Milton (excerpts)/Book the First

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Book the First

Book the First

Daughters of Beulah! Muses who inspire the Poet’s Song,

Record the journey of immortal Milton thro’ you Realms

Of terror & mild moony luster, in soft sexual delusions

Of varied beauty, to delight the wanderer and repose

His burning thirst & descending down the Nerves of my right arm

From out the Portals of my Brain, where by your ministry

The Eternal Great Humanity Divine planted his Paradise,

And in it caus’d the Spectres of the Dead to take sweet forms

In likeness of himself. Tell also of the False Tongue! vegetated

Beneath your land of shadows, of its sacrifices and

Its offerings, even till Jesus, the image of the Invisible God,

Became its prey – a curse, an offering and an atonement

For Death Eternal in the heavens of Albion, & before the Gates

Of Jerusalem his Emanation, in the heavens beneath Beulah.

Say first! what mov’d Milton, who walk’d about in Eternity

One hundred years, pond’ring the intricate mazes of Providence,

Unhappy tho’ in heav’n – he obey’d, he murmur’d not, he was silent

Viewing his Sixfold Emanation scatter’d thro’ the deep

In torment – To go into the deep, her to redeem & himself perish?

What cause at length mov’d Milton to this unexampled deed?

A Bard’s prophetic Song! for sitting at eternal tables,

Terrific among the Sons of Albion in chorus solemn & loud,

A Bard broke forth! all sat attentive to the awful man.

* * *

Then Milton rose up form the heavens of Albion ardorous.

The whole Assembly wept prophetic, seeing in Milton’s face

And in his lineaments divine the shades of Death & Ulro.

He took off the robe of the promise, & ungirded himself from the oath of God.

And Milton said: ‘I go to Eternal Death! The Nations still

Follow after the detestable Gods of Priam, in pomp

Of warlike selfhood, contradicting and blaspheming.

When will the Resurrection come to deliver the sleeping body

From corruptibility? O when, Lord Jesus, wilt thou come?

Tarry no longer, for my soul lies at the gates of death.

I will arise and look forth for the morning of the grave;

I will go down to the sepulcher to see if morning breaks;

I will go down to self annihilation and eternal death,

Lest the Last Judgment come & find me unannihilate,

And I be seiz’d & giv’n into the hands of my own Selfhood.

The Lamb of God is seen thro’ mists & shadows, hov’ring

Over the sepulchers in clouds of Jehovah & winds of Elohim,

A disk of blood, distant; & heav’ns & earths roll dark between.

What do I here before the Judgment? without my Emanation?

With the daughters of memory & not with the daughters of inspiration?

I in my Selfhood am that Satan; I am that Evil One!

He is my Spectre! In my obedience to loose him from my Hells,

To claim the Hells, my Furnaces, I go to Eternal Death.’

* * *

But Milton entering my Foot, I saw in the nether

Regions of the Imagination – also all men on Earth

And all in Heaven saw in the nether region of the Imagination

In Ulro beneath Beulah – the vast breach of Milton’s descent.

But I knew not that it was Milton, for man cannot know

What passes in his members till periods of Space & Time

Reveal the secrets of Eternity; for more extensive

Than any other earthly things are Man’s earthly lineaments.

And all this Vegetable World appear’d on my left Foot,

As a bright sandal from’d immortal of precious stones & gold:

I stooped down & bound it on to walk forward thro’ Eternity.

* * *

…what time I bound my sandals

On to walk forward thro’ Eternity, Los descended to me;

And Los behind me stood, a terrible flaming Sun, just close

Behind my back. I turned round in terror, and behold!

Los stood in that fierce glowing fire, & he also stoop’d down

And bound my sandals on in Udan-Adan. Trembling I stood

Exceedingly with fear & terror, standing in the Vale

Of Lambeth; but he kissed me, and wish’d me health,

And I became One Man with him arising in my strength.

‘Twas too late now to recede. Los had enter’d into my soul;

his terrors now posses’d me whole! I arose in fury & strength.

‘I am that Shadowy Prophet who Six Thousand Years ago

Fell from my station in the Eternal bosom. Six Thousand Years

Are finish’d. I return! both Time & Space obey my will.

I in Six Thousand Years walk up and down; for not one Moment

Of Time is lost, nor one Event of Space unpermanent,

But all remain; every fabric of Six Thousand Years

Remains permanent. Tho’ on the Earth where Satan

Fell and was cut off all things vanish & are seen no more,

They vanish not from me & mine; we guard them first & last.

The generations of men run on in the tide of Time,

But leave their destin’d lineaments permanent for ever & ever.’

* * *

Los is by mortals nam’d Time; Enitharmon is nam’d Space.

But they depict him bald & aged who is in eternal youth,

All powerful, and his locks flourish like the brows of morning.

