America, a Prophecy, Plates 3 and 4

William Blake

 
[PLATE 3]
The Guardian Prince of Albion burns in his nightly tent,
Sullen fires across the Atlantic glow to America's shore:
Piercing the souls of warlike men, who rise in silent night,
Washington, Franklin, Paine & Warren, Gates, Hancock & Green;
Meet on the coast glowing with blood from Albion’s fiery Prince.
Washington spoke; Friends of America look over the Atlantic sea;
A bended bow is lifted in heaven, & a heavy iron chain
Descends link by link from Albion's cliffs across the sea to bind
Brothers & sons of America, till our faces pale and yellow;
Heads deprest, voices weak, eyes downcast, hands work-bruis'd,
Feet bleeding on the sultry sands, and the furrows of the whip
Descend to generations that in future times forget.—
The strong voice ceas'd; for a terrible blast swept over the heaving sea;
The eastern cloud rent; on his cliffs stood Albion’s wrathful Prince
A dragon form clashing his scales at midnight he arose,
And flam'd red meteors round the land of Albion beneath.
His voice, his locks, his awful shoulders, and his glowing eyes,
[PLATE 4]
Appear to the Americans upon the cloudy night.
Solemn heave the Atlantic waves between the gloomy nations,
Swelling, belching from its deeps red clouds & raging Fires!
Albion is sick. America faints! enrag'd the Zenith grew.
As human blood shooting its veins all round the orbed heaven
Red rose the clouds from the Atlantic in vast wheels of blood
And in the red clouds rose a Wonder o'er the Atlantic sea;
Intense! naked! a Human fire fierce glowing, as the wedge
Of iron heated in the furnace; his terrible limbs were fire
With myriads of cloudy terrors banners dark & towers
Surrounded; heat but not light went thro' the murky atmosphere
The king of England looking westward trembles at the vision
 
Printed by William Blake in the year 1793.

Poems by This Author

A Divine Image by William Blake
Cruelty has a Human heart
A Poison Tree by William Blake
I was angry with my friend:
Ah! Sunflower by William Blake
Ah! sunflower, weary of time
Auguries of Innocence by William Blake
To see a world in a grain of sand
Cradle Song by William Blake
Sleep, sleep, beauty bright
Eternity by William Blake
He who binds to himself a joy
Holy Thursday by William Blake
Is this a holy thing to see
Infant Joy by William Blake
I have no name
London by William Blake
I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Love's Secret by William Blake
Never seek to tell thy love
Milton [excerpt] by William Blake
And did those feet in ancient time
Proverbs of Hell by William Blake
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy
The Angel that presided 'oer my birth by William Blake
The Angel that presided 'oer my birth
The Chimney-Sweeper by William Blake
When my mother died I was very young,
The Divine Image by William Blake
To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
The Fly by William Blake
Little fly
The Lamb by William Blake
Little lamb, who made thee?
The Question answerd by William Blake
What is it men in women do require
The Sick Rose by William Blake
O Rose, thou art sick
The Tyger by William Blake
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
To Autumn by William Blake
O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained


Further Reading

American Revolution
A Farewell to America
by Phillis Wheatley
A Nation's Strength
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Political Litany
by Philip Freneau
America
by Walt Whitman
American Liberty
by Philip Freneau
Daniel Boone
by Stephen Vincent Benét
England in 1819
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
His Excellency General Washington
by Phillis Wheatley
I Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman
Occasioned by General Washington's Arrival in Philadelphia, On His Way to His Residence in Virginia
by Philip Freneau
On Being Brought from Africa to America
by Phillis Wheatley
Paul Revere's Ride
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poems of the American Revolution
Song of Myself, III
by Walt Whitman
The Star-Spangled Banner
by Francis Scott Key
To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth
by Phillis Wheatley
When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd
by Walt Whitman