Read it all here at T19. Some things we just can't make up. So much for England. Wonder if Colin Slee thinks Margaret Thatcher wrote it. The Socialists must just be spinning.
What silliness that Dean Slee banned it because it's not about God (when did that suddenly become that an issue for him?) but that it causes the English to feel passionate for their country - so passionate that they might go off and fight the for the freedom of the oppressed in like, say Afghanistan or Iraq. And of course even that might cause the Socialists to spin some more. More irony. It's like a nursery rhyme repeated by children, like "Mary, Mary quite contrary" which is about Bloody Queen Mary chopping off her opponents heads (oh and by the way, guess where she decided to do that!). At some point we stop listening to the meaning of the words.
Of course, there is that little reference to something called the countenance divine, but perhaps Colin Slee does not know who that is.
This story is just filled with irony. William Blake, who called his poem "A Preface to Milton" (which gives us some important context, by the way) would also be dumbfounded, we expect. Now who is Left and who is Right? Hard to tell, isn't it?
And that it's Southwark Cathedral of all places is probably one of the greatest ironies of them all.
Read more here and here.
- And did those feet in ancient time
- walk upon England’s mountains green?
- And was the holy Lamb of God
- on England’s pleasant pastures seen?
- And did the countenance divine
- shine forth upon our clouded hills?
- And was Jerusalem builded here
- among these dark Satanic Mills?
- Bring me my bow of burning gold!
- Bring me my arrows of desire!
- Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
- Bring me my chariot of fire!
- I will not cease from mental fight,
- nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
- till we have built Jerusalem
- In England’s green and pleasant Land.
Southwark Cathedral banning Blake. Some things we just can't make up.