The prophetic books of William Blake, Milton/Milton, preface
A Poem in 2 Books
To Justify the Ways of God to Men.
The Author & Printer W. Blake.
THE Stolen and Perverted Writings of Homer & Ovid, of Plato &
Cicero, which all Men ought to contemn, are set up by artifice against
the Sublime of the Bible: but when the New Age is at leisure to Pronounce,
all will be set right & those Grand Works of the more ancient & con-
5sciously & professedly Inspired Men will hold their proper rank & the
Daughters of Memory shall become the Daughters of Inspiration. Shak-
speare & Milton were both curb'd by the general malady & infection from
the silly Greek & Latin slaves of the Sword.
Rouze up O Young Men of the New Age! Set your foreheads against
10 the ignorant Hirelings! For we have Hirelings in the Camp, the Court, &
the University: who would if they could for ever depress Mental & prolong
Corporeal War. Painters! on you I call. Sculptors! Architects! Suffer not the
fashionable Fools to depress your powers by the prices they pretend to give
for contemptible works or the expensive advertizing boasts that they make
15 of such works; believe Christ & his Apostles that there is a Class of Men
whose whole delight is in Destroying. We do not want either Greek or
Roman Models if we are but just & true to our own Imaginations, those
Worlds of Eternity in which we shall live for ever, in Jesus Our Lord.
And did those feet in ancient time
20Walk 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?
25And 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!
30Bring 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 & pleasant Land.