The Song of Los, written 1795, is one of William Blake's epic poems, known as prophetic books. The poem consists of two sections, “Africa” and “Asia”. In the first section Blake catalogues the decline of morality in Europe, which he blames on both the African slave trade and enlightenment philosophers. The book provides a historical context for The Book of Urizen, The Book of Ahania, and The Book of Los, and also ties those more obscure works to The Continental Prophecies, “Europe” and “America”. The second section consists of Los urging revolution. The Song of Los was one of the few works that Blake describes as “illuminated printing”, one of his colour printed works with the coloured ink being placed on the copperplate before printed.
William Blake was a poet, painter, visionary mystic, and engraver. During his life the prophetic message of his writings were understood by few and misunderstood by many. However Blake is now widely admired for his soulful originality and lofty imagination. The poetry of William Blake is far reaching in its scope and range of experience. The poems of William Blake can offer a profound symbolism and also a delightful childlike innocence. Whatever the inner meaning of Blake's poetry we can easily appreciate the beautiful language and lyrical quality of his poetic vision.