Wednesday, July 08, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript

Four Zoas, Night I, PAGE 22 [20], (E 311)
"Luvah replied Dictate to thy Equals. am not I
The Prince of all the hosts of Men nor Equal know in Heaven
If I arise into the Zenith leaving thee to watch
The Emanation & her Sons the Satan & the Anak
Sihon and Og. wilt thou not rebel to my laws remain             
In darkness building thy strong throne & in my ancient night
Daring my power wilt arm my sons against me in the Atlantic 
My deep   My night which thou assuming hast assumed my Crown
I will remain as well as thou & here with hands of blood
Smite this dark sleeper in his tent then try my strength with thee 

While thus he spoke his fires reddend oer the holy tent
Urizen cast deep darkness round him silent brooding death
Eternal death to Luvah. raging Luvah pourd
The Lances of Urizen from chariots. round the holy tent
Discord began & yells & cries shook the wide firmament

Beside his anvil stood Urthona dark. a mass of iron
Glowd furious on the anvil prepard for spades & coulters   All
His sons fled from his side to join the conflict pale he heard
The Eternal voice he stood the sweat chilld on his mighty limbs
He dropd his hammer. dividing from his aking bosom fled          
A portion of his life shrieking upon the wind she fled
And Tharmas took her in pitying Then Enion in jealous fear
Murderd her & hid her in her bosom embalming her for fear
She should arise again to life Embalmd in Enions bosom
Enitharmon remains a corse such thing was never known            
In Eden that one died a death never to be revivd
Urthona stood in terror but not long his spectre fled
To Enion & his body fell. Tharmas beheld him fall
Endlong a raging serpent rolling round the holy tent
The sons of war astonishd at the Glittring monster drove         
Him far into the world of Tharmas into a cavernd rock

But Urizen with darkness overspreading all the armies
Sent round his heralds   secretly commanding to depart
Into the north Sudden with thunders sound his multitudes
Retreat from the fierce conflict all the sons of Urizen at once  
Mustring together in thick clouds leaving the rage of Luvah
To pour its fury on himself & on the Eternal Man

Sudden down fell they all together into an unknown Space
Deep horrible without End. Separated from Beulah far beneath
The Mans exteriors are become indefinite opend to pain           
In a fierce hungring void & none can visit his regions"

This passage reads like a precis of the fall as it occurs throughout Blake's poetry. All four of the Zoas and two of their Emanations are mentioned in this narrative. Luvah refuses to submit to the plan of Urizen and proposes to attack Albion on his own. As Luvah and Urizen enter their rage against each other, Urthona's sons abandon their father to enter the conflagration. Urthona is being dismembered as another portion of his life - Enitharmon - flees to be taken in by Tharmas.

Blake would have seen the fracturing of Urthona as the most tragic of the symptoms of the fall which he observed. Urthona's function as an Eternal Zoa was to hold the vision without which there could be no cohesion among the parts which contributed to the Eternal Man. Urthona had been the light of consciouness of the unified working of the Undivided Eternal dimension. When he lost his sons and his daughter, the outer evidence which supported his inner confidence failed. Urthona lost too his Spectre, and he entered a serpent form forced into the underground. Urthona had occupied the Zenith of man's functioning. Now that position was occupied by Urizen, and Urthona was forced to the Nadir. Henceforth his influence would occupy the subconscious which would seldom be consulted by the reason or the emotions.   

Wikipedia Commons
Visionary Heads
Head of Job
Perhaps Blake modeled Urthona on Job, an individual whose understanding of God was transformed by enduring suffering. The two began as favored by God to bring blessings to their fellows. However they found that their misconceptions about the workings of the Eternal world led to breakdowns. They were both torn down in order to be rebuilt as suitable vessels to carry the message of completeness.


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