An Old Favorite This


An Old Favorite
This poem (actually a piece of a much larger work entitled Milton) has been a favorite for a much longer time than I knew of the poem proper. My first acquaintance of it was in a very atraditional setting. It is a militant, strong, and still quite beautiful anthem on Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's best album Brain Salad Surgery. From that acquaintance I came to hear it once in an Episcopal setting (boy did that shock me at the time!) and later found the source in William Blake. No matter how it came about, and no matter that Blake was a rather queer (in the old and very full sense of that word) mystic (He used to have tea in the Garden with Elijah), it is a remarkable piece of work.

"Jerusalem" from the Preface toMilton 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.

Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 25, 2002 1:38 AM.

Dylan's Poetry Review was the previous entry in this blog.

Indeed, Sunday Morning Wallace Stevens is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll