Dark Satanic Mills

Original Text: 
Last Poems, ed. Richard Aldington and Giuseppe Orioli (Florence: G. Orioli, 1932). dun .L397 L384 Thomas Fisher Rare Book
2how much darker and more satanic they are now!
3But oh, the streams that stream white-faced, in and out,
5of multitudinous ignominy,
6what shall we think of these?
7They are millions to my one!
8They are millions to my one! But oh
9what have they done to you, white-faced millions
11What have they done to you, what have they done to you,
12what is this awful aspect of man?
13Oh Jesus, didn't you see, when you talked of service
14this would be the result!
16this is what you gave him leave to do
17behind your back!
18And now, the iron has entered into the soul
19and the machine has entangled the brain, and got it fast,
20and steel has twisted the loins of man, electricity has exploded the heart
21and out of the lips of people jerk strange mechanical noises in place of speech.
23and the son of man, that thou pitiest him not?
24Are these no longer men, these millions, millions?
25What are they then?

Notes

1]
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?
"And did those feet in ancient time", from William Blake's Milton. Back to Line
4] hooter: horn, summoning men to work. Back to Line
10] mewed: confined. Back to Line
15] Jesus said to Satan, retro me, satana, in Mark 8:33, Vulgate New Testament ("get behind me, Satan"). Back to Line
22] Psalms 8:4. "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1932
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011
Form: