Blake's poems explore a world that he envisions as the "two contrary states of the human soul" (Norton 37). He uses two books of poems, the Songs of Experience and the Songs of Innocence, to represent his different points of view. In these books, Blake uses companion poems to mix related content and imagery to represent his viewpoints of innocence and experience. "The Ecchoing Green" and "London" are two particular poems from these books that can be considered companion poems. Clearly Blake's double vision about the world is satisfied by these two poems. They are linked to each other by their content and imagery and the establishment of opposing tones and settings.
"The Ecchoing Green" from Blake's Songs of Innocence is the first from this set of companion poems. Blake's innocence poems are typically of a livelier and happier tone. In the first stanza, happiness and innocence are established by the sun rising, the skies being happy, and the spring being welcomed by birds singing and by other pleasant sounds (1-8). Carefree-ness is portrayed particularly in the next stanza by Old John laughing amongst the old folk as they all reminisce and laugh at their youthful past (11-20). Blake's setting in the green field also portrays a place of carefree fun, a place to play loud sports and is presented as a more casual type of atmosphere. (The lively ecchoing green field is comparable to a present day community recreational park.) The most important images in the poem however are the children and the sense of family in the final stanza. After the children have wearied and the day draws to a close, their mothers and their "many sisters and brothers" are all compared to "birds in their nest," who "Are ready for rest" (27-28). This comparison represents a peaceful end of the day with the children safely returning home to their caring mothers and families. The imagery of nature in this poem glorifies a sweet, caring simplicity and a humble purity.