Vala, or The Four Zoas/Night the Third

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Night the Third

[ page 37 ]

Now sat the King of Light on high upon his starry throne
And bright Ahania bow'd herself before his splendid feet

O Urizen look on Me. like a mournful stream
I Embrace round thy knees & wet My bright hair with my tears:
5 Why sighs my Lord! are not the morning stars thy obedient Sons
Do they not bow their bright heads at thy voice? at thy command
Do they not fly into their stations & return their light to thee
The immortal Atmospheres are thine, there thou art seen in glory
Surrounded by the ever changing Daughters of the Light
10 Why wilt thou look upon futurity darkning present joy

She ceas'd the Prince his light obscurd & the splendors of his crown

[ page 38 (III 13-27)]

Infolded in thick clouds, from whence his mighty voice burst forth

O bright [Ahania] a Boy is born of the dark Ocean
Whom Urizen doth serve, with Light replenishing his darkness
I am set here a King of trouble commanded here to serve
5 And do my ministry to those who eat of my wide table
All this is mine yet I must serve & that Prophetic boy
Must grow up to command his Prince but hear my determind Decree
Vala shall become a Worm in Enitharmons Wombt
Laying her seed upon the fibres soon to issue forth
10 And Luvah in the loins of Los a dark & furious death

Alas for me! what will become of me at that dread time?
Ahania bow'd her head & wept seven days before the King
And on the eighth day when his clouds unfolded from his throne
She rais'd her bright head sweet perfumd & thus with heavenly voice

25 O Prince the Eternal One hath set thee leader of his hosts

[ page 39 (III 30-47) ]

Leave all futurity to him Resume thy fields of Lightt
Why didst thou listen to the voice of Luvah that dread morn
To give the immortal steeds of light to his deceitful hands
No longer now obedient to thy will thou art compell'd
5 To forge the curbs of iron & brass to build the iron mangers 5
To feed them with intoxication from the wine presses of Luvah
Till the Divine Vision & Fruition is quite obliterated
They call thy lions to the fields of blood, they rowze thy tygers
Out of the halls of justice, till these dens thy wisdom framd
10 Golden & beautiful but O how unlike those sweet fields of bliss
Where liberty was justice & eternal science was mercy
Then O my dear lord listen to Ahania, listen to the vision
The vision of Ahania in the slumbers of Urizen
When Urizen slept in the porch & the Ancient Man was smittent

15 The Darkning Man walkd on the steps of fire before his halls
And Vala walkd with him in dreams of soft deluding slumber
He looked up & saw thee Prince of Light thy splendor faded
But saw not Los nor Enitharmon for Luvah hid them in shadow

[ page 40 (III 48-66) ]

In a soft cloud Outstretch'd across, & Luvah dwelt in the cloud
Then Man ascended mourning into the splendors of his palace
Above him rose a Shadow from his wearied intellect
Of living gold, pure, perfect, holy; in white linen pure he hover'd
5 A sweet entrancing self delusion, a watry vision of Man
Soft exulting in existence all the Man absorbing
Man fell upon his face prostrate before the watry shadow
Saying O Lord whence is this change thou knowest I am nothing
And Vala trembled & coverd her face, & her locks. were spread on the pavement
10 I heard astonishd at the Vision & my heart trembled within me
I heard the voice of the Slumberous Man & thus he spoke
Idolatrous to his own Shadow words of Eternity uttering
O I am nothing when I enter into judgment with thee
If thou withdraw thy breath I die & vanish into Hades
15 If thou dost lay thine hand upon me behold I am silent
If thou withhold thine hand I perish like a fallen leaf
O I am nothing & to nothing must return again
If thou withdraw thy breath, behold I am oblivion
He ceasd: the shadowy voice was silent; but the cloud hoverd over their heads

[ page 41 (III 67-84)]

