The Little Boy Found: by William Blake - Summary & Analysis

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The Little Boy Found

The little boy lost in the lonely fen,
Led by the wandering light,
Began to cry, but God, ever nigh,
Appeared like his father, in white.

He kissed the child, and by the hand led,
And to his mother brought,
Who in sorrow pale, through the lonely dale,
The little boy weeping sought.

Summary and Analysis

Introduction :

      'The Little Boy Found' is to be read along with 'The Little Boy Lost'. Here, God readily responds to the child's agony and restores him to his mother. With this the Songs of Innocence culminates and Blake goes to the next aspect of human life, namely Experience.

The Little Boy Found' is to be read along with 'The Little Boy Lost'. Here, God readily responds to the child's agony and restores him to his mother.
The Little Boy Found

Summary :

      If in 'The Little Boy Lost' we discover the negation of paternal feeling, in 'The Little Boy Found' we have a thriving picture of a father who remains as a full-fledged redeemer extending his hands towards the ailing. The boy lost in the fen weeps and God carries out the rescue operation. He appears in white dress before the child and like a loving father takes his hand and brings him to his mother. To put it in a different way we may opine that innocence 'lost' in the marshy land is 'rescued' and restored. It is not merely the child who is pacified. His mother who is heart-broken because of the loss of her child is given happiness and consolation.

A Comparison between the Boys 'Lost, and Found' :

      The boy in 'The Little Boy Lost' is terribly afraid of the snare he is caught in. His fear is escalated by the night that has descended upon the marshy land. From these factors we label the piece as pertaining to the wing of Experience. As Sir S.F. Bolt says "Fear on the other hand, comes only from experience and only by experience can it be reconciled with love". 'The Little Boy Lost' sketches a boy who unlike the tight-lipped sufferer of 'The Chimney Sweeper' or 'The Little Black boy' cries out vehemently. In 'The Little Boy Lost', the song ventures to come out of the charmed circle of either 'The Echoing Green' or the 'New World' of 'Night', But the lost ones are protected rapidly as it is seen in the 'The Little Boy Found' God appears in white and rescues him. Again as Wicksteed says, "In 'Little Boy Lost' and 'Little Girl Lost' we have the stories of innocence thwarted and destroyed at the very moment when it was reaching out to experience. But every birth into a higher life may be through the portals of pain and distress..."

The Happy End :

      With the restoration of innocence and the happy world of a reunited mother and child the poem comes to an end. This reunion has not been easy. It is facilitated with the intervention of God. God emerges with redoubled lustre and his mercy, pity, love and affection are proved once more. The shadow of the cloud of experience comes and goes with a forewarning; fear felt in the 'The Little Boy Lost' is allayed in 'The Little Boy Found'.

Allegory or Ballad :

      Critics find some distinct marks that characterise the poem as having an echo of a ballad. Goethe has written a poem called. Erkoning' in which a boy loses the company of his father and is led astray. Thereupon comes a fairy king and the child eries for his father's help. However the land where the boy cries for the help of God or father in Blake's poem is just like a fairy land, mysterious and terrible. It is dark, moist and marshy and dreary. Whatsoever may be the fact, Blake has given his own version with mastery and skill in these two poems.

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