Yale Center for British Art Jerusalem
Blake speaks in many voices in his poetry but he reserves speaking in his own voice to messages to which he wants to give special emphasis. On Plate 15 of Jerusalem he speaks in the first person as he conveys his 'awful vision'. The whole panoply of the grand myth is presented as it was outlined in Blake's mind. It is all completely personal to him: he sees the brokenness and loss, he fears the consequences, he tries to give warnings. He is making a plea that the groans of the created world may be heard and the glory which will follow will come quickly.
Paul said it before in the eighth chapter of Romans:
 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth
for the manifestation of the sons of God.
 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly,
but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from
the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the
children of God.
 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and
travaileth in pain together until now.
 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the
firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within
ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption
of our body.
Jerusalem, Plate 15, (E 158)
"In every Nation of the Earth till the Twelve Sons of Albion Enrooted into every Nation: a mighty Polypus growing From Albion over the whole Earth: such is my awful Vision. I see the Four-fold Man. The Humanity in deadly sleep And its fallen Emanation. The Spectre & its cruel Shadow. I see the Past, Present & Future, existing all at once Before me; O Divine Spirit sustain me on thy wings! That I may awake Albion from His long & cold repose. For Bacon & Newton sheathd in dismal steel, their terrors hang Like iron scourges over Albion, Reasonings like vast Serpents Infold around my limbs, bruising my minute articulations I turn my eyes to the Schools & Universities of Europe And there behold the Loom of Locke whose Woof rages dire Washd by the Water-wheels of Newton. black the cloth In heavy wreathes folds over every Nation; cruel Works Of many Wheels I View, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic Moving by compulsion each other: not as those in Eden: which Wheel within Wheel in freedom revolve in harmony & peace. I see in deadly fear in London Los raging round his Anvil Of death: forming an Ax of gold: the Four Sons of Los Stand round him cutting the Fibres from Albions hills That Albions Sons may roll apart over the Nations While Reuben enroots his brethren in the narrow Canaanite From the Limit Noah to the Limit Abram in whose Loins Reuben in his Twelve-fold majesty & beauty shall take refuge As Abraham flees from Chaldea shaking his goary locks But first Albion must sleep, divided from the Nations I see Albion sitting upon his Rock in the first Winter And thence I see the Chaos of Satan & the World of Adam When the Divine Hand went forth on Albion in the mid Winter And at the place of Death when Albion sat in Eternal Death Among the Furnaces of Los in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom Plate 16 Hampstead Highgate Finchley Hendon Muswell hill: rage loud Before Bromions iron Tongs & glowing Poker reddening fierce Hertfordshire glows with fierce Vegetation! in the Forests The Oak frowns terrible, the Beech & Ash & Elm enroot Among the Spiritual fires; loud the Corn fields thunder along The Soldiers fife; the Harlots shriek; the Virgins dismal groan The Parents fear: the Brothers jealousy: the Sisters curse Beneath the Storms of Theotormon & the thundring Bellows Heaves in the hand of Palamabron who in Londons darkness Before the Anvil, watches the bellowing flames: thundering The Hammer loud rages in Rintrahs strong grasp swinging loud Round from heaven to earth down falling with heavy blow Dead on the Anvil, where the red hot wedge groans in pain He quenches it in the black trough of his Forge; Londons River Feeds the dread Forge, trembling & shuddering along the Valleys Humber & Trent roll dreadful before the Seventh Furnace And Tweed & Tyne anxious give up their Souls for Albions sake Lincolnshire Derbyshire Nottinghamshire Leicestershire From Oxfordshire to Norfolk on the Lake of Udan Adan Labour within the Furnaces, walking among the Fires With Ladles huge & iron Pokers over the Island white. Scotland pours out his Sons to labour at the Furnaces Wales gives his Daughters to the Looms; England: nursing Mothers Gives to the Children of Albion & to the Children of Jerusalem From the blue Mundane Shell even to the Earth of Vegetation Throughout the whole Creation which groans to be deliverd. Albion groans in the deep slumbers of Death upon his Rock."