The Pastoral Poems of William Blake

Updated: Jan 22, 2020



On this episode I cover three very short poems by William Blake in his Songs of Innocence and Experience:

1) The Shepherd 2) The Lamb 3) Spring

These are the pastoral poems in this book of poetry. You'll learn the difference between a pastoral poem and a georgic poem and why that is important. Also, we'll explore the deeper themes recurring throughout this work by Blake.


Below are the poems read during the podcast and beneath the poems are the pictures and paintings referred to in this episode.

 

THE SHEPHERD

How sweet is the shepherd's sweet lot!

From the morn to the evening he strays;

He shall follow his sheep all the day,

And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

For he hears the lambs' innocent call,

And he hears the ewes' tender reply;

He is watchful while they are in peace,

For they know when their shepherd is nigh.


COMPARISON POEM

From Georgics, by Virgil:

The time has come for my groaning ox to drag

My heavy plow across the fields, so that

The plow blade shines as the furrow rubs

against it.

Not till the earth has been twice plowed, so twice

Exposed to sun and twice to coolness will

It yield what the farmer prays for...


THE LAMB

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!