William Blake

(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 / London)

A War Song To Englishmen - Poem by William Blake

Prepare, prepare the iron helm of war,
Bring forth the lots, cast in the spacious orb;
Th' Angel of Fate turns them with mighty hands,
And casts them out upon the darken'd earth!
Prepare, prepare!

Prepare your hearts for Death's cold hand! prepare
Your souls for flight, your bodies for the earth;
Prepare your arms for glorious victory;
Prepare your eyes to meet a holy God!
Prepare, prepare!

Whose fatal scroll is that? Methinks 'tis mine!
Why sinks my heart, why faltereth my tongue?
Had I three lives, I'd die in such a cause,
And rise, with ghosts, over the well-fought field.
Prepare, prepare!

The arrows of Almighty God are drawn!
Angels of Death stand in the louring heavens!
Thousands of souls must seek the realms of light,
And walk together on the clouds of heaven!
Prepare, prepare!

Soldiers, prepare! Our cause is Heaven's cause;
Soldiers, prepare! Be worthy of our cause:
Prepare to meet our fathers in the sky:
Prepare, O troops, that are to fall to-day!
Prepare, prepare!

Alfred shall smile, and make his harp rejoice;
The Norman William, and the learnèd Clerk,
And Lion Heart, and black-brow'd Edward, with
His loyal queen, shall rise, and welcome us!
Prepare, prepare!


Comments about A War Song To Englishmen by William Blake

  • Jim Morris (6/21/2017 9:08:00 AM)


    Poted by a student in my class: I had to read some poems for an English project. I found this one by William Blake, but I didn't realize that he was an English poet in the 1700s. I like how this describes the battlefield and what might be going through the soldier's mind. They run into battle willing to die for their country, and that is very honorable. Because they know it's for a good cause and they will go to a better place if they die. I thank all those who risk their lives and die for their country. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (5/12/2017 11:41:00 AM)


    I found this poem very inspirational. It tells you a lot of the things the soldiers are going through. They experience many things like death and victory. Overall I'm very grateful for veterans and the service they provide us with! (Report) Reply

  • (5/12/2017 10:29:00 AM)


    Dear, Mr Amichai I am working on a project in English where I find soldiers poems, stories, or journal entries and analyse them. after reading your poem i wanted to comment about it. i really love where you are coming from in this poem. a lot of people take memorial day for granted and they should not because soldiers have given us everything we have today and i would just like to say thank you and i will be remembering all those that have fallen this memorial day. (Report) Reply

  • (5/12/2017 8:18:00 AM)


    Thank you Mr. Blake for showing how the services people do for our country affect them. How their lives on the line for everybody. They go through adrenaline, fear, excitement, and speed. They prepared for everything they had to go through. (Report) Reply

  • (5/11/2017 8:58:00 PM)


    This poem is very touching on many levels, and explores life before and the afterlife. I thank the men and woman that have prepared for the moments ahead of life or death and made our country free and safe. (Report) Reply

  • (4/21/2017 12:25:00 PM)

    Report mid=5675596
    XXXD wassup fam its ya boi just chilling in the computer lab Already Reported Reply

  • Tom Allport (12/18/2016 8:36:00 AM)

    tom allport
    when will we ever learn that war is one big waste of time and life (Report) Reply

  • Stephen Loomes (9/22/2016 2:27:00 AM)


    The great genius speaks of life, and how it must end for us all, we soldiers of reality. (Report) Reply

  • (12/25/2013 6:25:00 PM)


    Is this ironic? It fits our own times I suppose well enough. (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: angel, heaven, fate, death, war, together, smile, god, sky, heart, light, song, soldier, rose



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



[Report Error]