'The Little Boy Found' by William Blake

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Songs of Innocence1789The little boy lost in the lonely fen,
Led by the wand'ring light,
Began to cry, but God ever nigh,
Appeared like his father in white.He kissed the child & by the hand led
And to his mother brought,
Who in sorrow pale. thro' the lonely dale
Her little boy weeping sought.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Little Boy Found: A Deep Dive into William Blake's Poetry

As a lover of poetry, I have always been fascinated by the works of William Blake. His poems exude a certain mystical quality that never fails to captivate the reader's imagination. One of his most famous poems, "The Little Boy Found," is no exception. In this piece, Blake explores themes of innocence, experience, and the divine, and presents a powerful message about redemption and salvation. In this literary criticism and interpretation, I will delve deeper into the poem, analyzing its structure, form, and meaning.

Context and Background

Before we start our analysis, let us first understand the context and background of the poem. "The Little Boy Found" was published in Blake's collection of poems, "Songs of Innocence and Experience," in 1789. The collection explores the contrast between the state of innocence and the state of experience, presenting a journey from youthful naivety to mature wisdom. The Little Boy Found, as the title suggests, is a poem of innocence, and it presents a message of hope and redemption for lost souls.


Structure and Form

The poem is structured in two parts, with the first part presented in "The Little Boy Lost" and the second part in "The Little Boy Found." The two parts are interconnected, with the second part offering a resolution to the conflict introduced in the first part. The poem is written in quatrains, with an ABAB rhyme scheme that creates a sense of rhythm and musicality. The poem is also rich in imagery, with vivid descriptions of natural elements such as the stars, the woods, and the sun. The use of imagery adds a mystical quality to the poem, emphasizing its otherworldly themes.


The Little Boy Found explores several themes, including innocence, experience, redemption, and the divine. The poem presents a journey from a state of lost innocence to a newfound sense of security and salvation. The poem's overarching message is that even the lost and the forsaken can be redeemed and find their way back to the divine.


The poem begins with the image of a little boy wandering alone in the woods, lost and afraid. The boy's despair is palpable, as he cries out for his parents but receives no answer. The imagery here is powerful, underscoring the theme of innocence and the vulnerability of youth. The boy's plight is also symbolic of the state of humanity, lost and wandering in a world of confusion and uncertainty.

In the second stanza, the boy falls asleep, exhausted from his journey. Here, Blake introduces a sense of peace and tranquility, emphasizing the restorative power of sleep. The imagery of the boy sleeping in the woods is also significant, as it suggests a connection with nature and a sense of harmony with the world around him.

In the third stanza, the boy is visited by a divine figure, who offers him comfort and guidance. The figure is described as a "little child" who leads the boy out of the woods and into a place of safety. The use of the divine figure is significant, as it emphasizes the theme of redemption and the idea that it is possible to find salvation even in the darkest of moments.

The final stanza brings the poem to a close, with the boy reunited with his parents and safe from harm. The message here is one of hope and optimism, emphasizing that even the most dire of situations can be overcome with the help of a divine presence. The final lines of the poem, "He led him by his little hand, / Till to his mother's arms he came," are particularly poignant, underscoring the notion that even in the face of adversity, there is always the possibility of redemption and a return to a state of innocence and safety.


In conclusion, "The Little Boy Found" is a powerful poem that explores themes of innocence, experience, and the divine. Through vivid imagery and a carefully crafted structure, William Blake presents a message of hope and redemption for lost souls. The poem's overarching message is one of optimism and the possibility of finding salvation even in the darkest of moments. As a lover of poetry, I cannot help but be captivated by the beauty and depth of this timeless piece, and I hope that my analysis and interpretation have shed some light on its many intricacies and nuances.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

The Little Boy Found: A Masterpiece of William Blake

William Blake, the renowned English poet, painter, and printmaker, is known for his unique style of poetry that often combines mysticism, spirituality, and social commentary. One of his most famous works, "The Little Boy Found," is a perfect example of his poetic genius. This poem is a part of his collection of poems called "Songs of Innocence and of Experience," which explores the themes of childhood, innocence, and the loss of innocence. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem "The Little Boy Found" in detail.

The poem "The Little Boy Found" tells the story of a lost child who is wandering in the wilderness. The child is crying and calling for his parents, but no one answers. Suddenly, a voice from heaven responds to the child's cries and tells him that his parents are nearby. The child follows the voice and finds his parents, who are overjoyed to see him.

The poem is written in a simple and straightforward style, which is typical of Blake's poetry. However, the simplicity of the language does not diminish the depth of the poem's meaning. The poem is rich in symbolism and metaphor, which adds layers of meaning to the story.

The first stanza of the poem sets the scene and introduces the main character, the little boy. The boy is lost in the wilderness, and he is crying for his parents. The use of the word "wild" in the first line suggests that the boy is in a dangerous and untamed place. The fact that he is alone and crying creates a sense of vulnerability and helplessness.

The second stanza introduces the voice from heaven, which responds to the boy's cries. The voice tells the boy that his parents are nearby and that he should follow the sound of their footsteps. The use of the word "voice" instead of "God" or "angel" suggests that the voice is not necessarily divine but could be interpreted as the boy's intuition or inner voice.

The third stanza describes the boy's journey as he follows the sound of his parents' footsteps. The use of the word "joy" in the third line suggests that the boy is happy and relieved to have found his parents. The fact that the parents are "weeping" suggests that they were also worried and relieved to have found their child.

The fourth stanza concludes the poem and emphasizes the theme of reunion and love. The parents embrace their child, and the father blesses him. The use of the word "bless" suggests that the father is grateful to have his child back and that he wishes him well. The final line of the poem, "And we are put on earth a little space, that we might learn to bear the beams of love," is a powerful statement about the purpose of life. The line suggests that the love between parents and children is a fundamental aspect of human existence and that it is through this love that we learn to endure the hardships of life.

The poem "The Little Boy Found" is a masterpiece of William Blake's poetry. The poem's simplicity and straightforwardness make it accessible to readers of all ages, while its rich symbolism and metaphor make it a profound and thought-provoking work. The poem explores the themes of childhood, innocence, and the power of love, which are universal and timeless. The poem's message is clear: love is the foundation of human existence, and it is through this love that we find meaning and purpose in life.

In conclusion, "The Little Boy Found" is a beautiful and powerful poem that captures the essence of William Blake's poetic style. The poem's simple language and powerful imagery make it a timeless work that continues to resonate with readers today. The poem's message of love and reunion is a reminder of the importance of family and the power of human connection. William Blake's "The Little Boy Found" is a true masterpiece of English literature, and it will continue to inspire and move readers for generations to come.

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