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And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time

Rating: 3.3

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!
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Fredrick Hudson 23 February 2009

well Gillian its obvious you have no idea what your talking about considering William Blake did not write this in the 19th century so dont try and act so smart. David I agree with you it is about how everyone dances to the same tune and that Jesus's presence should be everywhere no matter how far away it was from where he lived.

6 31 Reply
M. Saleem Akhtar Bodla 16 December 2012

It's an account of impatient romantic reformative approach. Mr. Blake is frustrated while witnessing evils produced by so-called industrial revolution. It's, according to Blake, only another way to exploit poor strata of England soil under the cover of churches. Blake as a reformist pining for an ideal world and for this purpose he is ready to fight against the contemporary wiles and vices.

24 7 Reply
Gillian.E. Shaw 12 March 2005

This poem was written about the Industrial Revolution that took place duing the early 19th century. The first verse asks did Christ visit Britain. This may be metaphorical or literal. There is an old English legend that Christ came to Britain as a boy. The poet questions christianity in Britain (2nd verse) and illustrates the point by using the adjective 'satanic' when describing the industrial mills. (In the North of Britain at this time many people; men, women and children, worked in the cotton industry.) This clearly gives the impression that the poet thinks the mills are evil places. In the final two verses he poet summons up his faith and reveals he will not rest until there is justice in society. This is a beautifully written poem and is sometimes used as a national anthem.

18 10 Reply
A. Jokerman 30 March 2009

I'd agree with Gillian for the most part, but would say that everything in the poem has a metaphorical sense, as well as possibly a litteral one. Blake used physical location to represent spiritual quality or aspect in a large amount of his work. Therefore the English hills are the English people, or people, and the mills represent not only mills, but the mental form of control, system, and renunciation of humanity. The lamb represents Christ, or the active principle necessary to constructing Jerusalem, of the Holy City. The poem ends with Blake's decleration of war, and his will to bring back the Christ, so that the Holy city can be rebuilt in England: Very cool.

12 15 Reply
David Gerardino 13 November 2004

every one, any where, dances to the same song.

7 16 Reply
bryan 06 May 2019

i like cheese someone give me cheese

2 1 Reply
* Sunprincess * 14 March 2016

.............amazingly, I see I've read this poem exactly two years ago....nice to enjoy a second time ?

0 1 Reply
Ross Shand 18 May 2014

If you look at the original, the first Stanzer resolves itself as: '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! ' Though my only source is Wikipedia, the above still seems better.

7 3 Reply
* Sunprincess * 14 March 2014

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?

6 4 Reply
Mick Mulvey 30 January 2014

Re: Frederick Hudson's utterly ill-informed and reactionary comment, So far as is known, Blake wrote this c.1804-1808...er...unless they've changed the calendar recently that would be the 19th century then...I guess you owe Gillian an apology

11 5 Reply