Friday, October 7, 2016

Jerusalem by William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

Blake looked with some alarm and the coming age, as he rightly saw the approaching danger of the suppression of the individual for the collective.  As Blake felt that all that was worthwhile about Being, from its innocence to its experience, was born from unrestrained individuality, he would naturally fear the dark, Satanic force.  The mills he mentions were both literal and a metaphoric reference to Christendom, with its calcified appreciation of the spiritual, rather than the free realm of Christianity.