Page:Life of William Blake, Gilchrist.djvu/288

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

nation, nevertheless, seems here as elsewhere in Blake's writings, to be 'the chosen people,' or as one may say, 'the Jews regenerate.' This song is given as an example of what Blake could do in his most exacting moods, if indeed he really expected any listener other than a 'spectre' or 'emanation' of his own to hearken to such strains; combining as they do, localities familiar only to penny-a-lining with conceptions 'pinnacled dim in the intense inane.' The early part of the song is included, indeed, not without hesitation, lest the reader should laugh at one whose creation was not for laughter; but it had better speak as a whole for itself, and for its author's wildest exigencies. The inmost cell of the poetic mind will not find the familiar names in such connexion altogether unwelcome; and after the stanza commencing,

Life of William Blake (1880), volume 1, page 232.png

'The Rhine was red with human blood,'

the verse opens out into reaches of utterance much nobler, and surely, here and there, not unsuggestive of prophecy.

To the Jews.

The fields from Islington to Marybone,
To Primrose Hill and Saint John's Wood,
Were builded over with pillars of gold;
And there Jerusalem's pillars stood.

Her little ones ran on the fields,
The Lamb of God among them seen;
And fair Jerusalem, his Bride,
Among the little meadows green.

Pancras and Kentish Town repose
Among her golden pillars high,
Among her golden arches which
Shine upon the starry sky.

The Jew's-Harp House and the Green Man,
The Ponds where boys to bathe delight,
The fields of cows by Welling's farm,
Shine in Jerusalem's pleasant sight.