And did those Feet (Jerusalem)

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 arrow 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.

William Blake (1757–1827)
Tune "Jerusalem" by C. Hubert H. Parry (1848–1918)

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"And did those feet in ancient time" is a poem by William Blake from the preface to his work Milton: a Poem (1804). Today it is best known as the hymn "Jerusalem", with music written by C. Hubert H. Parry in 1916.

This is considered to be one of England's most popular patriotic songs, often being used as an alternative anthem. It is variously associated with English nationalism, anti-modernism, post-modernism, socialist ideals, and Christianity, thereby holding a rather odd position. Jerusalem is the official anthem of the British National Party and the British Women's Institute, and historically was used by the National Union of Suffrage Societies.

The text of the poem was inspired by the legend that Jesus, while still a young man, accompanied Joseph of Arimathea to Glastonbury. Blake's biographers tell us that he believed in this legend. However, the poem's theme or subtext is subject to much sharper debate, probably accounting for its popularity across the philosophical spectrum.

Ref: HON 37