Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BOOK OF AHANIA, by WILLIAM BLAKE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE BOOK OF AHANIA, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Fuzon, on a chariot iron wing'd
Last Line: Before they see the light.
Subject(s): Bible; Lament; Mythology

Chap: Ist

1. Fuzon, on a chariot iron-wing'd
On spiked flames rose; his hot visage
Flam'd furious! sparkles his hair & beard
Shot down his wide bosom and shoulders.
On clouds of smoke rages his chariot
And his right hand burns red in its cloud
Moulding into a vast globe, his wrath
As the thunder-stone is moulded.
Son of Urizens silent burnings

2. Shall we worship this Demon of smoke,
Said Fuzon, this abstract non-entity
This cloudy God seated on waters
Now seen, now obscur'd; King of sorrow?

3. So he spoke, in a fiery flame,
On Urizen frowning indignant,
The Globe of wrath shaking on high
Roaring with fury, he threw
The howling Globe: burning it flew
Lengthning into a hungry beam. Swiftly

4. Oppos'd to the exulting flam'd beam
The broad Disk of Urizen upheav'd
Across the Void many a mile.

5. It was forg'd in mills where the winter
Beats incessant; ten winters the disk
Unremitting endur'd the cold hammer.

6. But the strong arm that sent it, remember'd
The sounding beam; laughing it tore through
That beaten mass: keeping its direction
The cold loins of Urizen dividing.

7. Dire shriek'd his invisible Lust
Deep groan'd Urizen! stretching his awful hand
Ahania (so name his parted soul)
He siez'd on his mountains of jealousy.
He groand anguishd & called her Sin,
Kissing her and weeping over her;
Then hid her in darkness in silence;
Jealous tho' she was invisible.

8. She fell down a faint shadow wandring
In chaos and circling dark Urizen,
As the moon anguishd circles the earth;
Hopeless! abhorrd! a death-shadow,
Unseen, unbodied, unknown,
The mother of Pestilence.

9. But the fiery beam of Fuzon
Was a pillar of fire to Egypt
Five hundred years wandring on earth
Till Los siezd it and beat in a mass
With the body of the sun.

Chap: II:d

1.But the forehead of Urizen gathering,
And his eyes pale with anguish, his lips
Blue & changing; in tears and bitter
Contrition he prepar'd his Bow,

2. Form'd of Ribs: that in his dark solitude
When obscur'd in his forests fell monsters,
Arose. For his dire Contemplations
Rush'd down like floods from his mountains
In torrents of mud settling thick
With Eggs of unnatural production
Forthwith hatching; some howl'd on his hills
Some in vales; some aloft flew in air

3. Of these: an enormous dread Serpent
Scaled and poisonous horned
Approach'd Urizen even to his knees
As he sat on his dark rooted Oak.

4. With his horns he push'd furious.
Great the conflict & great the jealousy
In cold poisons: but Urizen smote him

5. First he poison'd the rocks with his blood
Then polish'd his ribs, and his sinews
Dried; laid them apart till winter;
Then a Bow black prepar'd; on this Bow,
A poisoned rock plac'd in silence:
He utter'd these words to the Bow.

6. O Bow of the clouds of secresy!
O nerve of that lust form'd monster!
Send this rock swift, invisible thro'
The black clouds, on the bosom of Fuzon

7. So saying, In torment of his wounds,
He bent the enormous ribs slowly;
A circle of darkness! then fixed
The sinew in its rest: then the Rock
Poisonous source! plac'd with art, lifting difficult
Its weighty bulk: silent the rock lay.

8. While Fuzon his tygers unloosing
Thought Urizen slain by his wrath.
I am God. said he, eldest of things!

9. Sudden sings the rock, swift & invisible
0n Fuzon flew, enter'd his bosom;
His beautiful visage, his tresses,
That gave light to the mornings of heaven
Were smitten with darkness, deform'd
And outstretch'd on the edge of the forest

10. But the rock fell upon the Earth,
Mount Sinai, in Arabia.

Chap: III:

1. The Globe shook; and Urizen seated
On black clouds his sore wound anointed
The ointment flow'd down on the void
Mix'd with blood; here the snake gets her poison

2. With difficulty & great pain; Urizen
Lifted on high the dead corse:
On his shoulders he bore it to where
A Tree hung over the Immensity

3. For when Urizen shrunk away
From Eternals, he sat on a rock
Barren; a rock which himself
From redounding fancies had petrified
Many tears fell on the rock,
Many sparks of vegetation;
Soon shot the pained root
Of Mystery, under his heel:
It grew a thick tree; he wrote
In silence his book of iron:
Till the horrid plant bending its boughs
Grew to roots when it felt the earth
And again sprung to many a tree.

