William Blake (1757-1827)

Stories of the Human Spirit

William Blake (1757-1827):

"A Vision of Albion"
Jerusalem (1804)

Edited by Peter Y. Chou

William Blake, Jerusalem, Plate 15 (1804), Yale Center for British Art

"A Vision of Albion" from Jerusalem

I see the Fourfold Man; the Humanity in deadly sleep,
And its fallen Emanation, the Spectre and its cruel Shadow.
I see the Past, Present, and Future existing all at once
Before me. O Divine Spirit! sustain me on thy wings,
That I may awake Albion from his long and cold repose;
For Bacon and Newton, sheath'd in dismal steel, their terrors hang
Like iron scourges over Albion. Reasonings like vast Serpents
Enfold around my limbs, bruising my minute articulations.

I turn my eyes to the Schools and Universities of Europe,
And there behold the Loom of Locke, whose Woof rages dire,
Wash'd by the Water-wheels of Newton: black the cloth
In heavy wreaths folds over every Nation: cruel Works
Of many Wheels I view, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic,
Moving by compulsion each other; not as those in Eden, which,
Wheel within wheel, in freedom revolve, in harmony and peace.

William Blake (1888-1965),
"A Vision of Albion" Jerusalem, Ch. 1, Plate 15 (1804)

William Blake Archive
(Eds. Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi)

Blake: The Complete Poems
(Edited by W. H. Stevenson), Longman, London, 1989, Chapter 1, p. 159

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email: peter@wisdomportal.com (9-7-2003)