by W.H. Auden
Lullaby Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm; (1-2)
The speaker starts off the poem by telling us that he's faithless. Does this mean that he has no faith in God? In humanity? In anything? We have to keep reading to find out.
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope; (12-17)
It seems like the speaker has no faith in a Christian god, but here he invoke Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Does he believe in Roman gods? Is the speaker a polytheist? Probably not. Venus here seems more like a symbol of love than an actual deity in which the speaker believes.
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of sweetness show
Eye and knocking heart may bless.
Find the mortal world enough; (32-36)
This part of the poem sounds kind of like a prayer. The speaker uses the word "bless," and the whole phrase begins with the word "let," which makes it sounds like the speaker is addressing a higher power with prayers for his beloved. But this is all undercut by line 36. The speaker asks his lover to "find the mortal world enough" – to find satisfaction in earthly life. No god is necessary, the speaker says. All you need is love.