What is about? what elements are involved?
I can't help you with the poetic elements, I'm shaky on them myself.
What it's about is a simple message. The narrator (poet) is talking to a lamb. He asks the lamb if it knows where it came from and who gave it all it's qualities. In the second verse he tells the lamb about The Lamb of God.
Something to consider, why does he address the lamb as thee instead of the you of everyday speech.
If it was a male lamb, he wouldn't call it a you
LindaD, Perhaps he used thee because he wrote the poem over two hundred years ago when such construction was quite commonplace.
Chesil, it's good to hear from you again!
Glad you're back Chesil.
I'm not convinced "thee-in' and thou-in'" was that common even then in normal speech. I see it as a deliberate echo of biblical language.
Thanks for the welcome Linda and Ian. Sorry to return with a disagreement but thee, thou, thy, thine really were commonplace with no religious significance. Shelley, Byron, Keats or John Clare and most of the romantics used the terms commonly and even later EBB was an enthusiastic user.
Chesil ! good to see you !
Thee thou etc, by Blake's time, had faded as normal everyday speech....only Quakers of that time were using it
Get out of here, Johnny. Byron was a Quaker???? Well, if so, I could be converted!!
Oh, he could make a bed shake with the best of them, but I'm talking strictly everyday speech here, not how writers were using such terms
Though I'm sure his interest in personal possesives regarding a women's thys were not always vocabular
Don't writers reflect their audience? No matter, my point was that the use of thee, thy and so forth was common in poetry at the time and whilst Blake was a deeply religious man, it would be best not to take the use of the words as making a religious point.
Common in poetry?....yes, absolutely
Linda correctly stated that it was not part of normal speech at the time, but I agree that although Biblical-sounding, it was not an attempt to echo such.
Correctly insofar as everyday speech among certain classes. Incorrect in terms of usage in literary works. The Lamb was no different than anything else Blake wrote in respect of usage.
For fun, check The Tyger.
In "The Ruined Maid" by Thomas Hardy, which Marian has posted for a seeker in the Lost Poetry Quotations forum, and which was published in 1901 so presumably intended to be set in late Victorian England, the usage 'thee' and 'thou' is given as distinctive of the lower, rural classes:
"At home in the barton you said
thik oon,' andtheńs oon,' and `t'other'; but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compa-ny!"--
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.
Of course that may have been true only in TH's imagination.