And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time Poem by William Blake

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!
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.

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 32 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
David Page- aka Harry Riley 10 November 2022

You either like a poem or you don't and I like this!

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Chinedu Dike 04 February 2022

A beautiful creation..........

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Rose Marie Juan-austin 03 February 2022

Powerful and profound poem so beautifully crafted and expressed.

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Dr Dillip K Swain 03 February 2022

O clouds, unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire! ....a prayer…a clarion call followed by the great resolution, "I will not cease from mental fight. This poem is the reflection of a powerful whine of a great soul though retrospective…critically appreciated.

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Dr Dillip K Swain 03 February 2022

The poet puts great question in the first stanza! He reiterates his deep concern about ‘Jerusalem' which is tainted by evil powers and forces…the figure of speech, ‘satanic mills' creates an impression. (Part 1)

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