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Symbol Analysis

Sometimes a lamb is just a lamb. That is, unless it's the "Lamb of God." Or unless it's the human lambs being shepherded by Jesus Christ. Christianity turns everyone in this poem into a lamb. The poem's symbolic, religious meaning comes through in the second stanza, where the lamb's creator is revealed to be Jesus Christ.

  • Lines 1-2: The speaker asks the lamb a rhetorical question: if it knows who created it.
  • Lines 13-14: One of Jesus Christ's "names" is the "Lamb of God." The real lamb of the poem (you know, the soft fuzzy one) is personified by being given a name.
  • Lines 15-16: The description of Christ as "meek" and "mild" may be an allusion to a hymn published by Charles Wesley in 1763. The description of Christ as a child is an allusion to the Biblical story of his birth into the world, which many celebrate at Christmas.
  • Lines 17-18: That both the child and the lamb are called by Christ's "names" sounds like a punning reference to the fact that Christ was known by several different names.

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