The Poetry Corner

The Book Of Urizen (excerpts)

By William Blake

Chapter 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. Chapter 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. Chapter 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. Chapter 4 Dark, revolving in silent activity: Unseen in tormenting passions: An activity unknown and horrible, A self-contemplating shadow, In enormous labours occupied. Chapter 5 But Eternals beheld his vast forests; Age on ages he lay, clos'd, unknown, Brooding shut in the deep; all avoid The petrific, abominable chaos. Chapter 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.