Anne Bradstreet2017-12-08T23:06:35-07:00

Anne Bradstreet

A Dialogue between Old England and New

New England.
Alas, dear Mother, fairest Queen and best,
With honour, wealth, and peace happy and blest,
What ails thee hang thy head, and cross thine arms,
And sit i’ the dust to sigh these sad alarms?
What deluge of new woes thus over-whelm
The glories of thy ever famous Realm?
What means this wailing tone, this mournful guise?
Ah, tell thy Daughter; she may sympathize.

Old England.
Art

A Love Letter to Her Husband

Phoebus make haste, the day’s too long, begone,
The silent night’s the fittest time for moan;
But stay this once, unto my suit give ear,
And tell my griefs in either Hemisphere: –
(And if the whirling of thy wheels do n’t drown’d
The woful accents of my doleful sound),
If in thy swift career thou canst make stay,
I crave this boon, this errand by the way:
Commend me

An Apology

To finish what’s begun, was my intent,
My thoughts and my endeavours thereto bent;
Essays I many made but still gave out,
The more I mus’d, the more I was in doubt:
The subject large my mind and body weak,
With many moe discouragements did speak.
All thoughts of further progress laid aside,
Though oft perswaded, I as oft deny’d,
At length resolv’d, when many years had past,
To prosecute my story to the last;
And for the same,

Another -I-

Phoebus make haste, the day’s too long, be gone,
The silent night’s the fittest time for moan;
But stay this once, unto my suit give ear,
And tell my griefs in either hemisphere.
(And if the whirling of thy wheels don’t drown’d)
The woeful accents of my doleful sound,
If in thy swift carrier thou canst make stay,
I crave this boon, this errand by the way,
Commend me

Another -II-

As loving hind that (hartless) wants her deer,
Scuds through the woods and fern with hark’ning ear,
Perplext, in every bush and nook doth pry,
Her dearest deer, might answer ear or eye;
So doth my anxious soul, which now doth miss
A dearer dear (far dearer heart) than this.
Still wait with doubts, and hopes, and failing eye,
His voice to hear or person to descry.
Or as

Before the Birth of One of Her Children

All things within this fading world hath end,
Adversity doth still our joys attend;
No ties so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,
But with death’s parting blow is sure to meet.
The sentence past is most irrevocable,
A common thing, yet oh, inevitable.
How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend.
How soon’t may be thy lot to lose thy friend,
We both are ignorant, yet

By Night when Others Soundly Slept

By night when others soundly slept
And hath at once both ease and Rest,
My waking eyes were open kept
And so to lie I found it best.

I sought him whom my Soul did Love,
With tears I sought him earnestly.
He bow’d his ear down from Above.
In vain I did not seek or cry.

My hungry Soul he fill’d with Good;
He in his Bottle put

Contemplations

Some time now past in the Autumnal Tide,
When Phoebus wanted but one hour to bed,
The trees all richly clad, yet void of pride,
Were gilded o’er by his rich golden head.
Their leaves and fruits seem’d painted, but was true
Of green, of red, of yellow, mixed hue,
Rapt were my senses at this delectable view.

I wist not what to wish, yet sure, thought I,
If

Davids Lamentation for Saul and Jonathan

2. Sam. 1. 19.
Alas slain is the Head of Israel,
Illustrious Saul whose beauty did excell,
Upon thy places mountainous and high,
How did the Mighty fall, and falling dye?
In Gath let not this things be spoken on,
Nor published in streets of Askalon,
Lest daughters of the Philistines rejoyce,
Lest the uncircumcis’d lift up their voice.
O Gilbo Mounts, let never pearled dew,
Nor fruitfull showres your barren tops bestrew,
Nor fields of offrings ever on you

Deliverance from Another Sore Fit

In my distress I sought the Lord
When naught on earth could comfort give,
And when my soul these things abhorred,
Then, Lord, Thou said’st unto me, “Live.”

Thou knowest the sorrows that I felt;
My plaints and groans were heard of Thee,
And how in sweat I seemed to melt
Thou help’st and Thou regardest me.

My wasted flesh Thou didst restore,
My feeble loins didst gird with

Deliverance from a Fit of Fainting

Worthy art Thou, O Lord, of praise,
But ah! It’s not in me.
My sinking heart I pray Thee raise
So shall I give it Thee.

My life as spider’s webb’s cut off,
Thus fainting have I said,
And living man no more shall see
But be in silence laid.

