begin page 122 | back to top

THE [FIRST]11 | 1b | 1 This word afterwards inebriated. BOOK OF BLAKE


Of the fried brains of primal existence,
When Eternals ate out of golden bricks and bottles
And gave Blake a place in our mouths,
Loud, audacious, out of order and solitary.

Gadzooks, I hear your call gladly.
Dictate your lunacies to me so that even Joan can’t hear them
And leave me to the task of relation.

Chap: 1

1. Lo, a shade of melancholy is risen
In London! Dark, snappy to the touch
Is this demon of the mind who rasps
Throats in the courses of time.
It could be Blake, say some thoughtless fools
But we all know it is Sir Joshua.

2. Lots of times he figured, & moan’d
Word by word in his attic room,
Unseen, unknown! changes appeared
Like Bad Art, twisted into horror
By the Multi-colored demons of Blot and Blur.

3. For he strove in battles dire,
In unseen conflicts with shapes
Bred of his comely mistresses
Of beast, bird, fish, serpent & element,
Combustion, blast, vapour and cloud.

4. Dark, like the children of the chimneys,
He hid in his private coffin,
With activity unknown and horrible;
A Poet without a poem,
In a huge jar of ink.

5. But Tygers beheld his vast possibilities;
Ages on ages they lay, waiting to win him over.
Till finally they smelled his time
And burned an idea bright into his mind.

6. His trusty pen now ready, weird Blake
Prepar’d: his ten thousands of blunders
Rang’d in prolific array, stretch from London into America
And the rolling of his wheels can be heard for miles.
Like twisting wrestlers his groans can be heard
In the Alps, in Greece, in the heart of Venice,
And even in your own mind.
Is nothing sacred to this mixer of sorrows
But guinea-like suns and innocent lambs?

Chap: II

1. Art was not: nor truth of perception
The will of Blake was not yet born,
He twitched and turned in
Eternal life, before his death arrived.

2. The sound of a baby, the people
Awoke, & vast clouds of tears roll’d
Down the dull eyes of the world, so called
It by Blake, the new born.

3. Loud the crying, like that of an error.
Now was the earth prepared to accept its new christ,
The carpets rolled out and minds split open
Words passed lips like Roberts? and Grahm?
Crying was heard in Santa Fe
And rumors had it that He was only a copy.

4. But he spoke like a man, with
A man’s empty eyes, and seemed to
Look through you rather than at you.
“Here alone I, in place of yourself,
“Know what you are and what you desire.
“I know what is cold and I know what is fire
“I’ve written a book, it’s a must for you all
“Read it and praise it as lackeys you must.

5. “Lo! Am I divine as I search with your souls,
“For Innocence, Experience, Los and
“Of course, Luvah. Give me a handle
“So we can all be friends,
“Under one Heaven, One God
“One King, one Law, one society
“One curse, one rule, why of course, it’s me.”

Chap: III

2 This line stained by a drink in one copy.
1. The voice ended: they saw his waxed moustache
Emerge from his changing lip; his hand
On the empty bottle grasping for a
Look at eternity. Inspiration seized the weak,

2. Spasms of desire, intense need
In epileptic dronings of rye and barley
In whirlwinds of yeast and molasses
And enormous forms of energy;
All the seven heavy ingredients of sin.2
In gallon form appear’d,
In the flames of Blake’s vast still.

3. Thunder and lightning, and Southern
Comfort too, then fire burst out in the north end
Of town, where Blake’s fine army had bedded down
And angry yelps could be heard from above
Where his wife lay waiting for her imprisoned Orc.

4. But no fire came from the fire, and
No light from the light because it wasn’t there.

5. Then Blake raised his arm and up
Came Urizen; like an elevator boy he
Danced at his command, and the only one
Gone was Los, who had hidden in the valley
begin page 123 | back to top Between UBlake and Mars and ate fruit in the
Faces of the Eternals.

6. Los didn’t like the leechy Urizen
As Blake gave him plenty of Hell.
And Blake didn’t like the bellowing Los
As Orc wouldn’t let him leave his side.

Chap: IV

1. At a los was the world as they Watched the Blake grow.

2. He whimpered and cursed And drove himself wild.

3. They soon grew to rue the day of the Tears

4. And asked Willy Boy would he give Them a break.

Chap: V

1. Ages on ages roll’d over him
As he sought for a world winning stance.
Till finally he found that the right
Recipe was christ with a little romance.

