1. Then Light first began: from the fires,
Beams, conducted by fluid so pure,
Flow'd around the Immense.
Forthwith, writhing upon the dark Void,
The Backbone of Urizen appear,
Hurtling upon the
Like a serpent, like an iron chain,
Whirling about in the Deep.
2. Upfolding his Fibres together
To a Form of impregnable strength,
Los, astonish'd and terrifièd, built
formed an Anvil,
A Hammer of adamant: then began
The binding of Urizen day and night.
3. Circling round the dark Demon with howlings,
Dismay, and sharp blightings, the Prophet
beat on his iron links.
4. And first from those Infinite fires,
The light that flow'd down on the winds
He seiz'd, beating incessant,
The subtil particles in an Orb.
5. Roaring indignant, the bright sparks
Endur'd the vast Hammer; but unwearièd
Los beat on the Anvil, till
An immense Orb of fire he fram'd.
6. Oft he quench'd it beneath in the Deeps;
Then survey'd the
all-bright mass. Again
Seizing fires from the terrific Orbs,
He heated the round Globe, then beat;
roaring, his Furnaces endur'd
The chain'd Orb in their infinite wombs.
7. Nine ages completed their circles,
When Los heated the glowing mass, casting
It down into the Deeps: the
Away in redounding smoke: the Sun
Stood self-balanc'd. And Los smil'd with joy
He the vast
Spine of Urizen seiz'd,
And bound down to the glowing Illusion.
8. But no light! for the Deep fled away
On all sides, and left an unform'd
Dark Vacuity: here Urizen lay
fierce torments on his glowing bed;
9. Till his Brain in a rock, and his Heart
In a fleshy slough, formèd four rivers,
Obscuring the immense Orb
Flowing down into night; till a Form
Was completed, a Human Illusion,
In darkness and deep clouds
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