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A War Song For Englishman Essay

1944 words - 8 pages

A War Song to Englishmen (By William Blake)
Prepare, prepare the iron helm of war, - jambus, anapaest, jambus, jambus
Bring forth the lots, cast in the spacious orb;
Th' Angel of Fate turns them with mighty hands,
And casts them out upon the darken'd earth!
Prepare, prepare!
Prepare your hearts for Death's cold hand! prepare
Your souls for flight, your bodies for the earth;
Prepare your arms for glorious victory;
Prepare your eyes to meet a holy God!
Prepare, prepare!
Whose fatal scroll is that? Methinks 'tis mine!
Why sinks my heart, why faltereth my tongue?
Had I three lives, I'd die in such a cause,
And rise, with ghosts, over the well-fought field.
Prepare, prepare!
...view middle of the document...

Три жизни дайте мне – умру, идя на бой,
Но вознесётся дух над эти полем брани.
Готовьтесь, готовьтесь!
В угрюмом небе Ангел Смерти встал!
И Всемогущий Бог уж приготовил стрелы!
Искать обитель света душам час настал:
По райским облакам пройдут шеренги смело!
Готовьтесь, готовьтесь!
Солдаты, готовьтесь! Мы с Небом едины в делах.
Солдаты, готовьтесь! И дел наших будьте достойны.
Готовьтесь, отцов наших встретите вы в небесах.
Готовьтесь, сегодня должны вы полечь, батальоны!
Готовьтесь, готовьтесь!
Альфред улыбнётся, и арфа его запоёт,
И Норманн Вильгельм, и Львиное Сердце восстанут,
И с верной своей королевой нас в бой поведёт
Король Эдуард. И руки они нам протянут!
Готовьтесь, готовьтесь!
William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. 
This poem is from the Poetical Sketches. This is the first collection of poetry and prose by William Blake, written between 1769 and 1777. The book was never published for the public, with copies instead given as gifts to friends of the author and other interested parties. The ballad 'A War Song to Englishmen' is usually interpreted as forming a part of Edward the Third, perhaps written by Blake to be inserted later. Specifically, the poem is seen as the second song of the minstrel, whose first song closes the fragment with a passionate evocation of Brutus of Troy, supposed founder of Britain. "War Song" continues to urge troops to battle and, like the minstrel's first song, is usually interpreted as parody and an ironic celebration of patriotic bloodlust.
Analysis
What is still unclear by the end of the song is why the tyrannical Kings of old England are there to “welcome” the rebels. Perhaps this is representative of Blake’s difficulty with deciding life over freedom. Regardless, the fate of the soldiers reaches beyond England’s history anyhow and is subtly intended for all mankind. Overall, the verse is dignified with patriotism for all humankind, however ironic his patriotism to his own country may appear.
In the end, “A War Song to Englishmen” is an uncharacteristic poem in the Blake canon. A direct call of patriotic duty, it is as obvious in meaning as it appears. It is a general call to war of his countrymen, only...

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