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"Jerusalem" - From William Blake

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"And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englandís mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On Englandís 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: Oh 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 Englandís green and pleasant Land."

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This poem was not named 'Jerusalem' by the author. But it is known as such and is frequently sung replacing 'these' in line eight by 'those'. The passage of almost 200 years since the original writing seems to have justified a change of tense.

William Blake created a grand prophetic work, on 100 engraved plates, about mankind's fall from a state of spiritual awareness and interest and about the possibility to recover the lost state. It was called 'Jerusalem The Emanation of The Giant Albion'. It is becoming increasingly well known as Blake's talents now receive untiring recognition by scholars of art and philosophy. However, surprisingly, that work is not the source of the poem we now call 'Jerusalem'. It comes instead from an early production of Blake's 'Milton a Poem in 2 Books'.

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Copyright - John Peirson 2001
Keywords - Jerusalem, Milton, England, Albion, "And did those feet", holy, "Lamb of God", "Satanic Mills",
bow, arrows, spear, chariot, mental, sword