My feeble spirit Thou didst revive,
My doubting Thou didst chide,
And though as dead mad’st me alive,
I

Epitaphs

Her Mother’s Epitaph

Here lies
A worthy matron of unspotted life,
A loving mother and obedient wife,
A friendly neighbor, pitiful to poor,
Whom oft she fed, and clothed with her store;
To servants wisely aweful, but yet kind,
And as they did, so they reward did find:
A true instructor of her family,
The which she ordered with dexterity,
The public meetings ever did frequent,
And in her

Four Elements

The Fire, Air, Earth and water did contest
Which was the strongest, noblest and the best,
Who was of greatest use and might’est force;
In placide Terms they thought now to discourse,
That in due order each her turn should speak;
But enmity this amity did break
All would be chief, and all scorn’d to be under
Whence issu’d winds & rains, lightning & thunder
The quaking earth did groan, the Sky lookt black
The Fire, the forced

Here Follow Several Occasional Meditations

By night when others soundly slept,
And had at once both case and rest,
My waking eyes were open kept
And so to lie I found it best.

I sought Him whom my soul did love,
With tears I sought Him earnestly;
He bowed His ear down from above.
In vain I did not seek or cry.

My hungry soul He filled with good,
He in His bottle put

In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth

Proem.

Although great Queen, thou now in silence lie,
Yet thy loud Herald Fame, doth to the sky
Thy wondrous worth proclaim, in every clime,
And so has vow’d, whilst there is world or time.
So great’s thy glory, and thine excellence,
The sound thereof raps every human sense
That men account it no impiety
To say thou wert a fleshly Deity.
Thousands bring off’rings (though out of date)

In My Solitary Hours in My Dear Husband his Absence

O Lord, Thou hear’st my daily moan
And see’st my dropping tears.
My troubles all are Thee before,
My longings and my fears.

Thou hitherto hast been my God;
Thy help my soul hath found.
Though loss and sickness me assailed,
Through Thee I’ve kept my ground.

And Thy abode Thou’st made with me;
With Thee my soul can talk;
In secret places Thee I find
Where I do kneel or walk.

Though husband dear be from me gone,
Whom I do

In Reference to her Children

23 June, 1659
I had eight birds hatched in one nest,
Four cocks there were, and hens the rest.
I nursed them up with pain and care,
Nor cost, nor labour did I spare,
Till at the last they felt their wing,
Mounted the trees, and learned to sing;
Chief of the brood then took his flight
To regions far and left me quite.
My mournful chirps I after send,

In honour of Du Bartas

Among the happy wits this age hath shown
Great, dear, sweet Bartas thou art matchless known;
My ravished Eyes and heart with faltering tongue,
In humble wise have vow’d their service long,
But knowing th’ task so great, & strength but small,
Gave o’re the work before begun withal,
My dazled sight of late review’d thy lines,
Where Art, and more than Art, in nature shines,
Reflection from their beaming Altitude,
Did thaw my frozen hearts ingratitude;
Which Rayes

Meditations Divine and Moral

A ship that bears much sail, and little ballast, is easily
overset; and that man, whose head hath great abilities, and his
heart little or no grace, is in danger of foundering.
The finest bread has the least bran; the purest honey, the
least wax; and the sincerest Christian, the least self-love.
Sweet words are like honey; a little may refresh, but too much
gluts the stomach.

Divers children

Of the Four Ages of Man

Lo, now four other act upon the stage,
Childhood and Youth, the Many and Old age:
The first son unto phlegm, grandchild to water,
Unstable, supple, cold and moist’s his nature
The second, frolic, claims his pedigree
From blood and air, for hot and moist is he.
The third of fire and choler is compos’d,
Vindicative and quarrelsome dispos’d.
The last of earth and heavy melancholy,
Solid, hating all

Of the four Humours in Mans Constitution

The former four now ending their discourse,
Ceasing to vaunt their good, or threat their force.
Lo other four step up, crave leave to show
The native qualityes that from them flow:
But first they wisely shew’d their high descent,
Each eldest daughter to each Element.
Choler was own’d by fire, and Blood by air,
Earth knew her black swarth child, water her fair:
All having made obeysance to each Mother,
Had leave to speak, succeeding one the

Spirit

Be still, thou unregenerate part,
Disturb no more my settled heart,
For I have vow’d (and so will do)
Thee as a foe still to pursue,
And combat with thee will and must
Until I see thee laid in th’ dust.
Sister we are, yea twins we be,
Yet deadly feud ‘twixt thee and me,
For from one father are we not.
Thou by old Adam wast begot,
But

The Author to her Book

Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth did’st by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad expos’d to public view,
Made thee in rags, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge)
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call.
I cast thee by