Vala, or The Four Zoas/Night the Second

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VALA
Night the Second


Rising upon his Couch of Death Albion beheld his Sons
Turning his Eyes outward to Self. losing the Divine Vision
Albion calld Urizen & said. Behold these sickning Spheres
Whence is this Voice of Enion that soundeth in my Porches
5 Take thou possession! take this Scepter! go forth in my might
For I am weary, & must sleep in the dark sleep of Deatht
Thy brother Luvah hath smitten me but pity thou his youth
Tho thou hast not pitid my Age O Urizen Prince of Light
Urizen rose from the bright Feast like a star thro' the evening sky
10 Exulting at the voice that calld him from the Feast of envy
First he beheld the body of Man pale, cold, the horrors of death
Beneath his feet shot thro' him as he stood in the Human Brain
And all its golden porches grew pale with his sickening light
No more Exulting for he saw Eternal Death beneath
15 Pale he beheld futurity; pale he beheld the Abyss
Where Enion blind & age bent wept in direful hunger craving
All rav'ning like the hungry worm, & like the silent grave

[ page 24 ]

Mighty was the draught of Voidness to draw Existence in
Terrific Urizen strode above, in fear & pale dismay
He saw the indefinite space beneath & his soul shrunk with horror
His feet upon the verge of Non Existence; his voice went forth
5 Luvah & Vala trembling & shrinking, beheld the great Work master
And heard his Word! Divide ye bands influence by influence
Build we a Bower for heavens darling in the grizly deep
Build we the Mundane Shell around the Rock of Albion
The Bands of Heaven flew thro the air singing & shouting to Urizen
10 Some fix'd the anvil, some the loom erected, some the plow
And harrow formd & framd the harness of silver & ivory
The golden compasses, the quadrant & the rule & balance
They erected the furnaces, they formd the anvils of gold beaten in mills
Where winter beats incessant, fixing them firm on their base
15 The bellows began to blow & the Lions of Urizen stood round the anvil

[ page 25 ]

And the leopards coverd with skins of beasts tended the roaring fires
Sublime distinct their lineaments divine of human beautyt
The tygers of wrath called the horses of instruction from their mangers
They unloos'd them & put on the harness of gold & silver & ivory
5 In human forms distinct they stood round Urizen prince of Light
Petrifying all the Human Imagination into rock & sand
Groans ran along Tyburns brook and along the River of Oxford
Among the Druid Temples. Albion groand on Tyburns brook
Albion gave his loud death groan The Atlantic Mountains trembled
10 Aloft the Moon fled with a cry the Sun with streams of blood
From Albions Loins fled all Peoples and Nations of the Earth
Fled with the noise of Slaughter & the stars of heaven Fled
Jerusalem came down in a dire ruin over all the Earth
She fell cold from Lambeths Vales in groans & Dewy death
15 The dew of anxious souls the death-sweat of the dying
In every pillard hall & arched roof of Albions skies
The brother & the brother bathe in blood upon the Severn
The Maiden weeping by. The father & the mother with
The Maidens father & her mother fainting over the body
20 And the Young Man the Murderer fleeing over the mountains
Reuben slept on Penmaenmawr & Levi slept on Snowdon
Their eyes their ears nostrils & tongues roll outward they behold
What is within now seen without they are raw to the hungry wind
They become Nations far remote in a little & dark Land
25 The Daughters of Albion girded around their garments of Needlework
Stripping Jerusalems curtains from mild demons of the hills
Across Europe & Asia to China & Japan like lightenings
They go forth & return to Albion on his rocky couch
Gwendolen Ragan Sabrina Gonorill Mehetabel Cordella
Boadicea Conwenna Estrild Gwinefrid Ignoge Cambel 30
Binding Jerusalems Children in the dungeons of Babylon
They play before the Armies before the hounds of Nimrod
While The Prince of Light on Salisbury plain among the druid stone
Rattling the adamantine chains & hooks heave up the ore
35 In mountainous masses, plung'd in furnaces, & they shut & seald
The furnaces a time & times; all the while blew the North
His cloudy bellows & the South & East & dismal West
And all the while the plow of iron cut the dreadful furrows
In Ulro beneath Beulah where the Dead wail Night & Day
40 Luvah was cast into the Furnaces of affliction & sealed
And Vala fed in cruel delight, the furnaces with fire
Stern Urizen beheld urg'd by necessity to keep
The evil day afar, & if perchance with iron power
He might avert his own despair; in woe & fear he saw

[ page 26 ]

