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Transcript of Anne Bradstreet
To My Dear and Loving Husband
By Anne Bradstreet
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.
Here Follows Some Verses Upon the Burningof Our house, July 10th. 1666.
By Anne Bradstreet
In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow near I did not look,
I wakened was with thund’ring noise
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
That fearful sound of “fire” and “fire,”
Let no man know is my Desire.
I, starting up, the light did spy,
And to my God my heart did cry
To straighten me in my Distress
And not to leave me succourless.
Then, coming out, behold a space
The flame consume my dwelling place.
And when I could no longer look,
I blest His name that gave and took,
That laid my goods now in the dust.
Yea, so it was, and so ‘twas just.
It was his own, it was not mine,
Far be it that I should repine;
He might of all justly bereft
But yet sufficient for us left.
When by the ruins oft I past
My sorrowing eyes aside did cast
And here and there the places spy
Where oft I sate and long did lie.
Here stood that trunk, and there that chest,
There lay that store I counted best.
My pleasant things in ashes lie
And them behold no more shall I.
Under thy roof no guest shall sit,
Nor at thy Table eat a bit.
No pleasant talk shall ‘ere be told
Nor things recounted done of old.
No Candle e'er shall shine in Thee, Nor bridegroom‘s voice e'er heard shall be.
In silence ever shalt thou lie,
Adieu, Adieu, all’s vanity.
Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide,
And did thy wealth on earth abide?
Didst fix thy hope on mould'ring dust?
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
Raise up thy thoughts above the sky
That dunghill mists away may fly.
Thou hast a house on high erect
Frameed by that mighty Architect,
With glory richly furnished,
Stands permanent though this be fled.
It‘s purchased and paid for too
By Him who hath enough to do.
A price so vast as is unknown,
Yet by His gift is made thine own;
There‘s wealth enough, I need no more,
Farewell, my pelf, farewell, my store.
The world no longer let me love,
My hope and treasure lies above. Deceased September 16th, 1672 in Andover, Massachusetts at 60 years old. What Critics Say: "Bradstreet lived a hard life, but proved to be a strong women and this internal resolve is reflected in her writings." ~ Ramon Gonzales "This poem succeeds because it also reflects devotion to the art of lyric verse." ~ Robert P. Ellis "Bradstreet [...] writes in a formal rhyme and metrical pattern [...] which is conventional and correct." "A Letter to Her Husband, Absent Upon Public Employment" "She must have been familiar with the classical epistle, or verse letter [...] [because] she addresses her husband by a series of metaphors." Critic:
Robert P. Ellis "Before the Birth of One of Her Children" "With its unadorned style and secular content, [it] seems to stand apart from the other writings of Bradstreet." "The words of the poem connect the speaker and her great love back to her beloved spouse, as they, these many years later, connect the speaker and her reader." Critic:
Francine Dempsey "Contemplations" "This poem can be looked at as a series of emblems related to a central theme, that of the meaning of time and eternity." "What is unusual for Bradstreet's time is the poet's enthusiastic appreciation of nature [ in which] she anticipated the American Romantics." Critic:
Paula Kopacz "In Reference to Her Children, 23 June 1659" "Because she evokes her children as individuals and conveys her tender feeling for each of them, this poem written on a particular day for a particular family expresses the universality of mother love." Critic:
Robert P. Ellis "Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666" "In selecting such difficult moments about which to write, she intends to teach her readers the redemptive possibilities of suffering." "The ultimate goal of a Puritan writer extended beyond personal expression to confirm the faithfulness of God." Why Bradstreet writes: "'I have not studied in this you read to show my skill, but to declare the truth, not to set forth myself, but the glory of God." Critic:
William L. Howard
A Letter to her Husband, absent upon Public Employment
By Anne Bradstreet
My head, my heart, mine Eyes, my life, nay more,
My joy, my Magazine of earthly store,
If two be one, as surely thou and I,
How stayest thou there, whilst I at Ipswich lye?
So many steps, head from the heart to sever
If but a neck, soon should we be together:
I like the earth this season, mourn in black,
My Sun is gone so far in’s Zodiack,
Whom whilst I ’joy’d, nor storms, nor frosts I felt,
His warmth such frigid colds did cause to melt.
My chilled limbs now nummed lye forlorn;
Return, return sweet Sol from Capricorn;
In this dead time, alas, what can I more
Then view those fruits which through thy heat I bore? Which sweet contentment yield me for a space,
True living Pictures of their Fathers face.
