AND did those feet in ancient time…

Following on from my last post where I was looking at Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, I read further into the ideas behind Frankenstein and I came across William Blake’s Milton and in particular, the excerpt ‘Jerusalem’;

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.

It became apparent to me through reading and examining this excerpt that many people saw the industrial revolution as this incoming terror threatened their ‘mountain’s green’. In the beginning the Church were in many ways opposed to the revolution as they felt it was an attack on the beautiful landscape for which many people saw as God’s creation. Blake expressed his concern, and in particular the use of the phrase dark Satanic Mills highlighted the anti-christian symbolism of the cotton factories seen across England at the time. 

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