What is the effect of juxtaposing these the poems "The Tyger" and "The Lamb" by William Blake?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When you juxtapose the two poems “The Tyger” and “The Lamb” you get a battle of the rhythms, where one is fierce and the other is innocent.  Together, they are like two halves of the same song.

Blake wrote the two poems as a spiritual symphony.  They are meant to be read together.  They each represent halves of nature, and elements of the two sides of God’s creation.

If you go from one to the other, you see the vivid ferocity of the tiger…

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

… contrasting with the mewling sweetness of the lamb.

He is called by thy name,

For he calls himself a Lamb: 

He is meek & he is mild, 

He became a little child: 

I a child & thou a lamb, 

Each has rhyme, but both the rhyme and the word choice is softer for the lamb and harsher for the tiger.  We admire and fear the tiger, we shelter and embrace the lamb.