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William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
 
Selections from ‘Milton’
Preface
 
(Engraved 1804–1809)

(Milton, f. 2.)

  The stolen and perverted writings of Homer and Ovid, of Plato and 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, and those grand works of the more ancient, and consciously and professedly Inspired men will hold their proper rank, and the Daughters of Memory shall become the Daughters of Inspiration. Shakspeare and Milton were both curb’d by the general malady and infection from the silly Greek and Latin slaves of the sword.
  Rouse up, O Young Men of the New Age! Set your foreheads against the ignorant hirelings! For we have hirelings in the Camp, the Court, and the University, who would, if they could, for ever depress mental, and 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 advertising boasts that they make of such works: believe Christ and 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 and 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
  Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
  On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
 
And did the Countenance Divine        5
  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!        10
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        15
  In England’s green and pleasant land.

  Would to God that all the Lord’s people were Prophets. Numbers xi. 29.
 
 
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