Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/173

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159
AMERICA.

Human symbolism, answered like a howling Lion, a desiring but unappeased strength, and identified the voice of freedom as the voice of Ore, the wicked Ore, the dragon Ore, the devourer, or absorber into body of Enitharmon's children, or the joys of life, the drawer down into generation of that which obedient morality would keep at least from the mud, the red earth, the clay, the Adam.

Ore admitted at once that he was the evil Ore, because it was of no consequence so long as he was not prevented by restraints from being the good Ore. He was the harvest all at once, — tares and wheat. He even hit himself harder than the angel hit him by admitting that he was the grovelling, fallen Ore, who climbed, serpent-like, up the tree of Mystery, — the growing body, — and who was thus not only himself, but the Shadowy Female also,— who takes his form in " Vala," VIII., line 82. The active mind, the eternal principle is the life, he proclaimed, not the series of actions, some good, some evil, which were its material manifestations to-day, and are dust to-morrow. The law made to restrain the temporary simply destroys the eternal. He stamps it to dust. It was the mere "law of Prudence" made by Urizen when he dragged the hosts of intellectual lights that should have been starry through the wilderness of mere logic. Notwithstanding fleshly passions, the real humanity walks uninjured amidst their fires. His feet, "the nether regions of the imagina- tion," become like brass —

His knees and thighs, neighbours to the region of the loins and therefore yet nearer to the flames, become like silver. His head and breast, the place of light, and of emotion, like gold.

But the one Angel voice, the Obedient Tyrant, called on thirteen others to arise in their alarm. The speaker and the thirteen make fourteen, the number of Ore's years of first bondage. He cried that bodily hunger of joy was set free like a wild beast, and that the demons of restraint were losing their power of punishing, or of suppressing the fruitfulness