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Book of Urizen, The (excerpts) Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Blake Type: Poetry Views: 711

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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.


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.


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.


Dark, revolving in silent activity:

Unseen in tormenting passions:

An activity unknown and horrible,

A self-contemplating shadow,

In enormous labours occupied.


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.


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.


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