4. Amaz'd started Urizen! when
He beheld himself compassed round
And high roofed over with trees
He arose but the stems stood so thick
He with difficulty and great pain
Brought his Books, all but the Book
Of iron, from the dismal shade

5. The Tree still grows over the Void
Enrooting itself all around
An endless labyrinth of woe!

6. The corse of his first begotten
On the accursed Tree of MYSTERY:
On the topmost stem of this Tree
Urizen nail'd Fuzons corse.

Chap: IV:

1. Forth flew the arrows of pestilence
Round the pale living Corse on the tree

2. For in Urizens slumbers of abstraction
In the infinite ages of Eternity:
When his Nerves of joy melted & flow'd
A white Lake on the dark blue air
In perturb'd pain and dismal torment
Now stretching out, now swift conglobing.

3. Effluvia vapor'd above
In noxious clouds; these hover'd thick
Over the disorganiz'd Immortal,
Till petrific pain scurfd o'er the Lakes
As the bones of man, solid & dark

4. The clouds of disease hover'd wide
Around the Immortal in torment
Perching around the hurtling bones
Disease on disease, shape on shape,
Winged screaming in blood & torment.

5. The Eternal Prophet beat on his anvils
Enrag'd in the desolate darkness
He forg'd nets of iron around
And Los threw them around the bones

6. The shapes screaming flutter'd vain
Some combin'd into muscles & glands
Some organs for craving and lust
Most remain'd on the tormented void:
Urizens army of horrors.

7. Round the pale living Corse on the Tree
Forty years flew the arrows of pestilence

8. Wailing and terror and woe
Ran thro' all his dismal world:
Forty years all his sons & daughters
Felt their skulls harden; then Asia
Arose in the pendulous deep.

9. They reptilize upon the Earth.

10. Fuzon groand on the Tree.

Chap: V

1. The lamenting voice of Ahania
Weeping upon the void.
And round the Tree of Fuzon:
Distant in solitary night
Her voice was heard, but no form
Had she: but her tears from clouds
Eternal fell round the Tree

2. And the voice cried: Ah Urizen! Love!
Flower of morning! I weep on the verge
Of Non-entity; how wide the Abyss
Between Ahania and thee!

3. I lie on the verge of the deep.
I see thy dark clouds ascend,
I see thy black forests and floods,
A horrible waste to my eyes!

4. Weeping I walk over rocks
Over dens & thro' valleys of death
Why didst thou despise Ahania
To cast me from thy bright presence
Into the World of Loneness

5. I cannot touch his hand:
Nor weep on his knees, nor hear
His voice & bow, nor see his eyes
And joy, nor hear his footsteps, and
My heart leap at the lovely sound!
I cannot kiss the place
Whereon his bright feet have trod,
But I wander on the rocks
With hard necessity.

6. Where is my golden palace
Where my ivory bed
Where the joy of my morning hour
Where the sons of eternity, singing

7. To awake bright Urizen my king!
To arise to the mountain sport,
To the bliss of eternal valleys:

8. To awake my king in the morn!
To embrace Ahanias joy
On the bredth of his open bosom:
From my soft cloud of dew to fall
In showers of life on his harvests.

9. When he gave my happy soul
To the sons of eternal joy:
When he took the daughters of life.
Into my chambers of love:

10. When I found babes of bliss on my beds.
And bosoms of milk in my chambers
Fill'd with eternal seed
O! eternal births sung round Ahania
In interchange sweet of their joys.

11. Swell'd with ripeness & fat with fatness
Bursting on winds my odors,
My ripe figs and rich pomegranates
In infant joy at thy feet
O Urizen, sported and sang;

12. Then thou with thy lap full of seed
With thy band full of generous fire
Walked forth from the clouds of morning
On the virgins of springing joy,
On the human soul to cast
The seed of eternal science.

13. The sweat poured down thy temples
To Ahania return'd in evening
The moisture awoke to birth
My mothers-joys, sleeping in bliss.

14. But now alone over rocks, mountains
Cast out from thy lovely bosom:
Cruel jealousy! selfish fear!
Self-destroying: how can delight,
Renew in these chains of darkness
Where bones of beasts are strown
On the bleak and snowy mountains
Where bones from the birth are buried
Before they see the light.

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