1] Jerusalem was first engraved by Blake in or shortly after 1818, although it bears the date 1804 on its title-page. It is in four parts and comprises one hundred plates. Six copies survive, one in colour. This extract is from Plate 15 in the first part.
Four-fold Man: man in his complete or unfallen state, when he is identical with God, and with all of his four main faculties ("Zoas," see note above) properly functioning.
2] Emanation: Nature as a field of human creation symbolized as female.
Spectre: the withdrawn subjective mind.
Shadow: the objective counterpart of the Spectre.
5] Albion: humanity seen as a single Man, identified with England. The theme of Jerusalem is the separation and eventual reuniting of Albion with his "Emanation," Jerusalem, the City of God.
6] Bacon and Newton. Blake regarded the philosophical outlooks of Bacon, Newton, and Locke (line 10) as part of the religion of Urizen (see above).
15] Wheel within wheel: Cf. Ezek. 1: 16.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: William Blake, Jerusalem (1804).
First publication date: 1818
Publication date note: ca. 1818 (notwithstanding the stated date of printing)
RPO poem editor: Northrop Frye
RP edition: 3RP 2.298.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/14
Other poems by William Blake