Sunday, May 29, 2011


We have looked at two accounts of the fall as told by the Spectre of Urthona. Now Urizen gives his own account of the fall.

Four Zoas, Night V, Page 64, (E 343)
"But now my land is darkend & my wise men are departed

My songs are turned to cries of Lamentation
Heard on my Mountains & deep sighs under my palace roofs
Because the Steeds of Urizen once swifter than the light
Were kept back from my Lord & from his chariot of mercies
O did I keep the horses of the day in silver pastures
O I refusd the Lord of day the horses of his prince
O did I close my treasuries with roofs of solid stone
And darken all my Palace walls with envyings & hate

O Fool to think that I could hide from his all piercing eyes
The gold & silver & costly stones his holy workmanship
O Fool could I forget the light that filled my bright spheres
Was a reflection of his face who calld me from the deep

I well remember for I heard the mild & holy voice
Saying O light spring up & shine & I sprang up from the deep
He gave to me a silver scepter & crownd me with a golden crown
& said Go forth & guide my Son who wanders on the ocean

I went not forth. I hid myself in black clouds of my wrath
I calld the stars around my feet in the night of councils dark
The stars threw down their spears & fled naked away
We fell. I siezd thee dark Urthona In my left hand falling

I siezd thee beauteous Luvah thou art faded like a flower
And like a lilly is thy wife Vala witherd by winds
When thou didst bear the golden cup at the immortal tables
Thy children smote their fiery wings crownd with the gold of heaven
Thy pure feet stepd on the steps divine. too pure for other feet
And thy fair locks shadowd thine eyes from the divine effulgence
Then thou didst keep with Strong Urthona the living gates of heaven
But now thou art bound down with him even to the gates of hell

Because thou gavest Urizen the wine of the Almighty
For steeds of Light that they might run in thy golden chariot of pride
I gave to thee the Steeds I pourd the stolen wine
And drunken with the immortal draught fell from my throne sublime

I will arise Explore these dens & find that deep pulsation
That shakes my caverns with strong shudders. perhaps this is the night
Of Prophecy & Luvah hath burst his way from Enitharmon
When Thought is closd in Caves. Then love shall shew its root in deepest Hell

End of the Fifth Night"

Illustration to Milton's
On the Morning of Christ's Nativity
Butts set

Urizen, the Apollo of Blake's system, was the Prince of Light, the intellectual capacity of the total man. His steeds which were the source of his energy, together with his chariot which was his form, were at the service of his Lord. However, he conceived that he would lose his special place as bearer of the Lord's light to the Lord's Son. Proud of his position, he was disobedient to the Lord's request. He hid from his Lord and became consumed by wrath. As he fell from Eternity, he took with him the Zoas of Imagination and Emotion, Urthona and Luvah.

Perhaps as an afterthought, he accused Luvah of having stolen the wine of the Almighty and gotten him drunk, causing him to fall from his throne.

No Zoa can change without changing the other Zoas. They are linked together and form a pattern within the wholeness. Did Urizen originate the cascading consequences by altering the balance? He looks at his situation in comparison the what it was when he accepted without question what was expected of him. Being the reasoner he constructs a scenario in which he plays the leading role but he spreads blame around.

As the fall continued Urizen continued to change. He explored, he built, he confronted, he constructed a system. The Urizen who was eventually reunited with the other three Zoas was a new Urizen chastened by experience.

No comments: