Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/180

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
166
EUROPE

Orc, who was in himself the personified Flames of spiritual desire, had his necessary counterpart, the cloud, that on which spiritual desire acts, which in its largest conception is called "matter," and is a maternal element so general as to be nameless.

This counterpart arising, as emanations do, from Orc's breast, had, like Hela, snakey hair, for hair symbolizes the energy of thought, and the serpent is always Nature, the dust-eater. This hair flourishing in the winds of Enitharmon, the heart of space, aroused her to speak. (1-3.)

Mother Enitharmon, — she cried, — wilt thou bring forth other sons than Orc, for that of which I am made must make their wives, and I shall be absorbed into their fury, as a cloud dispersed away by lightning and thunder. (4-7.) Already my roots are within, in the heavens, the region of passion, my fruits outside in the cold earth, region of experience. Destructive experiences that consume imagination are the progeny of marriage with Orc. Why shouldest thou, the spiritual essence of Space, bring me, by nature a mere cloud, temporary contrast of the great fire, into life ? (8-11.)

In vain I shrink from them into vegetative instincts of the region of watery growth. From the sun and moon and stars, spiritual potencies of red passion, fall the prolific pains that fertilize me. (12-15.)

Unwillingly, in looking up I find myself married to the stars by the act of seeing them. These mental forces of personality have for sons the devouring kings on earth, and tyrannies of the reason in intellect, when wedded to my maternal region of experience. (16-19.)

The mountains most desolate ; the convictions and moralities most without imagination ; the hearts, or forests, most dark with the melancholy of mortality; the hollowest trees, wombs of vegetative maternity, are full of my progeny — desires that work in experience when experience turns into