by William Blake
The Lamb Theme of Religion
In the first stanza, you've got a lamb and a child. Then, in the second stanza, the speaker throws Jesus Christ into the mix, who, in Christian theology, is often considered both a lamb and a child (and a shepherd, too, but let's not even go there). The poem is an expression of the speaker's amazement at connecting the natural and supernatural worlds, not to mention the literal and symbolic, in the figure of the lamb. The speaker's attitude represents what you could call "simple faith," a faith that doesn't have to justify itself using complicated arguments but which perhaps doesn't ask the hardest questions, either.
Questions About Religion
- Does the speaker's implication that a person can know about God through nature make sense to you?
- Where in the Bible is Jesus referred to as a lamb?
- Do you agree that the comparison between Christ and a lamb has to do with the idea of sacrifice?
- Why does the child bless the lamb at the end of the poem?
- What is the significance of "names" and the act of naming in Christianity and in this poem? In the Bible, who performs the "naming" of things in nature?
Chew on This
"The Lamb" is primarily a pastoral poem, not a religious poem. It has nothing to say about Christian faith or dogma.