The Book of Ahania

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The Book of Ahania
by William Blake

The Book of Ahania

* * *


1. Fuzon, on a chariot iron-wing’d,

On spiked flames rose; his hot visage

Flam’d furious; sparkles his hair & beard

Shot down his wide bosom and shoulders.

On clouds of smoke rages his chariot,

And his right hand burns red in its cloud,

Moulding into a vast globe his wrath

As the thunder-stone is moulded,

Son of Urizen’s silent burnings.

2. ‘Shall we worship this Demon of smoke,’

Said Fuzon, ‘this abstract non-entity,

This cloudy God seated on waters,

Now seen, now obscur’d, King of Sorrow?’

3. So he spoke, in a fiery flame,

On Urizen frowning indignant,

The Globe of wrath shaking on high.

Roaring with fury, he threw

The howling Globe; burning it flew,

Length’ning into a hungry beam. Swiftly

4. Oppos’d to the exulting flam’d beam

the broad Disk of Urizen uphav’d

Across the Void many a mile.

5. It was forg’d in mills where the winter

Beats incessant; ten winters the disk

Unremitting endur’d the cold hammer.

6. But the strong arm that sent it remember’d

The sounding beam; laughing it tore through

That beaten mass, keeping its direction,

The cold loins of Urizen dividing.

7. Dire shriek’d his invisible Lust.

Deep groan’d Urizen! Stretching his awful hand,

Ahania (so name his parted soul)

He seiz’d on his mountains of Jealousy.

He groan’d, anguish’d, & called her Sin,

Kissing her and weeping over her;

Then hid her in darkness, in silence,

Jealous tho’ she was invisible.

8. She fell down, a faint shadow wand’ring

In chaos and circling dark Urizen,

As the moon, anguish’d, circles the earth:

Hopeless! Abhorr’d! a death-shadow,

Unseen, unbodied, unknown,

The mother of Pestilence.

9. But the fiery beam of Fuzon

Was a pillar of fire to Egypt,

Five hundred years wand’ring on earth,

Till Los seiz’d it and beat in a mass

With the body of the sun.


1. But the forehead of Urizen gathering,

And his eyes pale with anguish, his lips

Blue & changing, in tears and bitter

Contrition he prepar’d his Bow,

2. Form’d of Ribs, that in his dark solitude

When obscur’d in his forests fell monsters

Arose. For his dire Contemplations

Rush’d down like floods from his mountains,

In torrents of mud settling thick,

With Eggs of unnatural production

Forthwith hatching; some howl’d on his hills,

Some in vales, some aloft flew in air.

3. Of these, an enormous dread Serpent,

Scaled and poisonous horned,

Approach’d Urizen even to his knees

As he sat on his dark rooted Oak.

4. With his horns he push’d furious.

Great the conflict & Great the jealousy

In cold poisons; but Urizen smote him.

5. First he poison’d the rocks with his blood;

Then polish’d his ribs, and his sinews

Dried; laid them apart till winter;

Then a Bow black prepar’d; on this Bow

A poisoned rock plac’d in silence.

He utter’d these words to the Bow:

6. ‘O Bow of the clouds of secrecy,

O nerve of that lust form’d monster!

Send this rock swift, invisible thro’

The black clouds, on the bosom of Fuzon.’

7. So saying, in torment of his wounds,

He bent the enormous ribs slowly:

A circle of darkness! Then fixed

The sinew in its rest; then the Rock,

Poisonous source, plac’d with art, lifting difficult

Its weighty bulk; silent the rock lay,

8. While Fuzon, his tigers unloosing,

Thought Urizen slain by his wrath.

‘I am God,’ said he, ‘eldest of things!’

9. Sudden sings the rock; swift & invisible

On Fuzon flew; enter’d his bosom.

His beautiful visage, his tresses

That gave light to the mornings of heaven

Were smitten with darkenss, deform’d

And outstretch’d on the edge of the forest.

10. But the rock fell upon the Earth,

Mount Sinai in Arabia.


1. The Globe shook; and Urizen, seated

On black clouds, his sore wound anointed.

The ointment flow’d down on the void

Miz’d with blood – here the snake gets her poison.

2. With difficulty & great pain Urizen

Lifted on high the dead corse;

On his shoulders he bore it to where

A Tree hung over the Immensity.

3. For when Urizen shrunk away

From Eternals, he sat on a rock

Barren, a rock which himself

From redounding fancies had petrified.

Many tears fell on the rock,

Many sparks of vegetation.

Soon shot the pained root

Of Mystery under his heel.

