The Lamb’s Carol

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‘Little Lamb who made thee?’ asks the poet William Blake, expressing his sympathy for the gentlest and most vulnerable of animals who yet became a symbol of the ‘Lamb of God.’

The Lamb, by William Blake

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!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee.

Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For He calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & He is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a Lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.

The Carol that the Lamb sings begins as a simple tale of him sitting by his mother. When an Angel comes and the shepherds call their flock, and they all cry “Let us go”, this little lamb goes with all the other sheep and lambs to welcome the Baby sleeping in the barn, seeing him like himself as a lamb-child in the hay.

But then he tells how his shepherd called him forth, to be their special gift to this Baby, who would himself one day be called both the  Lamb of God and the Good Shepherd to his sheep.

So we see the lamb giving all he has – himself  – lying beside the Baby to make him warm, offering his woolly fur to keep off the cold, and cradling him gently in his arms while he sleeps. This lets the little lamb understand that he and the Baby are like brothers, both belonging to the great Family who is Creation.

Gilly Kohler, The Lamb’s Carol (App). 2015.