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! (Line. 3-8)
This poetic passage is extracted from William Blake’s The Lamb (from Songs of Innocence) and forms a continuation of an innocent child’s enquiry to a little lamb. Seeing a little lamb, grazing innocently in a valley, he finds himself very close to it and enquires whether the lamb knows its Creator. He then goes to tell his little companion, lamb, how variously God has blessed it.
After interrogating the lamb about the Creator, the child goes to tell it His functions, done for its welfare. He has created the lamb and given it life. He has provided sustenance to it. The grassy meadow is open for its grazing and He has also taught him to eat this grass and drink the pure water of the stream. Furthermore, the Creator is attentive to its protection against the rough and inclement weather by covering the surface of its body with soft, bright fleece. The Creator has also endowed the little lamb with an enchanting voice that is echoed all over the valley and serves to make this all wonderfully delightful.
Blake has presented the complex issue of the Creator and the created with stark simplicity, through the child’s innocent song. The child addresses and interrogates the lamb about its creation and assures it of the manifold blessings with which the Creator has arranged for the nourishment as well as protection of His little creation. The child’s innocent faith and trust in God come out here sharply.