The Poetry Corner

A Song Of Liberty

By William Blake

The Eternal Female groand! it was heard over all the Earth: Albions coast is sick silent; the American meadows faint! Shadows of Prophecy shiver along by the lakes and the rivers and mutter across the ocean! France rend down thy dungeon; Golden Spain burst the barriers of old Rome; Cast thy keys O Rome into the deep down falling, even to eternity down falling, And weep! In her trembling hands she took the new, born terror howling; On those infinite mountains of light now barr'd out by the atlantic sea, the new born fire stood before the starry king! Flag'd with grey brow'd snows and thunderous visages the jealous wings wav'd over the deep. The speary hand burned aloft, unbuckled was the shield, forth went the hand of jealousy among the flaming hair, and [PL 26]hurl'd the new born wonder thro' the starry night. The fire, the fire, is falling! Look up! look up! O citizen of London. enlarge thy countenance; O Jew, leave counting gold! return to thy oil and wine; O African! black African! (go. winged thought widen his forehead.) The fiery limbs, the flaming hair, shot like the sinking sun into the western sea. Wak'd from his eternal sleep, the hoary, element roaring fled away: Down rushd beating his wings in vain the jealous king: his grey brow'd councellors, thunderous warriors, curl'd veterans, among helms, and shields, and chariots horses, elephants: banners, castles, slings and rocks, Falling, rushing, ruining! buried in the ruins, on Urthona's dens. All night beneath the ruins, then their sullen flames faded emerge round the gloomy king, With thunder and fire: leading his starry hosts thro' the waste wilderness [PL 27]he promulgates his ten commands, glancing his beamy eyelids over the deep in dark dismay, Where the son of fire in his eastern cloud, while the morning plumes her golden breast, Spurning the clouds written with curses, stamps the stony law to dust, loosing the eternal horses from the dens of night, crying Empire is no more! and now the lion & wolf shall cease. Chorus Let the Priests of the Raven of dawn, no longer in deadly black, with hoarse note curse the sons of joy. Nor his accepted brethren whom, tyrant, he calls free; lay the bound or build the roof. Nor pale religious letchery call that virginity, that wishes but acts not! For every thing that lives is Holy