Saturday, September 9, 2017

Lesley Garrett, "Jerusalem"

"Jerusalem" is from a poem by William Blake that references a mythical visit by Jesus to England. He re-sets the myth in Industrial Age England, hoping that Christ might come among the "dark Satanic mills" and establish The New Jerusalem, the heavenly city of history's climax. Music is by Sir Hubert Parry.

It is exquisitely beautiful.

UPDATE: If you'd like to know why Christianity is all but dead in Europe, a vicar has banned this gorgeous hymn for being excessively nationalistic.

FURTHER UPDATE: this reminds me a of a quote by CS Lewis, another UK'er, on the Second Coming, Progress, and what Barack Obama inaccurately calls "the arc of history that inevitably bends towards justice":

"The doctrine of the Second Coming is deeply uncongenial to the whole evolutionary or developmental character of modern thought. We have been taught to think of the world as something that slowly moves towards perfection....Christian Apocalyptic offers us no such hope. It does not even foretell a gradual decay....[I]t foretells a sudden, violent end imposed from without....a curtain rung down on the play-'Halt!'". The World's Last Night, 1952.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Here is the text of Blake's poem-

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! Oh, clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire
I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land!

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