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Blake, William - The horrid shapes and sights of torment in burning dungeons



Type of Spiritual Experience


Blake's "Antaeus setting down Dante and Virgil in the last circle of Hell"...

A description of the experience

William Blake – from The Complete Poems

The horrid shapes and sights of torment in burning dungeons and in
Fetters of red hot iron some with crowns of serpents and some
With monsters girding round their bosoms. Some lying on beds of sulphur
On racks and wheels he beheld women marching o’er burning wastes
Of sand in bands of hundreds and of fifties and of thousands stricken with
Lightnings which blazed after them upon their shoulders in their march
In successive vollies with loud thunders swift flew the King of Light
Over the burning deserts. Then the deserts passed involved in clouds
Of smoke with myriads moping in the stifling vapours.
Swift flew the King tho’ flagged his powers, labouring till over rocks
And mountains faint weary he wandered where multitudes were shut
Up in the solid mountains and in rocks which heaved with their torments.
Then came he among fiery cities and castles built of burning steel
And he beheld the forms of tigers and lions - dehumanised men
Many in serpents and in worms stretched out enormous length
Over the sullen mould, and slimy tracks obstruct his way
Drawn out from deep to deep woven by ribbed
And scaled monsters or armed in iron shell or shell of brass
Or gold a glittering torment shining and hissing in eternal pain….

The source of the experience

Blake, William

Concepts, symbols and science items





Science Items

Activities and commonsteps