The Book of Los

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LAMBETH Printed by W Blake 1795

[ PLATE3 ]


Chap. I

1: Eno aged Mother, Who the chariot of Leutha guides, Since the day of thunders in old time 2: Sitting beneath the eternal Oak Trembled and shook the stedfast Earth5 And thus her speech broke forth. 3: O Times remote! When Love & joy were adoration: And none impure were deem’d. Not Eyeless Covet10 Nor Thin-lip’d Envy Nor Bristled Wrath Nor Curled Wantonness 4: But Covet was poured full: Envy fed with fat of lambs:15 Wrath with lions gore: Wantonness lulld to sleep With the virgins lute, Or sated with her love. 91 5: Till Covet broke his locks & bars,20 And slept with open doors: Envy sung at the rich mans feast: Wrath was follow’d up and down By a little ewe lamb And Wantonness on his own true love25 Begot a giant race: 6: Raging furious the flames of desire Ran thro' heaven & earth, living flames Intelligent, organiz’d: arm’d With destruction & plagues. In the midst30 The Eternal Prophet bound in a chain Compell’d to watch Urizens shadow 7: Rag’d with curses & sparkles of fury Round the flames roll as Los hurls his chains Mounting up from his fury, condens’d35 Rolling round & round, mounting on high Into vacuum: into non-entity. Where nothing was! dash’d wide apart His feet stamp the eternal fierce-raging Rivers of wide flame; they roll round40 And round on all sides making their way Into darkness and shadowy obscurity 8: Wide apart stood the fires: Los remain’d In the void between fire and fire In trembling and horror they beheld him45 They stood wide apart, driv’n by his hands And his feet which the nether abyss Stamp’d in fury and hot indignation 9: But no light from the fires all was

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Darkness round Los: heat was not; for bound up Into fiery spheres from his fury The gigantic flames trembled and hid 1O: Coldness, darkness, obstruction, a Solid Without fluctuation, hard as adamant5 Black as marble of Egypt; impenetrable Bound in the fierce raging Immortal, And the seperated fires froze in A vast solid without fluctuation, Bound in his expanding clear senses10

Chap: II 1: The Immortal stood frozen amidst The vast rock of eternity; times And times; a night of vast durance: Impatient, stifled, stiffend, hardned. 2: Till impatience no longer could bear15 The hard bondage, rent: rent, the vast solid With a crash from immense to immense 3: Crack’d across into numberless fragments The Prophetic wrath, strug’ling for vent Hurls apart, stamping furious to dust20 And crumbling with bursting sobs; heaves The black marble on high into fragments 4: Hurl’d apart on all sides, as a falling Rock: the innumerable fragments away Fell asunder; and horrible vacuum25 Beneath him & on all sides round. 5: Falling, falling! Los fell & fell Sunk precipitant heavy down down Times on times, night on night, day on day Truth has bounds. Error none: falling, falling:30 Years on years, and ages on ages Still he fell thro' the void, still a void Found for falling day & night without end. For tho' day or night was not; their spaces Were measurd by his incessant whirls35 In the horrid vacuity bottomless. 6: The Immortal revolving; indignant First in wrath threw his limbs, like the babe New born into our world: wrath subsided And contemplative thoughts first arose40 Then aloft his head rear’d in the Abyss And his downward-borne fall. chang’d oblique 7: Many ages of groans: till there grew Branchy forms. organizing the Human Into finite inflexible organs.45 8: Till in process from falling he bore Sidelong on the purple air, wafting The weak breeze in efforts oerwearied 9: Incessant the falling Mind labour’d Organizing itself: till the Vacuum50 Became element, pliant to rise, 93 Or to fall, or to swim, or to fly: With ease searching the dire vacuity b1.14.3 Chap: III 1: The Lungs heave incessant, dull and heavy For as yet were all other parts formless55 Shiv’ring: clinging around like a cloud Dim & glutinous as the white Polypus Driv’n by waves & englob’d on the tide. 2: And the unformed part crav’d repose Sleep began: the Lungs heave on the wave60 Weary overweigh’d, sinking beneath In a stifling black fluid he woke 3: He arose on the waters, but soon Heavy falling his organs like roots Shooting out from the seed, shot beneath,65 And a vast world of waters around him In furious torrents began. 4: Then he sunk, & around his spent Lungs Began intricate pipes that drew in The spawn of the waters. Outbranching70

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An immense Fibrous form, stretching out Thro' the bottoms of immensity raging. 5: He rose on the floods: then he smote The wild deep with his terrible wrath, Seperating the heavy and thin.5 6: Down the heavy sunk; cleaving around To the fragments of solid: up rose The thin, flowing round the fierce fires That glow’d furious in the expanse.

Chap: IV:

I: Then Light first began; from the fires10 Beams, conducted by fluid so pure . Flow’d around the Immense: Los beheld Forthwith writhing upon the dark void The Back bone of Urizen appear Hurtling upon the wind15 Like a serpent! like an iron chain Whirling about in the Deep.

2: Upfolding his Fibres together To a Form of impregnable strength Los astonish’d and terrified, built20 Furnaces; he formed an Anvil A Hammer of adamant then began The binding of Urizen day and night

3: Circling round the dark Demon, with howlings Dismay & sharp blightings; the Prophet25 Of Eternity beat on his iron links

4: And first from those infinite fires The light that flow’d down on the winds lie siez’d; beating incessant, condensing The subtil particles in an Orb.30

5: Roaring indignant the bright sparks Endur’d the vast Hammer; but unwearied Los beat on the Anvil; till glorious An immense Orb of fire be fram’d

6: Oft he quench’d it beneath in the Deeps35 Then surveyd the all bright mass. Again Siezing fires from the terrific Orbs He heated the round Globe, then beat While roaring his Furnaces endur’d The chaind Orb in their infinite wombs40

7: Nine ages completed their circles When Los heated the glowing mass, casting It down into the Deeps: the Deeps fled Away in redounding smoke; the Sun Stood self-balanc’d. And Los smild with joy.45 He the vast Spine of Urizen siez’d And bound down to the glowing illusion

8: But no light, for the Deep fled away On all sides, and left an unform’d Dark vacuity: here Urizen lay50 In fierce torments oil his glowing bed

9: Till his Brain in a rock, & his Heart In a fleshy slough formed four rivers Obscuring the immense Orb of fire Flowing down into night: till a Form55 Was completed, a Human Illusion In darkness and deep clouds involvd.

The End of the

Book of LOS