Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/171

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157
AMERICA.


But page 8 of the extra pages of " Milton " identifies Satan also with " Urizen, drawn down by Ore and the shadowy- female into generation. "

This, then, is the "dragon Urizen" (" Jerusalem," 1. 12) of the "Wars of Urizen" (" Vala," VIII., 11.410, 422)— who "vibrates" ("Vala," Night VII., 1. 609, and "Milton," page 8, line 8) — who is the Prester Serpent, over whose head a cowl of Flesh was drawn, over whom the fleshly Tree of Mystery grew (" Vala," Night VII., line 36, and " Song of Experience," The Human Abstract), and the frozen waters (Night VII., line 64) and who, like every Zoa that falls into a dragon form or serpent, including Ore (" Vala, Night VII., line 152), is identifiable with much that belongs to the Phallic symbol in classic mythology.

After this is considered, the opening line of the " Prophecy of America " has no more enigmatic difficulty. The burning, the blood, are in keeping with the central idea. He is essentially the Male potency. The story of the Prophecy goes on with a speech from Washington, not in his historic but in his symbolic character as one of the forces of the instinctive imagination, a hero of the "wars of Eden."

He sees a bow bended in heaven, — a reference to that of the Shadowy Female, — and at the same time a chain descending from Albion's cliffs to bind the friends of freedom, that they may be enslaved, tasked, and whipped into forgetfulness. This climax is to be understood by remembering that the greatest of dangers is lest we should become what we behold, as Los did when he had enslaved Urizen during seven ages, to temporary necessities of physical life, and, like him, we should "forget Eternity."

Albion appeared then on his cliffs in his angry dragon form, as Urizen the Tyrant, masculine energy appears as personality, not Humanity, and instinctive rebellion also shows itself gloomy, as of the cloud.