Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/185

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

the sad mood split into the reasoning moods (forests into earths rolling) became the astronomical heavens only, because seen as these only. They became a serpent-temple, image of the infinite shut up in finite revolutions. Then man also, instead of inhabiting the regions of his imagination, was compressed, in angelic obedience, into his own wall of flesh, by the deluge of conviction that overwhelmed him, telling him that all outside the wall was void. God was re-imagined in imitation of an absolute earthly monarch. (87-94.)

But the serpent was the " prester serpent " of the book of " Vala." He now contained in his purple head the head of Man (who is " head downwards "), and this head — the shaggy-roofed human skull, with purple eyes and red lips — became the attractive face that drags the visionary man into the life of the human loins. (95-103.)

Albion's Angel rose on the great stone of night, literal thought that overhangs London city, the genius of parentage. He saw over it Urizen, the scientific potency on the Atlantic, the ocean of male nerve-power. The brazen book — the book of brass or of the loins — was expanded from North to South, from experience to imagination.

Urizen unclasped his book and began to sow the seed of gloomy literalness on the youth of England, feeding his soul with pity. When he pities he propagates, and in the North his progeny are always unimaginative demonstrations. But Albion's spirit of Obedience and Law, his Angel, compels the youth, as they curse the pained heavens, parental potencies of Urizen, to submit to his ideas. The serpent-temple shadows the island, until Albion's angel in the flames of the desire for a more complete tyranny of literal over spiritual law, howling with a yearning like Orc's fiery passion, seeks the trump, the arousing instrument of the last mood of man, and therefore of the last doom. (104-120.)

He was seen then as a visionary symbol in the form of a judge, flying from the courts to the open land, and the wigs