1. Urizen explor'd his dens,
Mountain, moor, and wilderness,
With a globe of fire lighting his journey --
fearful journey, annoy'd
By cruel enormities, forms
Of life on his forsaken mountains.
2. And his World teem'd vast enormities,
Fright'ning, faithless, fawning,
Portions of life, similitudes
foot, or a hand, or a head,
Or a heart, or an eye; they swam mischievous,
Dread terrors, delighting in blood!
3. Most Urizen sicken'd to see
His eternal creations appear,
Sons and daughters of sorrow, on mountains,
wailing. First Thiriel appear'd,
Astonish'd at his own existence,
Like a man from a cloud born; and Utha,
the waters emerging, laments;
Grodna rent the deep earth, howling,
Amaz'd; his heavens immense crack
the ground parch'd with heat; then Fuzon
Flam'd out, first begotten, last born;
All his Eternal sons in like
His daughters, from green herbs and cattle,
From monsters and worms of the pit.
4. He in darkness clos'd view'd all his race,
And his soul sicken'd! He curs'd
Both sons and daughters; for
That no flesh nor spirit could keep
His iron laws one moment.
5. For he saw that Life liv'd upon Death:
The Ox in the slaughter-house moans;
The Dog at the wintry
And he wept, and he callèd it Pity,
And his tears flowèd down on the winds.
6. Cold he wander'd on
high, over their Cities,
In weeping and pain and woe;
And wherever he wander'd, in sorrows
Upon the agèd
A cold Shadow follow'd behind him
Like a spider's web, moist, cold, and dim,
Drawing out from
his sorrowing soul,
The dungeon-like heaven dividing,
Wherever the footsteps of Urizen
Walkèd over the
cities in sorrow;
7. Till a Web, dark and cold, throughout all
The tormented element stretch'd
From the sorrows of Urizen's
And the Web is a Female in embryo;
None could break the Web, no wings of fire,
8. So twisted the cords, and so knotted
The meshes, twisted like to the human brain.
9. And all call'd it the Net of Religion.
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