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The Lamb -- William Blake

Guest poem submitted by Daniel Ma:
Here's a submission in anticipation of the coming Holiday season.
(Poem #1405) The Lamb
    Little Lamb, who made thee?
    Dost thou know who made thee?
 Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
 By the stream and o'er the mead;
 Gave thee clothing of delight;
 Softest clothing, wooly, bright;
 Gave thee such a tender voice,
 Making all the vales rejoice?
    Little Lamb, who made thee?
    Dost thou know who made thee?

    Little Lamb, I'll tell thee,
    Little Lamb, I'll tell thee:
 He is called by thy name,
 For he calls himself a Lamb.
 He is meek, and he is mild;
 He became a little child.
 I a child, and thou a lamb,
 We are called by His name.
    Little Lamb, God bless thee!
    Little Lamb, God bless thee!
-- William Blake
 From 'Songs of Innocence', 1789.

Given the lurid fantasticism that we generally associate with Blake,
here's a little gem that sparkles with simplicity and innocence.  Place
this in contrast, against, say, "The Tyger" (Minstrels Poem #66)

I can never read these lines without strains of "Messiah" running
through my head: "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, and He shall
gather the lambs with His arm, and gently lead those that are with
young...".

Daniel.

[Minstrels Links]

William Blake:
Poem #26, Jerusalem
Poem #66, The Tyger
Poem #97, The Fly
Poem #368, Auguries of Innocence
Poem #546, The Sick Rose
Poem #771, The Divine Image
Poem #1087, A Poison Tree

61 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

PIGandWHITT said...

'Ash' - Could some one actually describe what this poem means ?
its just that i can't, in my own words, describe the obvious connection
between this poem and christianity - God.

Panda said...

Hey, I came across this whilst doing some writing on the poem, and noticed
the comment at the bottom of the page asking to explain a link between it
and Christianity/religion; thought I'd comment a part of my answer so far,
if it'll help anyone :-)

What answers are given to the question posed in the first line?

Little Lamb who made thee?

The question the child poses is simple - innocently inquisitive of the world
- yet profound, asking what every person wonders about their origins and the
very nature of creation. The child answers his own rhetorical question
directly within the second stanza; God made everything. One can argue that
the lamb is a completely innocent creature, and so could not know the answer
whereas the child is growing and so speaks with conviction; 'Little lamb,
I'll tell thee'. Alternatively, it was Blake's belief that people are
closest to God as children, when they are entirely innocent, and therefore
experience does not necessarily herald knowledge of the divine. The second
stanza is reminiscent of a simple child-like riddle, and clearly names God
as creator; Jesus was the Lamb of God, a sacrificial lamb for the benefit of
mankind; 'He is meek & he is mild' (line 15) is a direct reference to the
nativity, as is 'He became a little child' (line16). The question is also
answered mildly through the poem in its use of language; the child speaking
of God giving the lamb food and clothing could be related to a parable in
the Bible, and words such as 'rejoice' (line 8) are used which are linked to
angels.

Could that be posted as a comment please?

Thanks,

Kate

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Interesting, I've been reading your poems and I think you're so good in this art. so I would like to bring an original poem called "my avatar has been crying"

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My bags appeared: I did the same. 23jj

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