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Europe a Prophecy from William Blake

Introduction

‘Five windows light the cavern’d Man: thro’ one he breathes the air;
Thro’ one hears music of the spheres; thro’ on the eternal vine
Flourished, that he may receive the grapes; thro’ one can look
And see small portions of the eternal world that ever growth;
Thro’ one himself pass out what time he please, but he will not;
For stolen joys are sweet, & bread eaten in secret pleasant.’

So sang a Fairy mocking as he sat on a streak’d Tulip,
Thinking none saw him; when he ceas’d I started from the trees,
And caught him in my hat as boys knock down a butterfly.
‘How know you this,’ said I, ‘small Sir? where did you learn this song?’
seeing himself in my possession, thus he answer’d me:
‘My Master, I am yours; command me, for I must obey.’

‘Then tell me what is the material world, and is it dead?’
He laughing answer’d: ‘I will write a book on leaves of flowers,
If you will feed me on love-thoughts, & give me now and then
A cup of sparkling poetic fancies. So, when I am tipsie,
I’ll sing to you to this soft lute, and shew you all alive
The world, where every particle of dust breathes forth its joy.’

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Preludium

The nameless shadowy female rose form out the breast of Orc,
Her snaky hair brandishing in the winds of Enitharmon;
And thus her voice arose:

‘O mother Enitharmon, wilt thou bring forth other sons,
To cause my name to vanish, that my place may not be found?
For I am faint with travel!
Like the dark cloud disburden’d in the day of dismal thunder.

‘My roots are brandish’d in the heavens, my fruits in earth beneath
Surge, foam and labour into life, first born & first consum’d!
Consumed and consuming!
Then why shouldst thou, accused mother, bring me into life?

‘I warp my turban of thick clouds around my lab’ring head,
And fold the sheety waters as a mantle round my limbs.
Yet the red sun and moon
And all the overflowing stars rain down prolific pains.

‘Unwilling I look up to heaven! unwilling count the stars!

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poem by William Blake from Europe a Prophecy (1794)Report problemRelated quotes
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A Prophecy

The deep of winter came,
What time the secret child

Descended thro’ the orient gates of the eternal day.
War ceas’d, & all the troops like shadows fled to their abodes.
Then Enitharmon saw her sons & daughters rise around;
Like pearly clouds they meet together in the crystal house;
And Los, possessor of the moon, joy’d in the peaceful night,
Thus speaking, while his num’rous sons shook their bright fiery wings:

‘Again the night is come
That strong Urthona takes his rest,
And Urizen unloos’d from chains
Glows ike a meteor in the distant north.
Stretch forth your hands and strike the elemental strings!
Awake the thunders of the deep,

‘The shrill winds wake!
Till all the sons of Urizen look out and envy Los:
Seize all the spirits of life and bind

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poem by William Blake from Europe a Prophecy (1794)Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Veronica Serbanoiu
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