The Lamb

The Lamb

by William Blake

Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & 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 & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.

Summary of The Lamb

  • Popularity of “The Lamb”: William Blake, a great artist and poet, wrote “The Lamb”. It is one of the best lyrical poems of English literature on account of its innocent subject. It was first published in William Blake’s 1794 volume, Songs of Experience. The poem presents the merriment of the speaker about the creation of a gentle lamb. However, the popularity of poetry lies in the fact that it extraordinarily presents God’s creation.
  • “The Lamb” As a Representative of Wonder: As this poem is about the creation of lamb, Blake builds the idea that everything present in the universe reflects the image of its creator. The creation of gentle the lamb makes him think of its creator and helps him understand God’s benevolence and creative qualities. He poses a series of questions about his existence and his creator and then answers them for the lamb. He inquires who gave the lamb food, warm clothing, and tender voice that fills the valley with joy. Also, he compares it to Christ, who came into this world as an innocent child. However, what enchants the readers is the way Blake has presented the existence of goodness and innocence in the world.
  • Major Themes in “The Lamb”: Wonder, innocence, and excitement are the major themes found in this poem. Throughout the poem, the innocent child shows amazement about the creation of the lamb and compares its innocence with God. Also, he praises the specific qualities of Christ and adores him for his positive attributes. To him, Jesus is innocent, caring loving and a peaceful deity like he and the lamb.  

Analysis of Literary Devices in “The Lamb”

Literary devices are tools that enable the writers to present their ideas, emotions, and feelings with the use of these devices. Blake has also used some literary devices in this poem. The analysis of some of the literary devices used in this poem has been stated below.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line such as the sound of /e/ in “By the stream & o’er the mead”.
  2. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought or clause that does not come to an end at a line break and moves over the next line. For example,

“Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.”

  1. Allusion: Allusion is a belief and an indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of a historical, cultural, political or literary significance. “The lamb” in the second stanza directly alludes to Jesus.
  2. Symbolism: Symbolism means the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings different from their literal meanings. “Lamb” and “child” both are the symbols of chastity, innocence, and
  3. Imagery: Imagery is used to make the readers perceive things with their five senses. The poet has used images such as, “Softest clothing wooly bright”, “He became a little child:” and “By the stream & o’er the mead.”
  4. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /l/ in “Little Lamb I’ll tell thee”; /h/ and /m/ sounds in “He is meek & he is mild”.

A closer look at the literary analysis reveals that Blake has intelligently used these devices to praise the positive attributes of God.

Analysis of Poetic Devices in “The Lamb”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are two stanzas in this poem, each having five rhyming couplets in it.
  2. Rhyming Couplet: There are two constructive lines in a couplet usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme such as;

“Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.”

  1. Rhyme Scheme: The rhyme scheme followed by the entire poem is AABBCCDD.
  2. End Rhyme: End rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious, For example, “feed/mead”, “delight/ bright” and “voice/ rejoice”.
  3. Repetition: The poetic, as well as the rhetorical device of repetition, emphasizes a point through repetition such as, “Little Lamb I’ll tell thee”, “Little Lamb God bless thee” and “Little Lamb who made thee” which have been repeated in both stanzas.
  4. Refrain: The words that are repeated at some distance in the poem are called refrain. The phrases “Little Lamb I’ll tell thee”, “Little Lamb God bless thee” and “Little Lamb who made thee” are repeated with the same words, these have become refrain as these phrases have been repeated in all stanzas of the poem.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below can be used when teaching kids about the qualities of lamb. These could also be used to make them praise the creator who gives us all the pleasures of life.

“Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!”