Vala incircle round the furnaces where Luvah was clos'd
In joy she heard his howlings, & forgot he was her Luvah
With whom she walkd in bliss, in times of innocence & youth
Hear ye the voice of Luvah from the furnaces of Urizen
5 If I indeed am Valas King & ye O sons of Ment 5
The workmanship of Luvahs hands; in times of Everlasting
When I calld forth the Earth-worm from the cold & dark obscure
I nurturd her I fed her with my rains & dews, she grew
A scaled Serpent, yet I fed her tho' she hated me
10 Day after day she fed upon the mountains in Luvahs sight
I brought her thro' the Wilderness, a dry & thirsty land
And I commanded springs to rise for her in the black desart
Till she became a Dragon winged bright & poisonoust
I opend all the floodgates of the heavens to quench her thirst

[ page 27 ]

And I commanded the Great deep to hide her in his hand
Till she became a little weeping Infant a span long
I carried her in my bosom as a man carries a lamb
I loved her I gave her all my soul & my delight
5 I hid her in soft gardens & in secret bowers of Summer
Weaving mazes of delight along the sunny Paradise
Inextricable labyrinths, She bore me sons & daughters
And they have taken her away & hid her from my sight
They have surrounded me with walls of iron & brass, O Lambt
10 Of God clothed in Luvahs garments little knowest thout
Of death Eternal that we all go to Eternal Death
To our Primeval Chaos in fortuitous concourse of incoherent
Discordant principles of Love & Hate I suffer affliction
Because I love. for I was love but hatred awakes in met
15 And Urizen who was Faith & Certainty is changd to Doubt
The hand of Urizen is upon me because I blotted out
That Human delusion to deliver all the sons of Godt
From bondage of the Human form, O first born Son of Light
O Urizen my enemy I weep for thy stern ambition
20 But weep in vain O when will you return Vala the Wanderer

[ page 28 ]

These were the words of Luvah patient in afflictions
Reasoning from the loins in the unreal forms of Ulros night
And when Luvah age after age was quite melted with woe
The fires of Vala faded like a shadow cold & pale
5 An evanescent shadow. last she fell a heap of Ashes
Beneath the furnaces a woful heap in living death
Then were the furnaces unscald with spades & pickaxes
Roaring let out the fluid, the molten metal ran in channels
Cut by the plow of ages held in Urizens strong hand
10 In many a valley, for the Bulls of Luvah dragd the Plow
With trembling horror pale aghast the Children of Mant
Stood on the infinite Earth & saw these visions in the air
In waters & in Earth beneath they cried to one another
What are we terrors to one another. Come O brethren wherefore
15 Was this wide Earth spread all abroad. not for wild beasts to roam
But many stood silent & busied in their families
And many said We see no Visions in the darksom air
Measure the course of that sulphur orb that lights the darksom day
Set stations on this breeding Earth & let us buy & sell
20 Others arose & schools Erected forming Instruments
To measure out the course of heaven. Stern Urizen beheld
In woe his brethren & his Sons in darkning woe lamenting
Upon the winds in clouds involvd Uttering his voice in thunders
Commanding all the work with care & power & severity
25 Then siezd the Lions of Urizen their work, & heated in the forge
Roar the bright masses, thund'ring beat the hammers, many a pyramid
Is form'd & thrown down thund'ring into the deeps of Non Entity
Heated red hot they hizzing rend their way down many a league
Till resting. each his [center] finds; suspended there they stand
30 Casting their sparkles dire abroad into the dismal deep
For measurd out in orderd spaces the Sons of Urizen
With compasses divide the deep; they the strong scales erect

[ page 29 ]

That Luvah rent from the faint Heart of the Fallen Man
And weigh the massy Cubes, then fix them in their awful stationst
And all the time in Caverns shut, the golden Looms erected
First spun, then wove the Atmospheres, there the Spider & Worm
5 Plied the wingd shuttle piping shrill thro' all the list'ning threads
Beneath the Caverns roll the weights of lead & spindles of iron
The enormous warp & woof rage direful in the affrighted deep
While far into the vast unknown, the strong wing'd Eagles bend
Their venturous flight, in Human forms distinct; thro darkness deep
10 They bear the woven draperies; on golden hooks they hang abroad 10
The universal curtains & spread out from Sun to Sun
The vehicles of light, they separate the furious particles
Into mild currents as the water mingles with the wine.
While thus the Spirits of strongest wing enlighten the dark deep
15 The threads are spun & the cords twisted & drawn out; then the weak
Begin their work; & many a net is netted; many a net

[ page 30 ]

