Advertisements

Blog Archives

A Short Analysis of William Blake’s ‘Cradle Song’

‘Cradle Song’ is intended to be sung by a mother to her newborn child in order to lull the baby to sleep. The repetition of ‘Sweet’ at the beginning of many of the poem’s stanzas (or perhaps we should say, the song’s verses) helps to create a soothing effect. One wonders how many infants have been eased into dreamland by maternal recitals of Blake’s poem.

Cradle Song

Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep; in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles, Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

‘A Dream’: A Poem by William Blake

Published in Blake’s 1789 book Songs of Innocence, ‘A Dream’ is about William Blake’s vision of three insects: an ant (‘emmet’), a beetle, and a glow-worm, which is in fact a kind of beetle. Not only that, but these are talking insects: the emmet confides that she has lost her children, and the bright glow-worm offers to light the way for her through the night, so she can recover them.

‘A Dream’ by William Blake

Once a dream did weave a shade
O’er my angel-guarded bed,
That an emmet lost its way
Where on grass methought I lay.

Troubled, wildered, and forlorn,
Dark, benighted, travel-worn,
Over many a tangle spray,
All heart-broke, I heard her say: Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of William Blake’s ‘Infant Joy’

‘Infant Joy’ is a poem that was first published in William Blake’s 1789 volume Songs of Innocence. Like many of Blake’s poems from the two Songs collections, ‘Infant Joy’ is fairly straightforward and its meaning is reasonably plain – and yet the poem requires a little analysis to tease out its deeper ambiguities and subtleties.

Infant Joy

I have no name
I am but two days old.—
What shall I call thee?
I happy am
Joy is my name,—
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy but two days old,
Sweet joy I call thee; Read the rest of this entry