© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


by W.H. Auden
 Table of Contents

Lullaby Death Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Time and fevers burn awayIndividual beauty fromThoughtful children, and the graveProves the child ephemeral: (3-6)

This is the beginning of the speaker's focus on death. He notes that nothing lasts forever: children grow up and lose their beauty, and everyone dies eventually.

Quote #2

But in my arms til break of dayLet the living creature lie,Mortal, guilty but to meThe entirely beautiful. (7-10)

By referring to his sleeping beloved as a "living creature," we're reminded of the fact that, one day, he will not be living. The speaker then goes on to call him "mortal;" just another reminder that we will all die some day.

Quote #3

Certainty, fidelityOn the stroke of midnight passLike vibrations of a bell, (21-23)

Here the speaker includes symbols of time passing – a clock and a bell – which have the effect of reminding us that time is always passing.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search