Spread & many a Spirit caught, innumerable the nets
Innumerable the gins & traps; & many a soothing flute
Is form'd & many a corded lyre, outspread over the immense
In cruel delight they trap the listeners, & in cruel delight
5 Bind them, condensing the strong energies into little compass
Some became seed of every plant that shall be planted; some
The bulbous roots, thrown up together into barns & garners
Then rose the Builders; First the Architect divine his plan
Unfolds, The wondrous scaffold reard all round the infinite
10 Quadrangular the building rose the heavens squared by a line.
Trigon & cubes divide the elements in finite bonds
Multitudes without number work incessant: the hewn stone
Is placd in beds of mortar mingled with the ashes of Vala
Severe the labour, female slaves the mortar trod oppressed
15 Twelve halls after the names of his twelve sons composd
The wondrous building & three Central Domes after the Names
Of his three daughters were encompassd by the twelve bright halls
Every hall surrounded by bright Paradises of Delight
In which are towns & Cities Nations Seas Mountains & Riverst
20 Each Dome opend toward four halls & the Three Domes Encompassd
The Golden Hall of Urizen whose western side glowd bright
With ever streaming fires beaming from his awful limbs
His Shadowy Feminine Semblance here reposd on a White Couch
Or hoverd oer his Starry head & when he smild she brightend
25 Like a bright Cloud in harvest. but when Urizen frownd She wept
In mists over his carved throne & when he turnd his back
Upon his Golden hall & sought the Labyrinthine porches
Of his wide heaven Trembling, cold in paling fears she sat
A Shadow of Despair therefore toward the West Urizen formd
30 A recess in the wall for fires to glow upon the pale
Females limbs in his absence & her Daughters oft upon
A Golden Altar burnt perfumes with Art Celestial formd
Foursquare sculpturd & sweetly Engravd to please their shadowy mothert
As[c]ending into her misty garments the blue smoke rolld to revive
35 Her cold limbs in the absence of her Lord. Also her sons
With lives of Victims sacrificed upon an altar of brass
On the East side. Revivd her Soul with lives of beasts & birds
Slain on the Altar up ascending into her cloudy bosom
Of terrible workmanship the Altar labour of ten thousand Slaves
40 One thousand Men of wondrous power spent their lives in its formation
It stood on twelve steps namd after the names of her twelve sons
And was Erected at the chief entrance of Urizens hall
When Urizen returnd from his immense labours & travels
Descending She reposd beside him folding him around
45 In her bright skirts. Astonishd & Confounded he beheld
Her shadowy form now Separate he shudderd & was silent
Till her caresses & her tears revivd him to life & joy
Two wills they had two intellects & not as in times of old
This Urizen percievd & silent brooded in darkning Clouds
50 To him his Labour was but Sorrow & his Kingdom was Repentance
He drave the Male Spirits all away from Ahania
And she drave all the Females from him away
Los joyd & Enitharmon laughd, saying Let us go down
And see this labour & sorrow; They went down to see the woes
55 Of Vala & the woes of Luvah, to draw in their delights
And Vala like a shadow oft appeard to Urizen

[ page 31 ]

The King of Light beheld her mourning among the Brick kilns compelld
To labour night & day among the fires, her lamenting voice
Is heard when silent night returns & the labourers take their rest
O Lord wilt thou not look upon our sore afflictions
5 Among these flames incessant labouring, our hard masters laugh
At all our sorrow. We are made to turn the wheel for water
To carry the heavy basket on our scorched shoulders, to sift
The sand & ashes, & to mix the clay with tears & repentance
I see not Luvah as of old I only see his feet
10 Like pillars of fire travelling thro darkness & non entity
The times are now returnd upon us, we have given ourselves
To scorn and now are scorned by the slaves of our enemies
Our beauty is coverd over with clay & ashes, & our backs
Furrowd with whips, & our flesh bruised with the heavy basket
15 Forgive us O thou piteous one whom we have offended, forgive
The weak remaining shadow of Vala that returns in sorrow to thee.
Thus she lamented day & night, compelld to labour & sorrow
Luvah in vain her lamentations heard; in vain his love
Brought him in various forms before her still she knew him not

[ page 32 ]

Still she despisd him, calling on his name & knowing him not
Still hating still professing love, still labouring in the smoke
And Los & Enitharmon joyd, they drank in tenfold joy
From all the sorrow of Luvah & the labour of Urizen
5 And Enitharmon joyd Plotting to rend the secret cloud
To plant divisions in the Soul of Urizen & Ahania
But infinitely beautiful the wondrous work arose
In sorrow & care. a Golden World whose porches round the heavens
And pillard halls & rooms recievd the eternal wandering stars
10 A wondrous golden Building; many a window many a door
And many a division let in & out into the vast unknown
[Cubed] in [window square] immoveable, within its walls & cielings
The heavens were closd and spirits mournd their bondage night and day
And the Divine Vision appeard in Luvahs robes of blood
15 Thus was the Mundane shell builded by Urizens strong power

