Verse > William Blake > Poetical Works
William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
Selections from ‘Milton’
[The Building of Time]
(Milton, f. 27, l. 44–f. 28, l. 3.)

BUT others of the Sons of Los build Moments and Minutes and Hours,
And Days and Months and Years, and Ages and Periods: wondrous buildings!
And every Moment has a Couch of gold for soft repose—
A Moment equals a pulsation of the artery—
And between every two Moments stands a Daughter of Beulah,        5
To feed the Sleepers on their Couches with maternal care.
And every Minute has an azure Tent with silken Veils;
And every Hour has a bright golden Gate carvèd with skill;
And every Day and Night has Walls of brass and Gates of adamant,
Shining like precious stones, and ornamented with appropriate signs;        10
And every Month a silver-pavèd Terrace, builded high;
And every Year invulnerable Barriers with high Towers;
And every Age is moated deep with Bridges of silver and gold;
And every Seven Ages is encircled with a Flaming Fire.
Now Seven Ages is amounting to Two Hundred Years:        15
Each has its Guard, each Moment, Minute, Hour, Day, Month and Year;
All are the work of Fairy hands of the Four Elements:
The Guard are Angels of Providence on duty evermore.
Every Time less than a pulsation of the artery
Is equal in its period and value to Six Thousand Years;        20
For in this Period the Poet’s Work is done; and all the great
Events of Time start forth and are conceiv’d in such a Period,
Within a Moment, a Pulsation of the Artery.

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