America, A Prophecy

The shadowy Daughter of Urthona stood before red Orc,
  When fourteen suns had faintly journey'd o'er his dark abode:
  His food she brought in iron baskets, his drink in cups of iron:
  Crown'd with a helmet and dark hair the nameless female stood;
  A quiver with its burning stores, a bow like that of night,
  When pestilence is shot from heaven: no other arms she need!
  Invulnerable though naked, save where clouds roll round her loins
  Their awful folds in the dark air: silent she stood as night;
  For never from her iron tongue could voice or sound arise,
  But dumb till that dread day when Orc assay'd his fierce embrace.
  'Dark Virgin,' said the hairy youth, 'thy father stern, abhorr'd,
  Rivets my tenfold chains while still on high my spirit soars;
  Sometimes an Eagle screaming in the sky, sometimes a Lion
  Stalking upon the mountains, and sometimes a Whale, I lash
  The raging fathomless abyss; anon a Serpent folding
  Around the pillars of Urthona, and round thy dark limbs
  On the Canadian wilds I fold; feeble my spirit folds,
  For chain'd beneath I rend these caverns: when thou bringest food
  I howl my joy, and my red eyes seek to behold thy face--
  In vain! these clouds roll to and fro, and hide thee from my sight.'

  Silent as despairing love, and strong as jealousy,
  The hairy shoulders rend the links; free are the wrists of fire;
  Round the terrific loins he seiz'd the panting, struggling womb;
  It joy'd: she put aside her clouds and smiled her first-born smile,
 As when a black cloud shews its lightnings to the silent deep.

  Soon as she saw the terrible boy, then burst the virgin cry:

  'I know thee, I have found thee, and I will not let thee go:
  Thou art the image of God who dwells in darkness of Africa,
  And thou art fall'n to give me life in regions of dark death.
On my American plains I feel the struggling afflictions
  Endur'd by roots that writhe their arms into the nether deep.
  I see a Serpent in Canada who courts me to his love,
  In Mexico an Eagle, and a Lion in Peru;
  I see a Whale in the south-sea, drinking my soul away.
  O what limb-rending pains I feel! thy fire and my frost
  Mingle in howling pains, in furrows by thy lightnings rent.
  This is eternal death, and this the torment long foretold.'

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
97 Views

William Blake

William Blake was an English poet, painter and printmaker. more…

All William Blake poems | William Blake Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss this William Blake poem with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"America, A Prophecy" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 16 Sep. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/39087/america,-a-prophecy>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets

»

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.