Poetry

Poem by William Blake

The Rhine Was Red.

The Rhine was red with humane blood,
The Danube roll’d a purple tide,
On the Euphrates Satan stood
And over Asia stretch’d his pride.

He wither’d up sweet Zion’s Hill
From every Nation of the Earth;
He wither’d up Jerusalem’s Gates
And in a dark Land gave her birth.

He wither’d up the Human Form
By laws of sacrifice for sin,
Till it became a Mortal Worm,
But O! translucent all within.

Spectre of Albion! warlike Fiend!
In clouds of blood and ruin roll’d,
I here reclaim thee as my own,
My Selfhood! Satan! arm’d in gold.

Is this thy soft Family-Love,
Thy cruel Patriarchal pride,
Planting the Family alone,
Destroying all the World beside?

A man’s worst enemies are those
Of his own house and family;
And he who makes his law a curse,
By his own law shall surely die.

In my Exchanges every Land,
Shall walk, and mine in every Land,
Mutual shall build Jerusalem,
Both heart in heart and hand in hand.

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