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William Blake (1757–1827). The Poetical Works. 1908.

Selections from ‘Jerusalem’

[Albion upon the Rock]

(Jerusalem, f. 94, ll. 1–18.)

ALBION cold lays on his Rock; storms and snows beat round him,

Beneath the Furnaces and the Starry Wheels and the Immortal Tomb;

Howling winds cover him; roaring seas dash furious against him;

In the deep darkness broad lightnings glare, long thunders roll.

The weeds of Death enwrap his hands and feet, blown incessant,

And wash’d incessant by the for-ever restless sea-waves, foaming abroad

Upon the white Rock. England, a Female Shadow, as deadly damps

Of the Mines of Cornwall and Derbyshire, lays upon his bosom heavy,

Movèd by the wind in volumes of thick cloud returning, folding round

His loins and bosom, unremovable by swelling storms and loud rending

Of enragèd thunders. Around them the Starry Wheels of their Giant Sons

Revolve, and over them the Furnaces of Los and the Immortal Tomb, around,

Erin sitting in the Tomb, to watch them unceasing night and day:

And the Body of Albion was closèd apart from all Nations.

Over them the famish’d Eagle screams on bony wings, and around

Them howls the Wolf of famine; deep heaves the Ocean, black, thundering

Around the wormy Garments of Albion, then pausing in deathlike silence.

Time was Finishèd!