A female form trembling and pale Waves before his deathy face 9. All Eternity shudderd 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 & 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 fastend in the pillars With infinite labour the Eternals A woof wove, and called it Science