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Ulver lyrics

Album: Themes from William Blake's 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell' [1999]

 01  The Argument
 02  The Voice Of The Devil
 03  A Memorable Fancy
 04  Proverbs Of Hell
 05  A Memorable Fancy
 06  A Memorable Fancy
 07  A Memorable Fancy
 08  A Memorable Fancy
 09  A Song Of Liberty
all Ulver lyrics

The Argument
(PLATE 2) Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burden'd air; hungry clouds
swag on the deep, once meek, and in a perilous path, the just man kept his
course along the vale of death. Roses are planted where thorns grow, and on
the barren heath sing the honey bees, then the perilous path was planted: and
a riverland a spring on every cliff and tomb: and on the bleached bones red
clay brought forth. Till the villain left the paths of ease, to walk in
perilous paths, and drive the just man into barren climes. Now the sneaking
serpent walks in mild humility, and the just man rages in the wilds where
lions roam. Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burden'd air; hungry
clouds swag on the deep. (PLATE 3) As a new heaven is begun, and it is now
thirty-three years since its advent: the eternal hell revives. And lo!
Swedenborg is the angel sitting at the tomb: his writings are the linen
clothes folded up. Now is the dominion of Edom, & the return of Adam into
Paradise; see Isaiah XXXIV & XXXV chap: without contraries is no progression.
Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to
human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call good &
evil. Good is the passive that obeys reason. Evil is the active springing
from energy. Good is heaven, evil is hell.back to top
The Voice Of The Devil
(PLATE 4) All bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following
errors: 1. that man has two real existing principles: viz: a body & a soul
2. that energy call'd evil is alone from the body, & that reason, call'd good,
is alone from the soul. 3. that God will torment man in eternity for following
his energies. But following contraries to these are true: 1. man has no body
distinct from his soul; for that call'd body is a portion of soul discern'd
by the five senses, the chief inlets of soul in this age. 2. energy is the
only life and is from the body and reason is the bound and outward
circumference of energy. 3. energy is eternal delight. (PLATES 5-6) Those who
restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and
the restrainer or reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling. And being
restrain'd, it by degrees becomes passive, till it is only the shadow of
desire. The history of this is written in Paradise Lost, & the governor or
reason is call'd Messiah. and the original Archangel, or possessor of the
command of heavenly host, is call'd the Devil or Satan, and his children are
call'd Sin & Death. But in the book of Job, Milton's Messiah is call'd Satan.
For this history has been adopted by both parties. It indeed appear'd to
reason as if desire was cast out, but the Devil's account is, that the Messiah
fell & formed a heaven of what He stole from the abyss. This is shewn in the
gospel, where He prays to the Father to send the comforter, or desire, that
reason may have ideas to build on, the Jehovah of the bible being no other
than (the Devil den.) he who dwells in flaming fire, know that after Christ's
death, he became Jehovah. But in Milton, the father is destiny, the son, a
ratio of the five senses, & the holy-ghost, vacuum! Note: the reason Milton
wrote in ferrets when he wrote of angels & God. And at liberty when of devils
& hell, is because he was a true poet and of the Devil's party without knowing
it.back to top
A Memorable Fancy
(PLATES 6-7) As I was walking among the fires of hell, delighted with the
enjoyment of genius, which to angels look like torment and insanity, I
collected some of their proverbs: thinking that as the saying used in a nation
mark its character. So the proverbs of hell shew the nature of infernal wisdom
better than any description of buildings or garments. When I came home: on the
abyss of the five senses, where a flat sided steep frowns over the present
world, I saw a mighty Devil folded in black clouds, hovering on the sides of
rock, with corroding fires He wrote the following sentence now perceived by
the minds of men & read by them on earth: how do you know bu ev'ry bird that
cuts the airy way, is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?back to top
Proverbs Of Hell
(PLATES 7-10) In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy, drive
your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead, the road of excess leads
to the palace of wisdom. Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by
incapacity. He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence. The cut worm
forgives the plow. Dip him in the river who loves water. A fool sees not the
same tree that a wise man sees. He whose face gives no light, shall never
become a star. Eternity is in love with the productions of time. The busy bee
has no time for sorrow. The hours of folly are measur'd by the clock; but of
wisdom, no clock can measure. All wholsom food is caught without a net or a
trap. Bring out number, weight & measure in a year of dearth. No bird soars
too high, if he soars with his own wings. A dead body revenges not injuries.
