Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/136

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122
THE FIRST BOOK OF URIZEN.

light, though ho lay closed in forests, always the type of dark, melancholy, all absorbing vegetation.

6. But he had a kind of vitality, though it was harsh. He prepared thunders (thoughts), wheels (demonstrations and revenges), and terrible sounds as of sea, silence as of snow, scourging as of hail, hardness as of ice, and dreadfulness as of a thunderstorm in harvest time. Such were the offspring first begotten by the Primeval Priest, the unimaginative Mind, the tyrant Reason, alone in his self -hood.


Chapter II.

1. At this time Earth was not, for when we contemplate mind in this portion of the vision that is its history, we do not yet see Earth, nor globes of attraction, nor any other personated forms of space. We do not see either the drop of water, or the drop of blood; only the first Shadow, the primal Cloud.

The Shadow (which contains the five senses, and their attendant of Reason), not having yet solidified is still gifted with the powers of imagination which it will desert in order to get power over imagination. Thus it belonged to the region of eternal life. But it had entered into Self-hood by self-contemplation (under the law, "what we look on we become," compare "Jerusalem." 5 p. 34, 1. 50), and was thus already beginning to be the great Satan, or Error, and receive a body, that it might be put off by death. It was for this that he was given a place in the North. But much must be seen before the vision will reveal that this is its meaning.

2. Suddenly, while Urizen was lying as a mere self-contemplating shadow, the sound of a trumpet was heard. This means that desire began. The story in this second chapter goes back a stage to tell more in detail what has been broadly hinted. At the sound of the trumpet the Heaven, that is to say, Urizen's propagative faculty, and vast clouds of