No poem of Blake’s, except perhaps the notorious “Mental Traveller,” is more dense and difficult than Europe a Prophecy (1794). Passages in several longer works exceed it in semantic turbulence, but they are relieved by stretches of fairly smooth sailing, at least to an experienced navigator of Blakean currents. Europe is frustrating from beginning to end. It is frustrating in part because it looks at first as if it ought to be understandable: not very long, it has a fairly clear structure—the nesting of narratives in the Prophecy section—with a stirring climax, and it seems to be about the most important political event of the century, the French Revolution. It is joined to America a Prophecy (1793) by means of a continuous Preludium as well as some of the action in the main poem, and America is satisfyingly comprehensible, for the most part, even to those who do not know Blake well. With Europe Blake seems to have taken a new and experimental turn, or tried to do too much in too little space, or imitated the obscure profundities of biblical prophecy, 1 dissimulated to avoid censorship, or changed his mind about a larger narrative context that might have helped explain things, for at one point not only was Europe to be attached to America but that double book was to be enclosed in what we know as the two parts of Song of Los (1795), “Africa” preceding America and “Asia” presenting the “strife of blood” on the verge of which Europe ends. Something, in any case, seems to have gone wrong, if being exasperatingly difficult is wrong.