Verse > William Blake > Poetical Works
William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
Selections from ‘The Four Zoas’
[The War-Song of Orc]
(Four Zoas, Night VII, First Version, ll. 142–56.)

LOUD sounds the war-song round red Orc in his fury,
And round the nameless Shadowy Female in her howling terror,
When all the Elemental Gods join’d in the wondrous song:—
‘Sound the war-trumpet terrific, souls clad in attractive steel!
Sound the shrill fife, Serpents of War! I hear the northern drum        5
Awake! I hear the flappings of the folding banners!
The Dragons of the North put on their armour;
Upon the eastern sea direct they take their course;
The glitt’ring of their horses’ trappings stains the vault of night.
‘Stop we the rising of the glorious King! spur, spur your clouds 1        10
Of death! O northern drum, awake! O hand of iron, sound
The northern drum! Now give the charge! bravely obscur’d
With darts of wintry hail! Again the black bow draw;
Again the elemental strings to your right breasts draw;
And let the thund’ring drum speed on the arrows black!’        15
Note 1. 10 clouds] steeds MS. 1st rdg. del. [back]

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