William Blake (1757–1827). The Poetical Works. 1908.The Song of Los
I will sing you a song of Los, the Eternal Prophet:
He sung it to four harps, at the tables of Eternity,
In heart-formèd Africa.
Urizen faded! Ariston shudder’d!
And thus the Song began:—
And Noah on the mountains of Ararat;
They saw Urizen give his Laws to the Nations
By the hands of the children of Los.
When Rintrah gave Abstract Philosophy to Brahma in the East,
(Night spoke to the Cloud:
‘Lo! these Human-form’d spirits, in smiling hypocrisy, war
Against one another; so let them war on, slaves to the eternal elements.’)
Noah shrunk beneath the waters;
Abram fled in fires from Chaldaea;
Moses beheld upon Mount Sinai forms of dark delusion.
To Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato.
Orc on Mount Atlas howl’d, chain’d down with the Chain of Jealousy;
Then Oothoon hover’d over Judah and Jerusalem,
And Jesus heard her voice—a Man of Sorrows!—He receiv’d
A Gospel from wretched Theotormon.
Secluded places, fearing the joys of Love,
And the diseasèd only propagated.
So Antamon call’d up Leutha from her valleys of delight,
And to Mahomet a loose Bible gave;
But in the North, to Odin, Sotha gave a Code of War,
Because of Diralada, thinking to reclaim his joy.
Like nets and gins and traps, to catch the joys of Eternity,
And all the rest a desert;
Till, like a dream, Eternity was obliterated and erasèd,
Because their brethren and sisters liv’d in War and Lust;
And, as they fled, they shrunk
Into two narrow doleful forms,
Creeping in reptile flesh upon
The bosom of the ground;
And all the vast of Nature shrunk
Before their shrunken eyes.
Laws and Religions to the sons of Har, binding them more
And more to Earth, closing and restraining;
Till a Philosophy of Five Senses was complete:
Urizen wept, and gave it into the hands of Newton and Locke.
And on the mountains of Lebanon round the deceasèd Gods
Of Asia, and on the deserts of Africa round the Fallen Angels.
The Guardian Prince of Albion burns in his nightly tent.