Allen Ginsberg on William Blake’s “America – A Prophecy” continues from here
AG: “The King of England looking westward trembles at the vision/Albions Angel stood beside the Stone of Night”, – What’s the “Stone of Night”?
Student: In the dictionary it says revenge.
AG: The “Stone of Night”?
AG: Well, “an eye for an eye”, right?
AG: The stones (or) the tablets of the Law.
AG: If you open the Book of Urizen, when you get to Urizen, you’ll see this somewhat blind, bearded, white-haired, old, Jehovaic figure writing with both hands..
AG: … on the tablets of Law. And there’s another, where Orc assaults Urizen, grabbing him, rising up. Urizen’s on his throne surrounded by tablets, Mosaic tablets – the Ten Commandments – and Orc rises up to his throne and grabs him by the shoulders to pull him down and the tablets are breaking apart.
AG: That would be in the Book of Urizen, I think.
“…The terror like a comet, or more like the planet red/That once inclos’d the terrible wandering comets in its sphere/.Then Mars thou wast our center..” – (War – Mars) – “..and the planets three flew round/Thy crimson disk..” – (I don’t know what that is) – “…so e’er the Sun was rent from thy red sphere/ The Spectre..” – (This is still Orc, now) – “The Spectre glow’d his horrid length..” – (Like a snake) – “..staining the temple long/ With beams of blood, & thus a voice came forth, and shook the temple..”
So, this is the same Leviathan that we saw (before); that monsterous Leviathan in the bottom of the ocean in “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, remember? Leviathan was speckled in green (with a) blood-red forehead? He’s making a.. That’s also here.. You’ll see a funny little cute serpent, Leviathan, with a human face and a forked tongue in Plate 5. But the fires are there, and the King, again, going into the fires. The King had his hand on his head looking at Leviathan on the seashore, and here he’s falling into the fire with his hand on his head. The same king figure from Plate 4 to Plate 5
Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately sixty minutes in and concluding at approximately sixty-two minutes in