In golden wreathes, the sorrow of Man & the balmy drops fell down
And Lo that Son of Man, that shadowy Spirit of the Fallen One
Luvah, descended from the cloud; In terror Albion rose-
Indignant rose the Awful Man & turnd his back on Vala
5 Why roll thy clouds in sick'ning mists. I can no longer hide 5
The dismal vision of mine Eyes, O love & life & light!
Prophetic dreads urge me to speak. futurity is before me
Like a dark lamp. Eternal death haunts all my expectation
Rent from Eternal Brotherhood we die & are no more
10 I heard the Voice of Albion starting from his sleep
“Whence is this voice crying Enion that soundeth in my ears
O cruel pity! O dark deceit! can Love seek for dominion
And Luvah strove to gain dominion over the mighty Albion
They strove together above the Body where Vala was inclos'd
15 And the dark Body of Albion left prostrate upon the crystal pavement
Coverd with boils from head to foot. the terrible smitings of Luvah
Then frownd the Fallen Man & put forth Luvah from his presence
(I heard him: frown not Urizen: but listen to my Vision)

[ page 42 (III 85-108) ]

Saying, Go & die the Death of Man for Vala the sweet wanderer
I will turn the volutions of your Ears outward; & bend your Nostrils
Downward; & your fluxile Eyes englob'd, roll round in fear
Your withring Lips & Tongue shrink up into a narrow circle
5 Till into narrow forms you creep. Go take your fiery way
And learn what 'tis to absorb the Man you Spirits of Pity & Love
O Urizen why art thou pale at the visions of Ahania
Listen to her who loves thee lest we also are driven away.
They heard the Voice & fled swift as the winters setting sun
10 And now the Human Blood foamd high, I saw that Luvah & Vala
Went down the Human Heart where Paradise & its joys abounded
In jealous fears in fury & rage, & flames roll'd round their fervid feet
And the vast form of Nature like a Serpent play'd before them
And as they went in folding fires & thunders of the deep
15 Vala shrunk in like the dark sea that leaves its slimy banks
And from her bosom Luvah fell far as the east & west
And the vast form of Nature like a Serpent roll'd between.
She ended. for [from] his wrathful throne burst forth the black hail storm
Am I not God said Urizen. Who is Equal to me
Do I not stretch the heavens abroad or fold them up like a garment 20
He spoke mustering his heavy clouds around him black opake

[ page 43 (III 109-39) ]

Then thunders rolld around & lightnings darted to & fro
His visage changd to darkness & his strong right hand came forth
To cast Ahania to the Earth be siezd her by the hair
And threw her from the steps of ice that froze around his throne
5 Saying Art thou also become like Vala. thus I cast thee out
Shall the feminine indolent bliss. the indulgent self of weariness
The passive idle sleep the enormous night & darkness of Death
Set herself up to give her laws to the active masculine virtue
Thou little diminutive portion that darst be a counterpart
10 Thy passivity thy laws of obedience & insincerity
Are my abhorrence. Wherefore hast thou taken that fair form
Whence is this power given to thee! once thou wast in my breast
A sluggish current of dim waters. on whose verdant margin
A cavern shaggd with horrid shades. dark cool & deadly. where
15 I laid my head in the hot noon after the broken clods
Had wearied me. there I laid my plow & there my horses fed
And thou hast risen with thy moist locks into a watry image
Reflecting all my indolence my weakness & my death
To weigh me down beneath the grave into non Entity
20 Where Luvah strives scorned by Vala age after age wandering
Shrinking & shrinking from her Lord & calling him the Tempter
And art thou also become like Vala thus I cast thee out.
So loud in thunders spoke the King folded in dark despair
And threw Ahania from his bosom obdurate She fell like lightning
25 Then fled the sons of Urizen from his thunderous throne petrific
They fled to East & West & left the North & South of Heaven
A crash ran thro the immense The bounds of Destiny were broken
The bounds of Destiny crashd direful & the swelling Sea
Burst from its bonds in whirlpools fierce roaring with Human voice
30 Triumphing even to the Stars at bright Ahanias fall
Down from the dismal North the Prince in thunders & thick clouds

[ page 44 (III 140-67) ]

