America A Prophecy (Finis) – William Blake

Reveal the dragon thro’ the human; coursing swift as fire
To the close hall of counsel, where his Angel form renews.

In a sweet vale shelter’d with cedars, that eternal stretch
Their unmov’d branches, stood the hall; built when the moon shot forth,
In that dread night when Urizen call’d the stars round his feet;
Then burst the center from its orb, and found a place beneath;
And Earth conglob’d, in narrow room, roll’d round its sulphur Sun.

To this deep valley situated by the flowing Thames;
Where George the third holds council. & his Lords & Commons meet:
Shut out from mortal sight the Angel came; the vale was dark
With clouds of smoke from the Atlantic, that in volumes roll’d
Between the mountains, dismal visions mope around the house.

On chairs of iron, canopied with mystic ornaments,
Of life by magic power condens’d; infernal forms art-bound
The council sat; all rose before the aged apparition;
His snowy beard that streams like lambent flames down his wide breast
Wetting with tears, & his white garments cast a wintry light.

Then as arm’d clouds arise terrific round the northern drum;
The world is silent at the flapping of the folding banners;
So still terrors rent the house: as when the solemn globe
Launch’d to the unknown shore, while Sotha held the northern helm,
Till to that void it came & fell; so the dark house was rent,
The valley mov’d beneath; its shining pillars split in twain,
And its roofs crack across down falling on th’Angelic seats.

Then Albions Angel rose resolv’d to the cove of armoury:
His shield that bound twelve demons & their cities in its orb,
He took down from its trembling pillar; from its cavern deep,
His helm was brought by Londons Guardian, & his thirsty spear
By the wise spirit of Londons river: silent stood the King breathing damp mists:
And on his aged limbs they clasp’d the armour of terrible gold.

Infinite Londons awful spires cast a dreadful cold
Even on rational things beneath, and from the palace walls
Around Saint James’s chill & heavy, even to the city gate.

On the vast stone whose name is Truth he stood, his cloudy shield
Smote with his scepter, the scale bound orb loud howld; th’ ancient pillar
Trembling sunk, an earthquake roll’d along the massy pile.

In glittring armour, swift as winds; intelligent as clouds;
Four winged heralds mount the furious blasts & blow their trumps
Gold, silver, brass & iron clangors clamoring rend the shores.
Like white clouds rising from the deeps, his fifty-two armies
From the four cliffs of Albion rise, mustering around their Prince;
Angels of cities and of parishes and villages and families,
In armour as the nerves of wisdom, each his station holds.

In opposition dire, a warlike cloud the myriads stood
In the red air before the Demon; seen even by mortal men:
Who call it Fancy, & shut the gates of sense, & in their chambers,
Sleep like the dead. But like a constellation ris’n and blazing
Over the rugged ocean; so the Angels of Albion hung,
a frowning shadow, like an aged King in arms of gold,
Who wept over a den, in which his only son outstretch’d
By rebels hands was slain; his white beard wav’d in the wild wind.

On mountains & cliffs of snow the awful apparition hover’d;
And like the voices of religious dead, heard in the mountains:
When holy zeal scents the sweet valleys of ripe virgin bliss;
Such was the hollow voice that o’er America lamented.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

As when a dream of Thiralatha flies the midnight hour:
In vain the dreamer grasps the joyful images, they fly
Seen in obscured traces in the Vale of Leutha, So
The British Colonies beneath the woful Princes fade.

And so the Princes fade from earth, scarce seen by souls of men
But tho’ obscur’d, this is the form of the Angelic land.

∼ William Blake

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