The Guardian Prince of Albion burns in his nightly tent:
Sullen fires across the Atlantic glow to America's
Piercing the souls of warlike men who rise in silent night.
Washington, Franklin, Paine, and Warren,
Gates, Hancock, and Green
Meet on the coast glowing with blood from Albion's fiery Prince.
Washington spoke: `Friends of America! look over the Atlantic sea;
A bended bow is lifted in Heaven, and
a heavy iron chain
Descends, link by link, from Albion's cliffs across the sea, to bind
Brothers and sons
of America; till our faces pale and yellow,
Heads depress'd, voices weak, eyes downcast, hands work-
Feet bleeding on the sultry sands, and the furrows of the whip
Descend to generations, that in
future times forget.'
The strong voice ceas'd; for a terrible blast swept over the heaving sea:
The eastern cloud rent: on his
cliffs stood Albion's wrathful Prince,
A dragon form, clashing his scales: at midnight he arose,
red meteors round the land of Albion beneath;
His voice, his locks, his awful shoulders, and his glowing
Appear to the Americans upon the cloudy night.
Solemn heave the Atlantic waves between the gloomy nations,
Swelling, belching from its deeps red
clouds and raging fires.
Albion is sick! America faints! Enrag'd the Zenith grew.
As human blood shooting
its veins all round the orbèd heaven,
Red rose the clouds from the Atlantic in vast wheels of blood,
in the red clouds rose a Wonder o'er the Atlantic sea --
Intense! naked! a Human fire, fierce glowing,
as the wedge
Of iron heated in the furnace; his terrible limbs were fire,
With myriads of cloudy terrors,
banners dark, and towers
Surrounded: heat but not light went thro' the murky atmosphere.
The King of England looking westward trembles at the vision.
Albion's Angel stood beside the Stone of Night, and saw
The Terror like a comet, or more like the planet
That once enclos'd the terrible wandering comets in its sphere.
Then, Mars, thou wast our centre,
and the planets three flew round
Thy crimson disk; so, ere the Sun was rent from thy red sphere,
Spectre glow'd, his horrid length staining the temple long
With beams of blood; and thus a voice came
forth, and shook the temple:--
`The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations;
The grave is burst, the spices
shed, the linen wrappèd up;
The bones of death, the cov'ring clay, the sinews shrunk and dry'd
shake, inspiring move, breathing, awakening,
Spring like redeemèd captives, when their bonds and bars
Let the slave grinding at the mill run out into the field,
Let him look up into the heavens and
laugh in the bright air;
Let the enchainèd soul, shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Whose face has never
seen a smile in thirty weary years,
Rise and look out; his chains are loose, his dungeon doors are open;
let his wife and children return from the oppressor's scourge.
They look behind at every step, and believe
it is a dream,
Singing: "The Sun has left his blackness, and has found a fresher morning,
And the fair
Moon rejoices in the clear and cloudless night;
For Empire is no more, and now the Lion and Wolf shall
In thunders ends the voice. Then Albion's Angel wrathful burnt
Beside the Stone of Night; and, like the
Eternal Lion's howl
In famine and war, reply'd: `Art thou not Orc, who serpent-form'd
Stands at the gate
of Enitharmon to devour her children?
Blasphemous Demon, Antichrist, hater of Dignities,
Lover of wild
rebellion, and transgressor of God's Law,
Why dost thou come to Angel's eyes in this terrific form?'
The Terror answer'd: `I am Orc, wreath'd round the accursèd tree:
The times are ended; shadows pass, the
morning 'gins to break;
The fiery joy, that Urizen perverted to ten commands,
What night he led the starry
hosts thro' the wide wilderness,
That stony Law I stamp to dust; and scatter Religion abroad
To the four
winds as a torn book, and none shall gather the leaves;
But they shall rot on desert sands, and consume
in bottomless deeps,
To make the deserts blossom, and the deeps shrink to their fountains,
And to renew
the fiery joy, and burst the stony roof;
That pale religious lechery, seeking Virginity,
May find it in a harlot,
and in coarse-clad honesty
The undefil'd, tho' ravish'd in her cradle night and morn;
For everything that
lives is holy, life delights in life;
Because the soul of sweet delight can never be defil'd.
Fires enwrap the