The most sublime act is to set another before you. If the fool would persist
in his folly, he would become wise. Folly is the cloke of knavery. Shame is
pride's cloke. Prisons are built with stones of law, brothers with bricks of
religion. The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. The lust of the goat
is the bounty of God. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God. The
nakedness of woman is the work of God. Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy
weeps. The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy
sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the
eye of man. The fox condemns the trap, not himself. Joys impregnate. Sorrows
bring forth. Let man wear the feel of the lion, woman the fleece of the
sheep. The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship. The selfish smiling
fool, & the sullen, frowning fool shall be thought wise, that they may be a
rod. What is now proved was only once imagin'd. The rat, the mouse, the fox,
the rabbet watch the roots; the lion the tyger, the horse, the elephant,
watch the fruits. The cistern contains: the fountain overflows. One thought
fills immensity, always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid
you. Every thing possible to be beliv'd is an image of truth. The eagle never
lost so much time, as when he submitted to learn of the crow. The fox provides
for himself, but God provides for the lion. Think in the morning. Act in the
noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night. He who has suffer'd you to
impose on him knows you. As the plow follows words, so God rewards prayers.
The tygers of wrath are the wiser than the horses of instruction. Expect
poison from the standing water. You never know what is enough unless you know
what is more than enough. Listen to the fool's reproach! It is a kingly title!
The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.
The weak in courage is strong in cunning. The apple tree never asks the beech
how he shall grow; nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his pray. The
thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest. If others had not been foolish,
we should be so. The soul of sweet delight can never be defil'd. When thou
seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head! As the
caterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on. So the priest lays
his curse on the fairest joys. To create a little flower is the labour of
ages. Damn braces: bless relaxes. The best wine is the oldest, the best water
the newest. Prayers plow not! Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not! The head
sublime, the heart pathos, the genitals beauty, the hands & feet proportion.
As the air to bird or the sea to fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.
The crow wish'd every thing was black, the owl that every thing was white.
Exuberance is beauty. If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning.
Improve(me)nt makes strait road; but the crooked roads without improvement are
roads of genius. Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted
desires. Where man is not, nature is barren. Truth can never be told so as to
be understood, and not be beliv'd. Enough! Or too much. (PLATE 11) The ancient
poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or geniuses. Calling them by
names and adoring them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes,
cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged and numerous senses could
perceive. And particulary they studied the genius of each city & country,
placing it under its mental deity; till a system was formed, which some took
advantage of, & enslav'd the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the
mental deities from their objects: thus began priesthood; choosing forms of
worship from poetic tales. And it length they pronounc'd that the gods had
order'd such things. Thus men forgot that all deities reside in the human
breast.back to top
A Memorable Fancy
(PLATES 12-13) The prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them
how they dared so roundly to assert that God spoke to them; and whatever they
did not think at the time that they would be so misunderstood, & so be the
cause of imposition. Isaiah answer'd: 'I saw no God, nor heard any, in a
finite organical perception; but my senses discover'd the infinite in every
thing, and as I was then persuaded, & remain confirm'd, that the voice of
honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences, but
wrote.' Then I asked: 'Does a firm perswasion that a thing is so, make it so?'
