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Uploaded on Mar 18, 2007
"And did those feet in ancient time" is a short poem by William Blake from the preface to his epic Milton: a Poem (1804). Today it is best known as the hymn "Jerusalem", with music written by C. Hubert H. Parry in 1916. This poem was written about the Industrial Revolution that took place duing the early 19th century. The first verse asks did Christ visit Britain. This may be metaphorical or literal. There is an old English legend that Christ came to Britain as a boy. The poet questions christianity in Britain (2nd verse) and illustrates the point by using the adjective 'satanic' when describing the industrial mills. (In the North of Britain at this time many people; men, women and children, worked in the cotton industry.) This clearly gives the impression that the poet thinks the mills are evil places. In the final two verses he poet summons up his faith and reveals he will not rest until there is justice in society. This is a beautifully written poem and is sometimes used as a national anthem.