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 those 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.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
On building Jerusalem
This afternoon I happened to hear part of the NPR broadcast of the Last Night of the BBC Proms 2010 (UK summer concert series). Toward the very end, the orchestra sounded the opening strains of "And did those feet" set to the tune "Jerusalem" and I found myself moved to tears. I don't know whether this was some kind of primal homesickness for "the Mother Country" or a deep longing for the new Jerusalem that is yet to be manifest. I just know it was truly meaningful.
The whole audience sang and the voices simply soared.
Here are those exalted words:
May it be so for England and, yes, for every land on this green and pleasant Earth.