Introduction

‘Piping Down The Valleys Wild’ is the first poem in William Blake’s poetry book, ‘Songs of Innocence,’ which was published in 1789. The majority of the poems in this book are dedicated to children, they portray a simplistic, innocent concept of salvation. Angels miraculously inspire the poet, who is presented as a dreamer.

About The Poet

William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printer who was born on November 28, 1757. Blake, who went mostly unrecognized during his lifetime, is today regarded as a significant figure in the development of Romantic poetry and visual art.

Theme Of The Poem

The poem ‘Piping Down The Valleys Wild’ introduces the poet’s inspiration and motive for writing poetry. The narrator is characterized as a piper, in this poem.

Stanza 1-3

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:—

“Pipe a song about a lamb:”
So I piped with merry cheer.
“Piper, pipe that song again:”
So I piped: he wept to hear.

“Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe, 
Sing thy songs of happy cheer!” 
So I sang the same again, 
While he wept with joy to hear

William Blake says he was told to create these poems for children by a child (symbolizes an angel) on a cloud. The poet being a visionary, envisions himself as a shepherd. While descending the wild forest, Blake was playing the mellifluous tunes of the pan flute with a cheerful glee, a feeling of immense joy and in the midst of playing the pipe, he claimed to have seen an angelic kid standing on a cloud, smiling gleefully, asking him to play the melody and pipe the Lamb’s (Jesus Christ’s) song. 

Blake obeyed the angel child’s command, piped the tune, and played the melody pleasantly. The child requested Blake to pipe the song for the second time after he finished the first time.

As a result, Blake piped the song once again, and the child sobbed. The child then instructed Blake to stop playing the pipe and set it aside. Blake was instructed to perform his songs aloud in the happiest tone, and he obeyed the heavenly call.

Stanza 4-5 

“Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read—” 
So he vanished from my sight;
And I plucked a hollow reed

And I made a rural pen, 
And I stained the water clear, 
And I wrote my happy songs 
Every child may joy to hear.

Finally, the youngster told the piper (Blake) to sit down and write in a book that everyone would be able to read for decades. The phrase “in a book” refers to the “Songs of Innocence.” Blake then built a traditional (rural) country reed pen with which he penned all of his beautiful tunes. He converted water into ink, and all of the songs he penned were intended for children to hear and enjoy.