As when the thunderbolt down falleth on the appointed place
Fell down down rushing ruining thundering shuddering
Into the Caverns of the Grave & places of Human Seed
Where the impressions of Despair & Hope enroot forever
5 A world of Darkness. Ahania fell far into Non Entity 5
She Continued falling. Loud the Crash continud loud & Hoarse
From the Crash roared a flame of blue sulphureous fire from the flame
A dolorous groan that struck with dumbness all confusion
Swallowing up the horrible din in agony on agony
10 Thro the Confusion like a crack across from immense to immense
Loud strong a universal groan of death louder
Than all the wracking elements deafend & rended worse
Than Urizen & all his hosts in curst despair down rushing
But from the Dolorous Groan one like a shadow of smoke appeard
15 And human bones rattling together in the smoke & stamping
The nether Abyss & gnasshing in fierce despair. panting in sobs
Thick short incessant bursting sobbing. deep despairing stamping struggling
Struggling to utter the voice of Man struggling to take the features of Man. Struggling
To take the limbs of Man at length emerging from the smoke
20 Of Urizen dashed in pieces from his precipitant fall
Tharms reard up his hands & stood on the affrighted Ocean
The dead reard up his Voice & stood on the resounding shore
Crying. Fury in my limbs. destruction in my bones & marrow
My skull riven into filaments. my eyes into sea jellies
25 Floating upon the tide wander bubbling & bubbling
Uttering my lamentations & begetting little monsters
Who sit mocking upon the little pebbles of the tide
In all my rivers & on dried shells that the fish

[ page 45 (III 168-99) ]

Have quite forsaken. O fool fool to lose my sweetest bliss
Where art thou Enion ah too near to cunning too far off
And yet too near. Dashd down I send thee into distant darkness
Far as my strength can hurl thee wander there & laugh & play
5 Among the frozen arrows they will tear thy tender flesh
Fall off afar from Tharmas come not too near my strong fury
Scream & fall off & laugh at Tharmas lovely summer beauty
Till winter rends thee into Shivers as thou hast rended me
So Tharmas bellowd oer the ocean thundring sobbing bursting
10 The bounds of Destiny were broken & hatred now began
Instead of love to Enion. Enion blind & age bent
Plungd into the cold billows living a life in midst of waters
In terrors she witherd away to Entuthon Benithon
A world of deep darkness where all things in horrors are rooted
15 These are the words of Enion heard from the cold waves of despair
O Tharmas I had lost thee. & when I hoped I had found thee
O Tharmas do not thou destroy me quite but let
A little shadow. but a little showery form of Enion
Be near thee loved Terror. let me still remain & then do thou
20 Thy righteous doom upon me. only let me hear thy voice
Driven by thy rage I wander like a cloud into the deep
Where never yet Existence came, there losing all my life
I back return weaker & weaker, consume me not away
In thy great wrath. tho I have sinned. tho I have rebelld
25 Make me not like the things forgotten as they had not been
Make not the thing that loveth thee. a tear wiped away
Tharmas replied riding on storms his voice of Thunder rolld
Image of grief thy fading lineaments make my eyelids fail
What have I done! both rage & mercy are alike to me
30 Looking upon thee Image of faint waters. I recoil
From my fierce rage into thy semblance. Enion return
Why does thy piteous face Evanish like a rainy cloud

[ page 46 (III 200-11) ]

Melting. a shower of falling tears. nothing but tears! Enion:
Substanceless. voiceless, weeping. vanishd. nothing but tears! Enion
Art thou for ever vanishd from the watry eyes of Tharmas
Rage Rage shall never from my bosom. winds & waters of woe
5 Consuming all to the end consuming Love and Hope are ended
For now no more remaind of Enion in the dismal air
Only a voice eternal wailing in the Elements
Where Enion, blind & age bent wanderd Ahania wanders now
She wanders in Eternal fear of falling into the indefinite
10 For her bright eyes behold the Abyss. sometimes a little sleep
Weighs down her eyelids then she falls then starting wakes in fears
Sleepless to wander round repelld on the margin of Non Entity

End of the Third Night


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.