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William Blake (1757–1827). The Poetical Works. 1908.

Selections from ‘Milton’

[The Mundane Shell]

(Milton, f. 16, ll. 21–7.)

THE MUNDANE SHELL is a vast Concave Earth, an immense

Harden’d Shadow of all things upon our Vegetated Earth,

Enlarg’d into Dimension and deform’d into indefinite Space,

In Twenty-seven Heavens and all their Hells, with Chaos

And Ancient Night and Purgatory. It is a cavernous Earth

Of labyrinthine intricacy, twenty-seven folds of Opaqueness,

And finishes where the lark mounts.