He is the Spirit of Prophecy, the ever apparent Elias.

Time is the mercy of Eternity; without Time’s swiftness,

Which is the swiftest of all things, all were eternal torment.

All the Gods of the Kingdoms of Earth labour in Los’s Halls:

Every one is a fallen Son of the Spirit of Prophecy;

He is the Fourth Zoa, that stood around the Throne Divine.

* * *

Thou seest the Constellations in the deep & wondrous Night;

They rise in order and countinue their immortal courses

Upon the mountains & in vales, with harp & heavenly song,

With flute & clarion, with cups & measures fill’d with foaming wine.

Glitt’ring the streams reflect the Vision of beatitude,

And the calm Ocean joys beneath & smooths his awful waves.

These are the Sons of Los, & these the Labourers of the Vintage.

Thou seest the gorgeous clothed Flies that dance & sport in summer

Upon the sunny brooks & meadows; every one the dance

Knows in its intricate mazes of delight artful to weave,

Each one to sound his instruments of music in the dace,

To touch each other & recede, to cross & change & return.

These are the Children of Los. Thou seest the Trees on mountains;

The wind blows heavy, loud they thunder thro’ the darksome sky,

Uttering prophecies & speaking instructive words to the sons

Of men. These are the Sons of Los, these the Visions of Eternity;

But we see only as it were the hem of their garments

When with our vegetable eyes we view these wondrous Visions.

And every Generated Body in its inward form

Is a garden of delight & a building of magnificence,

Built by the Sons of Los in Bowlahoola & Allamanda;

And the herbs & flowers & furniture & beds &chambers

Continually woven in the Looms of Enitharmon’s Daughters,

In bright Cathedron’s golden Dome with care & love & tears.

For the various Classes of Men are all mark’d out determinate

In Bowlahoola, & as the Spectures choose their affinities

So they are born on Earth, & every Class is determinate;

But not by Natural, but by Spiritual power alone, because

The Natural power continually seeks & tends to Destruction,

Ending in Death, which would of itself be Eternal Death.

And all are Class’d by Spiritual & not by Natural power,

And every Neutral Effect has a Spiritual Cause, and Not

A Natural; for a natural Cause only seems: it is a Delusion

Of Ulro, & a ratio of the perishing Vegetable Memory.

* * *

But others of the Sons of Los build Moments & Minutes & Hours

And Days & Months & Years & Ages & Periods, wondrous buildings;

And every Moment has a Couch of gold for soft repose,

(A Moment equals a pulsation of the artery),

And between every two Moments stands a Daughter of Beulah

To feed the Sleepers on their Couches with maternal care.

And Every Minute has an azure Tent with silken Veils;

And Every Hour has a bright golden Gate carved with skill;

And every Day & Night has Walls of brass & Gates of adamant,

Shining like precious stones & ornamented with appropriate signs;

And every Month a silver paved Terrace builded high;

And every Year invulnerable Barriers wit high Towers;

And every Age is Moated deep with Bridges of silver & gold;

And every Seven Ages is Incircled with a Flaming Fire.

Now Seven Ages is amounting to Two Hundred Years:

Each has its Guard, each Moment, Minute, Hour, Day, Month & Year.

All are the work of Fairy hands of the Four Elements.

The Guard are Angels of Providence on duty evermore.

Every Time less than a pulsation of the artery

Is equal in its period & value to Six Thousand Years;

For in this Period the Poet’s work is Done, and all the Great

Events of Time start forth & are conciev’d in such a Period,

Within a Moment, a Pulsation of the Artery.

The Sky is an immortal Tent built by the Sons of Los;

And every Space that a Man views around his dwelling-place,

Standing on his own roof or in his garden on a mount

Of twenty-five cubits in height, such space is his Universe;

And on its verge to Sun rises & sets, the Clouds bow

To meet the flat Earth & the Sea I such an order’d Space.

The Starry heavens reach no further, but here bend and set

On all sides, & the two Poles turn on their valves of gold;

And if he move his dwelling-place, his heavens also move

Where’er he goes, & all his neighbourhood bewail his loss.

Such are the Spaces called Earth, &such its dimension.

As to that false appearance which appears to the reasoner,

As of a Globe rolling thro’ Voidness, it is a delusion of Ulro.

The Microscope knows not of this, nor the Telescope; they alter

The ration of the Spectator’s Organs, but leave Objects untouch’d.

For every Space larger than a red globule of Man’s blood

Is visionary, and is created by the Hammer of Los;

And every Space smaller than a Globule of Man’s blood opens

Into Eternity, of which this vegetable Earth is but a shadow.

The red Globule is the unwearied Sun by Los created

To measure Time and Space to mortal Men every morning.

Bowlahoola & Allamanda are placed on each side

Of that Pulsation & that Globule, terrible their power.

* * *