Critical Analysis of The Shepherd by William Blake
Summary: The poem tells about of a Shepherd who cares for his flock, and it only includes positive language about the relationship between shepherd and sheep. The shepherd has no fixed workplace, must only follow his sheep, and has “songs of praise” on this tongue constantly. He has nothing to listen to but the “innocent call” of the lamb and the “tender reply” of the sheep. He follows his sheep ‘all the day’, he ‘hears’ everything and is ‘watchful’. The flock is ‘innocent’, ‘tender’ and ‘in peace’. The Shepherd’s presence gives them this ‘peace’, while their innocence affects him by giving him a ‘sweet’ life, and filling his tongue with ‘praise’. The dependent and caring inter-relationship of shepherd and sheep seems peaceful, then.