O strange effect! now thou art Southward gone,
I weary grow, the tedious day so long;
But when thou Northward to me shalt return,
I wish my Sun may never set, but burn
Within the Cancer of my glowing breast,
The welcome house of him my dearest guest.
Where ever, ever stay, and go not thence,
Till natures sad decree shall call thee hence;
Flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone,
I here, thou there, yet both but one.
"Before the Birth of One of Her Children"
By Anne Bradstreet All things within this fading world hath end,
Adversity doth still our joyes 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 are both ignorant, yet love bids me
These farewell lines to recommend to thee,
That when that knot’s untied that made us one,
I may seem thine, who in effect am none.
And if I see not half my dayes that’s due,
What nature would, God grant to yours and you; The many faults that well you know I have
Let be interr’d in my oblivious grave;
If any worth or virtue were in me,
Let that live freshly in thy memory
And when thou feel’st no grief, as I no harms,
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms.
And when thy loss shall be repaid with gains
Look to my little babes, my dear remains.
And if thou love thyself, or loved’st me,
These o protect from step Dames injury.
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse,
With some sad sighs honour my absent Herse;
And kiss this paper for thy loves dear sake,
Who with salt tears this last Farewel did take. (1650) and, from the "Before the Birth of One of Her Children"
"A Dialogue between Old England and New"
"A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment"
"For Deliverance From A Fever"
"Deliverance from Another Sore Fit"
"In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth"
"In Reference to her Children, 23 June 1659"
"The Author to Her Book"
"The Flesh and the Spirit"
"The Four Ages of Man"
"Four Seasons of the Year"
"Of The Four Ages of Man"
"The Four Monarchies"
"To Her Father with Some Verses"
"To My Dear and Loving Husband"
"'Upon a Fit of Sickness, Anno 1632 Aetatis Suae, 19"
"Upon My Son Samuel His Going For England, November 6, 1657"
"Upon Some Distemper of Body"
"Verses upon the Burning of our House"
The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up in America Manuscripts. Facsimile ed., 1965, Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, ISBN "An Exact Epitome of the Three First Monarchies" (1650) (a.k.a. Exact Epitome of the Four Monarchies) Other Works Meditations Divine and Morall, Letters, and Occasional Poems, 978-0-8201-1006-6. Works Cited "Anne Bradstreet." . 16 2003. Web. 10 Nov 2012.
"Anne Bradstreet." . 1973.
Dempsey, Francine. "Before The Birth Of One Of Her Children."
(2002): 1-3. . Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
Ellis, Robert P. "A Letter To Her Husband, Absent Upon Public Employment."
(2006): 1. Literary Reference Center. Web. 10
---. "In Reference to Her Children, 23 June 1659." (2006): 1.
. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
Gonzalez, Ramon. "Anne Bradstreet, 1612-1672." , 1607-1783. University of
North Carolina at Pembroke, 11 2000. Web. 1 Nov 2012. <http://www.uncp.edu/home/canada/work/allam/16071783/lit/bradstre.htm>.
Hensley, Jeannie, and Adrienne Rich. . Cambridge, Massachusetts:
The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967. 3-295. Print.
Howard, William L. "Here Follows Some Versus Upon The Burning Of Our House July 10th, 1666."
(2007): 1-2. . Web. 5 Nove. 2012.
Kopacz, Paula. "Contemplations." (2002): 1-3.
Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
"List of Books by Anne Bradstreet." PaperBackSwap.com,
Web. 10 Nov 2012. <http://www.paperbackswap.com/Anne-Bradstreet/author/?t=al>.
Piercy, Josephine K. . New Haven, Connecticut: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1965.
Showalter, Elaine. . 1st Vintage Book ed. New
York: Vintage Books, A Division of Random House Inc., 2011. 32-33. Print. Anne Bradstreet The McGraw-Hill World Biography Masterplots II: Poetry, Revised Edition Literary Reference Center Magill’S Survey Of American Literature, Revised Edition Magill'S Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition Literary Reference Center Colonial America The Works of Anne Bradstreet Masterplots 11: Christian Literature Literary Reference Center Masterplots II: Poetry, Revised Edition Literary Reference Center. PaperBackSwap.com. Anne Bradstreet The Vintage Book Of American Women Writers