2. He pleaded his case in darkness at first
Beating his head on his desk,
But every desk he finally marred
Was replaced with a new point of view
So he turned his restless eyes
To the sun and winced with pain when
He saw an eclipse formed an image of
Dancing men as carollers chimed at his door.

3. Lo! I have it indeed, in
Darkness I no longer dwell, I
Smell the green of a wonderful faith
And the aroma of my own dirty socks.

4. And the world shook with his might
As the demons were gassed and burned,
Painters were sent to Sigh beereeya for
Their blasphemous errors of sight.
The truth was clear to his tuned in ear
The truth was right and that was he.

5. He carved a man out of the sky,
In spiraling descent, he reached
The ground, as Urizen, the evil,
With the world as a hoax, and the freedom
To twist his own imagination to
Terrible deeds of the senses.

Chap: VI

1. Yes, Blake ate at diners, and
Sampled the human art, he drew fine
Portraits of human acts and painted on their
Flimsy canvas. But he finally decided
To deform the human art.
No more could they draw at will
Fine pieces of life, but bound to
Blake by the majesty of truth
They cowered in awe of eternity.

2. Their children wept, & built
Temples to his faces,
And followed his wise advice
And called him God.

3. And his mystery remains
Surrounded by laughter, now caus’d
By demons of satire and cynic.

4. The remaining songs of UBlake
Beheld their scorn and shrunk together
Beneath the Net of Bell.
Persuasion was in vain;
For the ears of the satirist
Were ringing with laughter and scold,
And his eyes were aglow with the humor of souls
Which whisper and ever remain.

5. So Bell called together a smattering
Of the remaining children of memory
And used them to toy with the idea of Blake
Hoping it not the same when he leaves it.

6. And the kicks seemed to be worth the time.

Print Edition

  • Publisher
  • Department of English, University of New Mexico
  • Albuquerque, NM, USA
    • Editors
    • Morris Eaves
    • Morton D. Paley
    • Managing Editor
    • Robin Tawney
    • Bibliographer
    • Thomas L. Minnick
    • Review Editor
    • Nelson Hilton
    • Associate Editor for Great Britain
    • Frances A. Carey
    • Contributors
    • Dan Bell
    • G.E. Bentley, Jr.
    • Max Byrd
    • Robert N. Essick
    • Mary Lynn Johnson
    • Anne K. Mellor
    • Stuart Peterfreund
    • David Simpson
    • Allen Staley
    • David Wagenknecht
    • Nicholas Warner

    Digital Edition

    • Editors:
    • Morris Eaves, University of Rochester
    • Robert Essick, University of California, Riverside
    • Joseph Viscomi, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Project Manager
    • Joe Fletcher
    • Technical Editor
    • Michael Fox
    • Previous Project Manager and Technical Editor
    • William Shaw
    • Project Director
    • Adam McCune
    • Project Coordinator, UNC:
    • Natasha Smith, Carolina Digital Library and Archives
    • Project Coordinator, University of Rochester:
    • Sarah Jones
    • Scanning:
    • UNC Digital Production Center
    • XML Encoding:
    • Apex CoVantage
    • Additional Transcription:
    • Adam McCune
    • Jennifer Park
    • Emendations:
    • Rachael Isom
    • Mary Learner
    • Adam McCune
    • Ashley Reed
    • Jennifer Park
    • Scott Robinson
    • XSLT Development:
    • Adam McCune
    • Joseph Ryan
    • William Shaw
    • PHP and Solr Development:
    • Michael Fox
    • Adam McCune
    • Project Assistants:
    • Lauren Cameron,
    • Rachael Isom,
    • Mary Learner,
    • Jennifer Park,
    • Ashley Reed,
    • Adair Rispoli,
    • Scott Robinson
    • Sponsors
    • Funders
    • Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly
    • William Blake Archive
    • Carolina Digital Library and Archives
    • Use Restrictions
    • Copyright © 2015 Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly, all rights reserved. Items in this digital edition may be shared in accordance with the Fair Use provisions of U.S. copyright law. Redistribution or republication on other terms, in any medium, requires express written consent from the editors and advance notification of the publisher. Permission to reproduce the graphic images in this digital edition rests with the owning institutions.