The poem Cradle Song Written by Sarojini Naidu is a lullaby i.e. a quiet and gentle song which is sung to send a child to sleep. In the poem, the poet who is a mother is trying to lull her child to sleep. She uses ample beautiful images to help the child visualise them and ultimately close his eyes.
The poem has been divided into 3 stanzas having 6 lines each. The rhyme scheme of the poem is AABCCB. In the first stanza, the poet prepares the child dream the beautiful things she talks about. In the second stanza, the child seems to have been lost in the picturesque imaginations.
Mother asks him gently to close his eyes. In the final stanza, the child goes into sleep and the mother wishes him goodnight and sweet dreams. The poem shows maternal love and cares for her child. In addition, it also shows the power of a mother’s voice which is soothing for the child.
Cradle Song Summary
In stanza 1, the poet begins creating imaginations from different beautiful places. According to her, she has brought a little lovely dream with shining and glittering dews in the form of a beautiful song for her child from groves (a group of trees) of spice, the field of rice and from the stream full of lotus flowers.
All these places are picturesque and quite attractive. The garden of spices is green, the field of rice is golden and stream full of lotus flowers is pink. These all are sensory images which create a visual effect. Not only the child but the audience can feel the beauty of these places by reading the poem.
In the second stanza, the poet asks the child to shut his eyes and dream wild fire-fiies (glow-worms) which dance through the fairy neem. Neem tree is symbolised as fairy either because it is considered holy and sacred in Hinduism or because it looks like a fairy in the night.
The poet then says that she has stolen a little lovely dream from the poppy-bole whose flower is bright and colourful. The second stanza shows that the child is lost in the beautiful imaginations created by his mother for him.
The images used like fairy neem and poppy-bole indicate the mother’s desire for her child to sleep sound. Neem tree has medicinal properties and Poppy plant has a sleep-producing effect upon the eyes.
In the third and the final stanza, the child is lost in the imaginations and ultimately gone to sleep. His mother now bids him final good-night in golden night laden with the stars that are gleaming around him.
The golden night can be simply the night which seems to be golden because of stars in the sky or it can also refer to the dreams which the child will see after sleeping. She then presses her hands gently on him and wishes him to sleep as well as dream well.