He replied: 'All poets believe that it does, & in ages of imagination this
firm perswasion removed mountains; but many are not capable of a firm
perswasion of any thing.' Then Ezekiel said: 'The philosophy of the east
taught the first principles of human perception: some nations held one
principle for the origin, & some another; we Israel taught that the poetic
genius (as you now call it) was the first principle and all the others merely
derivative, which was the cause of our despising the priests & philosophers
of other countries, and prophecying that all gods would at last be proved to
originate in ours & to be tributaries of the poetic genius; it was this that
our great poet king David desired so fervently & invokes so pathetic'ly,
saying this he conquers enemies & governs kingdoms; and we so loved our God,
that we cursed in his name all the deities of surrounding nations and asserted
that they had rebelled; from this opinions the vulgar came to thin that all
nations would at last be subjected to the Jews. 'This' he said 'like all firm
perswasions, is come to pass; for all nations belive the Jews' code and
worship the Jews' God, and what the greater subjection can be?' I heard this
with some wonder, & must confess my own convivtion. After dinner I ask'd
Isaiah to favour the world with his lost works; he said none of equal value
was lost. Ezekiel the same of his. I also asked Isaiah what made him go naked
and bare foot three years? He answer'd: 'The same that made our friend
Diogenes, the Grecian.' I then asked Ezekiel why he eat dung, & lay so long
on his right & left side? He answer'd 'The desire of raising other men into
perception of the infinite: this the North American tribes practise, & is he
honest who resists his genius or conscience for this sake of present ease or
gratification? (PLATE 14) The ancient tradition that the world will be
consumed in fire at the end of six thousand years is true, as I have heard
from hell. For the Cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave
his guard at tree of life, and when he does, the whole creation will be
consumed and appear infinite and holy, whereas it now appears finite &
corrupt. This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment, but
first the notion that man has a body distinct from his soul is to be expunged;
this I shall do by printing in the infernal method, by corrosives, which in
hell are salutary and in medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away, and
displaying the infinite which was hid. If the doors of perception were
cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is. Infinite. For man has
closed himself up, till he sees things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.back to top
A Memorable Fancy
(PLATE 15) I was in a printing house in hell & saw the method in which
knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation. In the first chamber
was a dragon-man, clearing away the rubbish from a cave's mouth; within, a
number of dragons were hollowing the cave. In the second chamber was a viper
folding round the rock & the cave, and others were adorning it with gold,
silver and precious stones. In the third chamber was an eagle with wings and
feathers of air: he caused the inside of the cave to be infinite; around were
numbers of eagle-like men, who built palaces in the immense cliffs. In the
fourth chamber were lions of flaming fire, raging around & melting the metals
into living fluids. In the fifth chamber were unnam'd forms, which cast the
metals into the expanse. There they receiv'd by men who occupied the sixth
chamber, and took the forms of book & were arranged in libraries. (PLATES
16-17) The giants who formed this world into its sensual existence and now
seem to live in it in chains, are in truth the causes of its life & the
sources of all activity; but the chains are the cunning of weak and tame minds
which have power to resist energy, according to the proverb, the weak in
courage is strong in cunning. Thus one portion of beings is the prolific, the
other the devouring: to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in his
chains: but it is no so, he only takes portions of existence and fancies that
the whole. But the prolific would cease to be prolific unless the devourer,
as a sea received the excess of his delights. Some will say: 'Is not God
alone the prolific?' I answer: 'God only acts & is, in existing beings or
men'. These two classes of men are always upon earth, & they should be
enemies: whoever tries to reconcile them seeks to destroy existence. Religion
is an endeavour to reconcile the two. Note: Jesus Christ did not wish to
unite, but to seperate them, as in the parable of sheep and goats! & He says:
'I came not to send peace, but a sword.' Messiah or Satan or tempter was
formerly thought to be one of the antediluvians who are our energies.back to top
A Memorable Fancy
(PLATES 17-20) An angel came to me and said: 'O pitiable foolish young man! O
horrible! O dreadful state! Consider the hot burning dungeon thou art
preparing for thyself to all eternity, to which thou art going in such
career.' I said: 'Perhaps you will be willing to shew me my eternal lot & we
will contemplate together upon it and see whether your lot or mine is most
desirable.' So he took me thro' a stable & thro' a church & down into the
church vault. At the end of which was a mill: thro' the mill we went, and came
to a cave: down the winding cavern we groped our tedious way, till a void
boundless as a nether sky appear'd beneath us. & we held by the roots of trees
and hung over this immensity; but I said: 'If you please we will commit
ourselves to this void, and see whether providence is here also: if you will
not, I will?' But he answered: 'Do not presume, o young-man, but as we here
remain, behold thy lot which will soon appear when the darkness passes away.'
