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

Selections from ‘The Four Zoas’

[The Song of Enitharmon over Los]

(Four Zoas, Night II, ll. 551–86.)

I SEIZE the sphery harp, strike the strings!

At the first sound the golden Sun arises from the deep,

And shakes his awful hair;

The Echo 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-belovèd,

Who dies for love of her

In torments of fierce jealousy and pangs of adoration:

The Lovers’ night bears on my song,

And the nine Spheres rejoice beneath my powerful control.

They sing unceasing to the notes of my immortal hand.

The solemn, silent Moon

Reverberates the living harmony upon my limbs;

The birds and beasts rejoice and play,

And every one seeks for his mate to prove his inmost joy.

Furious and terrible they sport and rend the nether Deep;

The Deep lifts up his rugged head,

And, lost in infinite humming 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 and sing your infant joy!

Arise and drink your bliss!

For everything 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.

I wake sweet joy in dens of sorrow, and 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;

For thou hast touchèd my five Senses, and they answer’d thee.

Now I am nothing, and I sink,

And on the bed of silence sleep, till thou awakest me.