[ page 33 ]

Sorrowing went the Planters forth to plant, the Sowers to sow
They dug the channels for the rivers & they pourd abroad
The seas & lakes, they reard the mountains & the rocks & hills
On broad pavilions, on pillard roofs & porches & high towers
In beauteous order, thence arose soft clouds & exhalations
Wandering even to the sunny Cubes of light & heat
5 For many a window ornamented with sweet ornaments
Lookd out into the World of Tharmas, where in ceaseless torrents
His billows roll where monsters wander in the foamy paths
On clouds the Sons of Urizen beheld Heaven walled round
They weighd & orderd all & Urizen comforted saw
10 The wondrous work flow forth like visible out of the invisible
For the Divine Lamb Even Jesus who is the Divine Vision
Permitted all lest Man should fall into Eternal Death
For when Luvah sunk down himself put on the robes of blood
Lest the state calld Luvah should cease. & the Divine Vision
15 Walked in robes of blood till he who slept should awake
Thus were the stars of heaven created like a golden chain
To bind the Body of Man to heaven from failing into the Abyss
Each took his station, & his course began with sorrow & caret
In sevens & tens & fifties, hundreds, thousands, numberd all
20 According to their various powers. Subordinate to Urizen
And to his sons in their degrees & to his beauteous daughters
Travelling in silent majesty along their orderd ways
In right lined paths outmeasurd by proportions of number weight
And measure. mathematic motion wondrous. along the deep
25 In fiery pyramid. or Cube. or unornamented pillar
Of fire far shining. travelling along even to its destind end
Then falling down. a terrible space recovring in winter dire
Its wasted strength. it back returns upon a nether course
Till fired with ardour fresh recruited in its humble season
30 It rises up on high all summer till its wearied course
Turns into autumn. such the period of many worlds
Others triangular right angled course maintain. others obtuse
Acute Scalene, in simple paths. but others move
In intricate ways biquadrate. Trapeziums Rhombs Rhomboids
35 Paralellograms. triple & quadruple. polygonic
In their amazing hard subdued course in the vast deep

[ page 34 II (287-386) ]