It grew a thick tree; he wrote

In silence his book of iron;

Till the horrid plant, bending its boughs,

Grew to roots when it felt the earth

And again sprung to many a tree.

4. Amaz’d started Urizen! When

He beheld himself compassed round

And high roofed over with trees.

He arose, but the stems stood so thick

He with difficulty and great pain

Brought his Books, all but the Book

Of iron, form the dismal shade.

5. The Tree still grows over the Void,

Enrooting itself all around,

An endless labyrinth of woe!

6. The corse of his first begotten

on the accursed Tree of Mystery

On the topmost stem of this Tree

Urizen nail’d Fuzon’s corse.


1. Forth flew the arrows of pestilence

Round the pale living Corse on the tree;

2. For in Urizen’s slumbers of abstraction

In the infinite ages of Eternity,

When his Nerves of joy melted and flow’d

A white Lake on the dark blue air,

In perturb’d pain and dismal torment

Now stretching out, now swift conglobing,

3. Effluvia vapor’d above

In noxious clouds; these hover’d thick

Over the disorganiz’d Immortal,

Till petrific pain scruf’d o’er the Lakes

As the bones of man, solid & dark.

4. The clouds of disease hover’d wide
Around the Immortal in torment,

Perching around the hurtling bones,

Disease on disease, shape on shape,

Winged, screaming in blood & torment.

5. The Eternal Prophet beat on his anvils,

Enrag’d in the desolate darkness;

he forg’d nets of iron around

And Los threw them around the bones.

6. The shapes, screaming, flutter’d vain;

Some combin’d into muscles & glands,

Some organs for craving and lust;

Most remain’d on the tormented void,

Urizen’s army of horrors.

7. Round the pale living Corse on the Tree

Forty years flew the arrows of pestilence.

8. Wailing and terror and woe

Ran thro’ all his dismal world;

Forty yyears all his sons & daughters

Felt their skulls harden; then Asia

Arose in the pendulous deep.

9. They reptilize upon the Earth.

10. Fuzon groan’d on the Tree.


1. The lamenting voice of Ahania,

Weeping upon the void

And round the Tree of Fuzon:

Distant in solitary night

Her voice was heard , but no form

Had she; but her tears from clouds

Eternal fell round the Tree;

2. And the voice cried: ‘Ah, Urizen! Love!

Flower of morning! I weep on the verge

Of Non-entity; how wide the Abyss

Between Ahania and thee!

3. ‘I lie on the verge of the deep,

I see thy dark clouds ascend,

I see thy black forests and floods,

A horrible waste to my eyes!

4. ‘Weeping I walk over rocks,

Over dens & thro’ valleys of death.

Why didst thou despise Ahania,

To cast me from thy bright presence

Into the World of Loneness?

5. ‘I cannot touch his hand,

Nor weep on his knees, nor hear

his voice & bow, nor see his eyes

And joy, nor hear his footsteps and

My heart leap at the lovely sound!

I cannot kiss the place

Whereon his bright feet have trod,

But I wander on the rocks

With hard necessity.

6. ‘Where is my golden palace?

Where my ivory bed?

Where the joy of my morning hour?

Where the sons of eternity singing

7. ‘To awake bright Urizen, my king,

To arise to the mountain sport,

To the bliss of eternal valleys;

8. ‘To awake my king in the morn

To embrace Ahania’s joy

On the bredth of his open bosom,

From my soft cloud of dew to fall

In showers of life on his harvests?

9. ‘When he gave my happy soul

To the sons of eternal joy;

When he took the daughters of life

into my chambers of love;

10. When I found babes of bless on my beds,

And bosoms of mild in my chambers

Fill’d with eternal seed,

O! eternal births sung round Ahania

In interchange sweet of their joys.

11. “Swell’d with ripeness & fat with fatness,

Bursting on winds my odors,

My ripe figs and rich pomegranates

In infant joy at thy feet,

O Urizen, sported and sang.

12. ‘Then thou with thy lap full of seed,

With thy hand full of generous fire,

Walked forth form the clouds of morning,

On the virgins of springing joy,

On the human soul to cast

The seed of eternal science.

13. ‘The sweat poured down thy temples;

To Ahania return’d in evening

The moisture awoke to birth

My mother’s-joys, sleeping in bliss.

14. ‘But now, alone, over rocks, mountains,

Cast out form thy lovely bosom.

Cruel jealousy, selfish fear,

self-destroying: how can delight

Renew in these chains of darkness,

Where bones of beasts are strown

On the bleak and snowy mountains,

Where bones form the birth are buried

Before they see the light?’