zenpundit.com » Blog Archive » Quatorze Juillet !!

Quatorze Juillet !!

[ by Charles Cameron — finding in Blake’s poetry a visionary approach to Bastille Day ]

It’s Bastille Day! —
and Zenpundit honors France on this day.


William Blake, in his poem The French Revolution, writes:

The dead brood over Europe, the cloud and vision descends over chearful France;
O cloud well appointed! Sick, sick: the Prince on his couch, wreath’d in dim
And appalling mist; his strong hand outstretch’d, from his shoulder down the bone
Runs aching cold into the scepter too heavy for mortal grasp. No more
To be swayed by visible hand, nor in cruelty bruise the mild flourishing mountains.

That’s only the first stanza of the 300-odd lines of Book the First out of Seven, only the First having been published. Much to chew on, both in the French Revolution and its aftermath, and in that first stanza of Bkake‘s poem.


Vive la France !!

3 Responses to “Quatorze Juillet !!”

  1. Sally Benzon Says:

    Thanks for this, Charles!
    I am happy to see William Blake!

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Me too!

  3. Sally Benzon Says:

    Here’s Northrup Frye: “Read Blake or go to hell, that’s my message for the modern world.” How’s that for conviction!

Switch to our mobile site