And Los & Enitharmon were drawn down by their desires
Descending sweet upon the wind among soft harps & voicest
To plant divisions in the Soul of Urizen & Ahania
To conduct the Voice of Enion to Ahanias midnight pillow
5 Urizen saw & envied & his imagination was filled
Repining he contemplated the past in his bright sphere
Terrified with his heart & spirit at the visions of futurity
That his dread fancy formd before him in the unformd void
For Los & Enitharmon walkd forth on the dewy Earth
10 Contracting or expanding their all flexible senses
At will to murmur in the flowers small as the honey bee
At will to stretch across the heavens & step from star to star
Or standing on the Earth erect, or on the stormy waves
Driving the storms before them or delighting in sunny beams
15 While round their heads the Elemental Gods kept harmony
And Los said. Lo the Lilly pale & the rose reddning fierce
Reproach thee & the beamy gardens sicken at thy beauty
I grasp thy vest in my strong hand in vain. like water springs
In the bright sands of Los. evading my embrace. then I alone
20 Wander among the virgins of the summer Look they cry
The poor forsaken Los mockd by the worm the shelly snail
The Emmet & the beetle hark they laugh & mock at Los
Enitharmon answerd Secure now from the smitings of thy Power
Demon of fury If the God enrapturd me infolds
25 In clouds of sweet obscurity my beauteous form dissolving
Howl thou over the body of death tis thine But if among the virginst
Of summer I have seen thee sleep & turn thy cheek delighted
Upon the rose or lilly pale. or on a bank where sleep
The beamy daughters of the light starting they rise they flee
30 From thy fierce love for tho I am dissolvd in the bright God
My spirit still pursues thy false love over rocks & valleys
Los answerd Therefore fade I thus dissolvd in rapturd trance
Thou canst repose on clouds of secrecy while oer my limbs
Cold dews & hoary frost creeps thro I lie on banks of summer
35 Among the beauties of the World Cold & repining Los 35
Still dies for Enitharmon nor a spirit springs from my dead corse
Then I am dead till thou revivest me with thy sweet song
Now taking on Ahanias form & now the form of Enion
I know thee not as once I knew thee in those blessed fields
40 Where memory wishes to repose among the flocks of Tharmas
Enitharmon answerd Wherefore didst thou throw thine arms around
Ahanias Image I decievd thee & will still decieve
Urizen saw thy sin & hid his beams in darkning Clouds
I still keep watch altho I tremble & wither across the heavens
45 In strong vibrations of fierce jealousy for thou art mine
Created for my will my slave tho strong tho I am weak
Farewell the God calls me away I depart in my sweet bliss
She fled vanishing on the wind And left a dead cold corse
In Los's arms howlings began over the body of death
50 Los spoke. Thy God in vain shall call thee if by my strong power
I can infuse my dear revenge into his glowing breast
Then jealousy shall shadow all his mountains & Ahania
Curse thee thou plague of woful Los & seek revenge on thee
So saying in deep sobs he languishd till dead he also fell
55 Night passd & Enitharmon eer the dawn returnd in bliss
She sang Oer Los reviving him to Life his groans were terrible
But thus she sang. I sieze the sphery harp I strike the strings
At the first Sound the Golden sun arises from the Deep
And shakes his awful hair
60 The Eccho wakes the moon to unbind her silver locks
The golden sun bears on my song
And nine bright spheres of harmony rise round the fiery King
The joy of woman is the Death of her most best beloved
Who dies for Love of her
65 In torments of fierce jealousy & pangs of adoration.
The Lovers night bears on my song
And the nine Spheres rejoice beneath my powerful controll
They sing unceasing to the notes of my immortal hand
The solemn silent moon
70 Reverberates the living harmony upon my limbs
The birds & beasts rejoice & play
And every one seeks for his mate to prove his inmost joy
Furious & terrible they sport & rend the nether deeps
The deep lifts up his rugged head
75 And lost in infinite hum[m]ing wings vanishes with a cry
The fading cry is ever dying
The living voice is ever living in its inmost joy
Arise you little glancing wings & sing your infant joy
Arise & drink your bliss
80 For every thing that lives is holy for the source of life
Descends to be a weeping babe
For the Earthworm renews the moisture of the sandy plain
Now my left hand I stretch to earth beneath
And strike the terrible string
85 I wake sweet joy in dens of sorrow & I plant a smile
In forests of affliction
And wake the bubbling springs of life in regions of dark death
O I am weary lay thine hand upon me or I faint
I faint beneath these beams of thine
90 For thou hast touchd my five senses & they answerd thee
Now I am nothing & I sink
And on the bed of silence sleep till thou awakest me
Thus sang the Lovely one in Rapturous delusive trance
Los heard reviving he siezd her in his arms delusive hopes
95 Kindling She led him into Shadows & thence fled outstretchd
Upon the immense like a bright rainbow weeping & smiling & fading
Thus livd Los driving Enion far into the deathful infinite
That he may also draw Ahania's spirit into her Vortex
Ah happy blindness Enion sees not the terrors of the uncertaint
100 Thus Enion wails from the dark deep, the golden heavens tremble

[ page 35 ]

I am made to sow the thistle for wheat; the nettle for a nourishing dainty
I have planted a false oath in the earth, it has brought forth a poison tree
I have chosen the serpent for a councellor & the dog
For a schoolmaster to my children
5 I have blotted out from light & living the dove & nightingale
And I have caused the earth worm to beg from door to door
I have taught the thief a secret path into the house of the just
I have taught pale artifice to spread his nets upon the morning
My heavens are brass my earth is iron my moon a clod of clay
10 My sun a pestilence burning at noon & a vapour of death in night
What is the price of Experience do men buy it for a song
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath his house his wife his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
15 And in the witherd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain
It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun
And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer

[ page 36 ]

To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season
When the red blood is filld with wine & with the marrow of lambs
It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan
5 To see a god on every wind & a blessing on every blast
To hear sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies house
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, & the sickness that cuts off his children
While our olive & vine sing & laugh round our door & our children bring fruits & flowers
Then the groan & the dolor are quite forgotten & the slave grinding at the mill
10 And the captive in chains & the poor in the prison, & the soldier in the field
When the shatterd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity
Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!
Ahania heard the Lamentation & a swift Vibration
15 Spread thro her Golden frame. She rose up eer the dawn of day
When Urizen slept on his couch. drawn thro unbounded space
Onto the margin of Non Entity the bright Female came
There she beheld the Spectrous form of Enion in the Void
And never from that moment could she rest upon her pillow

End of the Second Night





Notes


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.