"The Little Boy Lost"

By: William Blake

"The Little Boy Lost"

Father, father, where are you going

O do not walk so fast.

Speak father, speak to your little boy

Or else I shall be lost,

The night was dark no father was there

The child was wet with dew.

The mire was deep, & the child did weep

And away the vapour flew.

Literal Meaning

The poem is literally talking about a boy who is looking for his father. His father is leaving and the little boy is worried about getting lost.

But what is the poem really trying to say...?


The poem is telling a story of a father leaving a little boy behind making it a narrative poem. We can assume that the speaker is the son of the father who is leaving. The speaker is calling out to his father wondering why he is leaving. The speaker seems to be really worried about what will happen if he does lose his father. If someone were to read this poem aloud, it would be most appropriate to speak in a worried, fearful, and sad tone because this is what is felt while reading the poem. You can see this because the speaker is asking for his father to "speak" because he does not want to be "lost."


The speaker starts off telling his father to stop and wait for him before he gets lost. However as the poem progresses, the speaker switches from first person to third person. The speaker is speaking of the child being lost and how the child "weeped." The syntax is spoken in a usual form. Throughout the poem, the only punctuation used were a few commas and periods. The title of this poem signifies that a little boy is lost. It could mean he is physically lost or emotionally lost from losing his father.


The language of the above poem is mainly simple. However certain words such as "o" and "shall" are not commonly used in today society. The word weep added to the meaning of the poem because the little boy was upset about being lost and losing his father. The poem was straight foward and there were not any direct allusions that I could see.

Musical Devices

There was no reoccurring rhyme scheme in the prom but there was an ABCB rhyme that only occurred once. The poem was less concerned with rhyming and more concerned with making you feel for the speaker by using punctuation and imagery.