So I remain'd with him, sitting in a twisted root of an oak; he was suspended
in a fungus, which hung with the head downward into the deep. By degrees we
beheld the infinite abyss, fiery as the smoke of a burning city; beneath us,
at an immense distance, was the sun, black but shinning; round it were fiery
tracks on which revolv'd vast spiders, crawling after their prey, which flew,
or rather swum, in the infinite deep, in the most terrific shapes of animals
sprung from corruption; & the air was full of them, & seem'd composed of them:
these are devils, and are called powers of the air. I now asked my companion
which was my eternal lot? He said: 'Between the black & white spiders' but
now, from between the black & white spiders, a cloud and fire burst and rolled
thro' the deep. Black'ning all beneath, so that the nether deep grew black as
a sea, & rolled with a terrible noise; beneath us was nothing now to be seen
but a black tempest, till looking east between the cloudes & waves, we saw a
cataract of blood mixed with fire, and not many stones' throw from us appear'd
and sunk again the scaly fold of a monstrous serpent; at last, to the east,
distant about three degrees, appear'd a fiery crest above the waves; slowly it
reared like a ridge of golden rocks, till we discover'd two globes of crimson
fire, from which the sea fled away in clouds of smoke; and now we saw it was
the head of Leviathan; his forehead was divided into streaks of green & purple
like those on a tyger's forehead: soon we saw his mouth & red gills hung just
above the raging foam, tinging the black deep with beams of blood, advancing
towards us with all the fury of a spiritual existence. My friend the angel
climb'd up from his station into the mill; I remain'd alone; & then this
appearance was no more, but I found myself sitting on a pleasant bank beside
a river by moonlight hearing a harper, who sung to the harp; & his theme was:
'The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, & breeds
reptiles of the mind.' But I apose and sought for the mill, & there I found
my angel, who, surprised asked me how I escaped? I answer'd: 'All that we saw
was owing to your metaphysics; for when you ran away, I found myself on a bank
by moonlight hearing a harper. But now we have seen my eternal lot, shall I
shew you yours?' He lugh'd at my proposal; but I by force suddenly caught him
in my arms, & flew westerly thro' the night, till we were elevated above the
earth's shadow; then I flung myself with him directly into the body of the
sun; here I clothed myself in white & taking in my hand Swedenborg's volumes,
sunk from the glorious clime, and passed all the planets till we came to
Saturn: here I staid to rest, & then leap'd into the void between Saturn &
fixed stars. 'Here', said I, 'Is your lot, in this space, if space it may be
call'd.' Soon we saw the stable and the church, & I took him to the altar and
open'd the bible, and lo! It was a deep pit, into which I descended, driving
the angel before me; soon we saw seven houses of brick; one we enter'd; in it
were a number of monkeys, baboons, & all of that species, chain'd by the
middle, grinning and snatching at one another, but witheld by the shortness
of their chains: however, I saw that they sometimes grew numerous; and then
the weak were caught by the strong, and with a grinning aspect, first coupled
with, & then devour'd, by plucking off first one limb and then another, till
the body was left a helpless trunk; this, after grinning & kissing it with
seeming fondness, they devour'd too; and here & there I saw one savourily
picking the flesh off of his own tail; as the stench terribly annoy'd us both,
we went into the mill, & in my hand brought the skeleton of a body, which in
the mill was Aristotele's analytics. So the angel said: 'Thy phantasy has
imposed upon me, & thou oughtest to be ashamed.' I answered: 'We impose on one
another, & it is but lost time to converse with you whose works are only
analytics.' Opposition is true friendship. (PLATES 21-22) I have always found
that angels have the vanity to speak of themselves as the only wise; this they
do with a confident insolence sprouting from systematic reasoning, Swedenborg
boasts that what he writes is new; Tho' it is only the contents or index of
already publish'd books. A man carried a monkey about for a shew, & because
he was a little wiser than the monkey, grew vain, and conciev'd himself as
much wiser than seven men. It is so with Swedenborg: He shews the folly of
churches & exposes hypocrites, till he imagines that all religious, & himself
the single one on earth that ever broke a net. Now hear a plain fact:
Swedenborg has not written one net truth, now hear another: he has written all
the old falsehoods. And now hear the reason. He conversed with angels who are
all religious & conversed not with devils who all hate religion. For he was
incapable thro' his conceited notions. Thus Swedenborg writings are a
recapitulation of all superficial opinions, and an analysis of the more
sublime but not further. Have now another plain fact. Any man of mechanical
talents may, from the writings of Paracelus or Jacob Behmen, produce ten
thousand volumes of equal value with Swedenborg's, and from those of Dante or
Shakespeare an infinite number. But when he has done this, let him not say
that he knows better than his master, for he only holds a candle in sunshine.back to top
A Memorable Fancy
(PLATES 22-24) Once I saw a Devil in a flame of fire. Who arose before an
angel that sat on a cloud, and the devil utter'd these words: 'The worship of
God is: honouring His gifts in other men. Each according to his genius, and
loving the greatest men best: those who envy or caluminate great men hate
God; for there is no other God,' The angel hearing this became almost blue,
but mastering himself grew yellow. & at last white, pink, & smiling, and then
replied: 'Thou idolater, is not God one? & Is not He visible in Jesus Christ?
