by William Blake
The Lamb Theme of Youth
Ah, to be young again, down at the ole' pasture, shepherding those lambs by the stream in advance of shearing season…OK, so it may not be so easy for us modern folk to identify with the speaker's pastoral childhood in a pre-industrial society. Nonetheless, it's clear that the voice of the poem is a youthful one, full of optimism and still a stranger to despair and defeat. In a way, the lamb and the speaker are really in the same boat; just a couple of kids, you know, except for that species thing.
Questions About Youth
- Would this poem sound funny in the voice of an adult?
- Do the child and lamb have anything in common besides youth?
- What's the relationship between youth and innocence?
Chew on This
The speaker of the poem is clearly an adult impersonating a child.