Blake never failed to be touched by the loss of a young person especially one who showed promise of growing into a person of imagination. Recall his reaction to the death of his younger brother Robert, and to William Hayley's loss of his son Thomas Alphonso. Malkin was drawn to give encouragement to Blake because of Blake's understanding of Maklin's profound experience of loss over the death of his precocious seven year old son.
In this poem it is the Mother who has crossed over to the other side and the child and Father who are left behind. In the land of dreams the family is reunited but the experience is temporary and can't be replicated. Blake's expresses a longing to cross the stream and leave behind the doubt and fear of this world in The Land of Dreams.
Pickering Manuscript, (E 486) "The Land of Dreams Awake awake my little Boy Thou wast thy Mothers only joy Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep Awake thy Father does thee keep O what Land is the Land of Dreams What are its Mountains & what are its Streams O Father I saw my Mother there Among the Lillies by waters fair Among the Lambs clothed in white She walkd with her Thomas in sweet delight I wept for joy like a dove I mourn O when shall I again return Dear Child I also by pleasant Streams Have wanderd all Night in the Land of Dreams But tho calm & warm the Waters wide I could not get to the other side Father O Father what do we here In this Land of unbelief & fear The Land of Dreams is better far Above the light of the Morning Star"