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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

A CRADLE SONG, FR. SONGS OF INNOCENCE, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

A Cradle Song, from William Blake's Songs of Innocence, is a gentle and soothing poem that explores themes of motherhood, love, and the beauty of the natural world. The poem takes the form of a lullaby, with the speaker addressing a baby and offering words of comfort and reassurance.

The poem begins with the speaker addressing the baby: "Sweet dreams, form a shade / O'er my lovely infant's head!" The use of the word "shade" suggests a sense of protection and security, as if the speaker is shielding the baby from harm. The use of the word "lovely" also implies a sense of affection and tenderness, as if the speaker is deeply attached to the baby.

The second stanza of the poem explores the beauty of the natural world: "Sweet dreams of pleasant streams / By happy, silent, moony beams!" The reference to "pleasant streams" and "moony beams" creates a sense of natural beauty and serenity, as if the baby is being transported to a peaceful and idyllic world. The use of the word "happy" also suggests a sense of joy and contentment, as if the natural world is a source of comfort and happiness for the baby.

In the third stanza of the poem, the speaker reflects on the nature of motherhood and the love that a mother has for her child: "Sweet sleep, with soft down / Weave thy brows an infant crown. / Sweet sleep, angel mild, / Hover o'er my happy child." The use of the word "crown" suggests a sense of royalty and nobility, as if the baby is a prince or princess being honored and cherished by the speaker. The reference to the "angel mild" also suggests a sense of protection and guardianship, as if the speaker is asking for divine intervention to watch over the baby.

A Cradle Song is a beautiful and evocative poem that captures the essence of motherhood and the beauty of the natural world. The use of a lullaby creates a sense of intimacy and tenderness, while the descriptions of the natural world create a sense of peace and serenity. The poem as a whole suggests that the love that a mother has for her child is a powerful and enduring force that transcends time and space. 


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