The Lament of Albion
O what is Life and what is Man? O what is Death? Wherefore
Are you, my Children, natives in the Grave
to where I go?
Or are you born to feed the hungry ravenings of Destruction,
To be the sport of Accident,
to waste in Wrath and Love a weary
Life, in brooding cares and anxious labours, that prove but chaff?
Jerusalem! Jerusalem! I have forsaken thy courts,
Thy pillars of ivory and gold, thy curtains of silk and
Linen, thy pavements of precious stones, thy walls of pearl
And gold, thy gates of Thanksgiving, they
windows of Praise,
Thy clouds of Blessing, thy Cherubims of Tender Mercy,
Stretching their Wings sublime
over the Little Ones of Albion.
O Human Imagination! O Divine Body, I have crucifièd!
I have turnèd my
back upon thee into the Wastes of Moral Law:
There Babylon is builded in the Waste, founded in Human
O Babylon! thy Watchman stands over thee in the night;
Thy severe Judge all the day long
proves thee, O Babylon,
With provings of Destruction, with giving thee thy heart's desire.
But Albion is
cast forth to the Potter, his Children to the Builders
To build Babylon, because they have forsaken Jerusalem.
walls of Babylon are Souls of Men; her gates the Groans
Of Nations; her towers are the Miseries of once
Her streets are pavèd with Destruction; her houses built with Death;
Her Palaces with Hell
and the Grave; her Synagogues with Torments
Of ever-hardening Despair, squar'd and polish'd with cruel
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