person standing with arms and legs outstretched surrounded by flowers, leaves, and little stars

Songs of Innocence and of Experience

by William Blake

Start Free Trial

What is Blake trying to communicate to the reader in the poem "The Lamb"?

"I a child, and thou a lamb, We are called by His name. Little Lamb, God bless thee!"

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Blake's poem, "The Lamb," from his Songs of Innocence, the poet explores the innocence of childhood and the benevolence of God framed within a pastoral setting. The child poses rhetorical questions to the Lamb as to its origins: "Dost thou know who made thee" (lines 2,10). In the first stanza, the Creator is shown as benevolent and caring as he has given the Lamb life, food, and clothing. As well, the Creator has given the Lamb the peace and calm of the natural world, the "stream" and "mead."

In stanza two, Blake likens the Lamb to Jesus, the Lamb of God, as well as to the child: "I a child & thou a lamb" (line 7). In this manner, the poet characterizes a lamb as innocent and pure just as a child. Furthermore, the poet exalts the goodness of God, for His lamb, Jesus, is also "meek and mild," pure, and innocent. Thus, the lamb and the child are created in the image of Jesus.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Concerning the passage you cite in Blake's "The Lamb," one can't really speak for the author.  I can tell you what is revealed by the lines, though. 

The speaker is a child--the poem is narrated by a child narrator.  This is a look at nature, as well as a look at the God who created nature, and a look at human existence, from a child's point of view.  The lamb is pure and innocent and the creator who made it is the kind of creator who could make such a creature.  And the narrator is the kind of narrator that sees the lamb, the creator, and existence in this manner. 

The poem presents one perception of nature, God, and existence.  The perception is that of a child. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial