Our Clouded Hills

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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 & pleasant Land.

William Blake

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16 comments on “Our Clouded Hills

  1. Dani says:

    Oh, that is one of my very favourite hymns.

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  2. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, Hmmmmm, interesting poem. I did some reading on William Blake. He’s a real well knkow poit and classified number 38 in English poets. He didn’t rise to fame until after his death. As you know I am not drawn to poetry …. usually. You always seem to pick poems that challenge my brain to think about the substance. I still don’t pickup on the essence of most poems but some times just the beauty of the poem is enough. I’m not sure what this poem means but it seems to me that he might have been against the Church of England and wnating to bring true biblical beliefs into the country. Of course poetry says something different to every person that reads it.

    Have a great clouded hills day on White Flint Farm.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer
    Omaha, Nebraska, USA

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    • Bill says:

      That’s not my take on the poem, but as you say, good poetry has a surplus of meaning. It’s cold on our clouded hills this morning. I miss those warm winter days.

      Liked by 2 people

      • NebraskaDave says:

        Bill, I’d be interested in what your take is on the poem.

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      • Bill says:

        Well, that could be a long essay, but let me give it a shot in one unpoetic sentence: The poet wonders whether there was ever a time when peace and harmony prevailed in a now blighted land, and vows to work ceaselessly to achieve it now. I take it to be an agrarian critique of industrialism, but it doesn’t have to be. Jerusalem is an image of the ideal, I think. The dark satanic mills could be literal in Blake’s day, or they could just mean whatever has destroyed the ideal state. That’s my two cents. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres says:

    It’s easy to see why that landscape brought England to mind. You’re missing a few hedgerows, but what the heck, with a horizon like that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I wasn’t so much thinking of England as I was our own clouded hills and dark Satanic mills. I was going to share this picture, which I like, and decided at the last minute to join the poem to it. Much easier than composing any original thoughts of my own. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. BeeHappee says:

    I like those types of skies. Ha, I almost miss them in Arizona.

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  5. thistledog says:

    Of course, I read this while listening to Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s version in my head. Stirring stuff!

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  6. I have a horrible memory for figures and can’t remember my own children’s phone numbers now that my phone does that for me, but there’s something about the vast beauty of Blake’s poetry that stays in my mind the way music does. Thanks for sharing this, Bill.

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