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

Selections from ‘The Four Zoas’

[Vala’s Going Forth]

(Four Zoas, Night VII, First Version, ll. 267–83.)

AND she went forth and saw the forms of Life and of Delight

Walking on mountains, or flying in the open expanse of heaven.

She heard sweet voices in the winds, and in the voices of birds

That rose from waters; for the waters were as the voice of Luvah,

Not seen to her like waters, or like this dark world of death;

Tho’ all those fair perfections, which men know only by name.

In beautiful substantial forms appear’d, and servèd her

As food or drink or ornament, or in delightful works

To build her bowers. For the elements brought forth abundantly

The living Soul in glorious forms; and every one came forth,

Walking before her Shadowy face and bowing at her feet.

But, in vain, delights were pourèd forth on the howling Melancholy!

For her delight the Horse his proud neck bow’d, and his white mane;

And the strong Lion deign’d in his mouth to wear the golden bit;

While the far-beaming Peacock waited on the fragrant wind

To bring her fruits of sweet delight from trees of richest wonders;

And the strong-pinion’d Eagle bore the fire of Heaven in the night-season.