And has not Jesus Christ given his sanction to the law of ten commandments,
and are not all other men fools, sinners & nothings?' The devil answer'd:
'Bray a fool in a mother with wheat. Yet shall not his folly be beaten out of
him; if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the
greatest degree; now hear how He has given His sanction to the law of ten
commandments: did He not mock at the Sabbath, and so mock the sabbath's god?
Murder those who were murdered because of Him? Turn away the law from the
woman taken in adultery? Steal the labour of others to support him? Bear false
witness when He omitted making a defence before Pilate? Covet when He pray'd
for His disciples, and when He bid them shake off the dust of their feet
against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without
breaking these ten commandments. Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse,
not from rules! When He had so spoken, I beheld the angel who stretched out
his arms, embracing the flame of fire & he was consumed and arose as Elijah.
Note: this angel who is now become a devil, is my particular friend; we often
read the bible together in its infernal or diabolical sense which the world
shall have if they behave well. I have also the bible of hell, which the world
shall have whether they will or no. One law for the lion & ox is oppression.back to top
A Song Of Liberty
(PLATES 25-27) 1. The eternal female groan'd! It was heard all over the earth.
2. Albion's coast is sick silent; the American meadows faint! 3. Shadows of
prophecy shiver along by the lakes and the rivers and mutter across the ocean:
France, rend down thy dungeon; 4. Golden Spain burst the barriers of old Rome;
5. Cast thy keys, O Rome, into the deep falling, even to eternity down
falling, 6. And weep [and bow thy reverend locks.] 7. In her trembling hands
she took the new born terror, howling; 8. On those infinite mountains of
light, now barr'd out by the Atlantic sea, the new born fire stood before the
starry king! 9. Flag'd with grey brow'd snows and thunderous visages, the
jealous wings wav'd over the deep. 10. The speary hand burned aloft, unbuckled
was the shield; forth went the hand of jealousy among the flaming hair, and
hurl'd the new born wonder thro' the starry night. 11. The fire, the fire is
falling! 12. Look up! Look up! O citizen of London, enlarge thy countenance:
O Jew. Leave counting gold! Return to thy oil and wine. O African! Black
African! (Go, winged thought, widen his forehead) 13. The fiery limbs, the
flaming hair, shot like the sinking sun into the western sea. 14. Wak'd from
his eternal sleep, the hoary element roaring fled away; 15. Down rush'd,
beating his wings in vain, the jealous king; his grey brow'd councellors,
thunderous warriors, curl'd veterans, among helms, and shields, and chariots,
horses, elephants: banners, castles, slings, and rocks. 16. Falling, rushing,
ruining! Buried in the ruins, on Urthona's dens; 17. All night beneath the
ruins, then, their sullen flames faded, emerge round the gloomy king. 18.
With thunder and fire, leading his starry hosts thro' the waste wilderness,
he promulgates his ten commands, glancing his beamy eyelids over the deep in
dark dismay, 19. where the son of fire in his eastern cloud, while the morning
plumes her golden breast, 20. spurning the clouds written with curses, stamps
the stony law to dust, loosing the eternal horses from the dens of night,
crying: empire is no more! And now the lion & wolf shall cease. (CHORUS) Let
the priests of the raven of dawn, no longer in deadly black with hoarse note
curse the sons of joy. Nor his accepted brethren, whom, tyrant, he calls free:
lay the bound or build the roof. Nor pale religious letchery call the
virginity that wishes but acts not! For every thing that lives is holy.back to top
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