Anne Bradstreet Poems Part 03

Anne Bradstreet Poems Part 03,Although known as one of the first female writers to be published in the North America colonies, Anne Bradstreet was actually born in Northampton, England, in March 1612.

Her father Thomas Dudley and mother, Dorothy Yorke, were able to afford a very good education for Anne and she was well tutored in languages, literature and history. At the age of sixteen she was married to Simon Bradstreet.

 

Anne Bradstreet Poems Part 03

Anne Bradstreet Bio

In 1630 she, her husband and parents emigrated to Massachusetts, USA, with the Winthrop Fleet carrying British Puritans who had rejected the Church of England and the rule of King Charles 1st. Landing initially at the Pioneer Village (Salem) the Puritan group moved south to Charleston before travelling on down the Charles River to establish the city of Boston.

Anne’s father and husband went on to serve as Governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and were later among those who founded Harvard College in 1636.  There is a gate next to Canaday Hall at Harvard which is dedicated to Anne’s memory.

Anne Bradstreet Poems Part 03

 

In Reference to Her Children

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,
Till he return, or I do end:
Leave not thy nest, thy dam and sire,
Fly back and sing amidst this choir.
My second bird did take her flight,
And with her mate flew out of sight;
Southward they both their course did bend,
And seasons twain they there did spend,
Till after blown by southern gales,
They norward steered with filled sails.
A prettier bird was no where seen,
Along the beach among the treen.
I have a third of colour white,
On whom I placed no small delight;
Coupled with mate loving and true,
Hath also bid her dam adieu;
And where Aurora first appears,
She now hath perched to spend her years.
One to the academy flew
To chat among that learned crew;
Ambition moves still in his breast
That he might chant above the rest
Striving for more than to do well,
That nightingales he might excel.
My fifth, whose down is yet scarce gone,
Is ‘mongst the shrubs and bushes flown,
And as his wings increase in strength,
On higher boughs he’ll perch at length.
My other three still with me nest,
Until they’re grown, then as the rest,
Or here or there they’ll take their flight,
As is ordained, so shall they light.
If birds could weep, then would my tears
Let others know what are my fears
Lest this my brood some harm should catch,
And be surprised for want of watch,
Whilst pecking corn and void of care,
They fall un’wares in fowler’s snare,
Or whilst on trees they sit and sing,
Some untoward boy at them do fling,
Or whilst allured with bell and glass,
The net be spread, and caught, alas.
Or lest by lime-twigs they be foiled,
Or by some greedy hawks be spoiled.
O would my young, ye saw my breast,
And knew what thoughts there sadly rest,
Great was my pain when I you fed,
Long did I keep you soft and warm,
And with my wings kept off all harm,
My cares are more and fears than ever,
My throbs such now as ‘fore were never.
Alas, my birds, you wisdom want,
Of perils you are ignorant;
Oft times in grass, on trees, in flight,
Sore accidents on you may light.
O to your safety have an eye,
So happy may you live and die.
Meanwhile my days in tunes I’ll spend,
Till my weak lays with me shall end.
In shady woods I’ll sit and sing,
And things that past to mind I’ll bring.
Once young and pleasant, as are you,
But former toys (no joys) adieu.
My age I will not once lament,
But sing, my time so near is spent.
And from the top bough take my flight
Into a country beyond sight,
Where old ones instantly grow young,
And there with seraphims set song;
No seasons cold, nor storms they see;
But spring lasts to eternity.
When each of you shall in your nest
Among your young ones take your rest,
In chirping language, oft them tell,
You had a dam that loved you well,
That did what could be done for young,
And nursed you up till you were strong,
And ‘fore she once would let you fly,
She showed you joy and misery;
Taught what was good, and what was ill,
What would save life, and what would kill.
Thus gone, amongst you I may live,
And dead, yet speak, and counsel give:
Farewell, my birds, farewell adieu,
I happy am, if well with you.
Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

In Thankful Remembrance for My Dear Husband’s Safe Arrival

What shall I render to Thy name
Or how Thy praises speak?
My thanks how shall I testify?
O Lord, Thou know’st I’m weak.I owe so much, so little can
Return unto Thy name,
Confusion seizes on my soul,
And I am filled with shame.O Thou that hearest prayers, Lord,
To Thee shall come all flesh
Thou hast me heard and answered,
My plaints have had access.What did I ask for but Thou gav’st?
What could I more desire?
But thankfulness even all my days
I humbly this require.

Thy mercies, Lord, have been so great
In number numberless,
Impossible for to recount
Or any way express.

O help Thy saints that sought Thy face
T’ return unto Thee praise
And walk before Thee as they ought,
In strict and upright ways.

Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

For Deliverance from a feaver.

When Sorrowes had begyrt me rovnd,
And Paines within and out,
When in my flesh no part was sovnd,
Then didst thou rid me out.
My burning flesh in sweat did boyle,
My aking head did break;
From side to side for ease I toyle,
So faint I could not speak.
Beclouded was my Soul with fear
Of thy Displeasure sore,
Nor could I read my Evidence
Which oft I read before.
Hide not thy face from me, I cry’d,
From Burnings keep my soul;
Thov know’st my heart, and hast me try’d;
I on thy Mercyes Rowl.
O, heal my Soul, thov know’st I said,
Tho’ flesh consume to novght;
What tho’ in dust it shall bee lay’d,
To Glory’t shall bee brovght.
Thou heardst, thy rod thou didst remove,
And spar’d my Body frail,
Thou shew’st to me thy tender Love,
My heart no more might quail.
O, Praises to my mighty God,
Praise to my Lord, I say,
Who hath redeem’d my Soul from pitt:
Praises to him for Aye!

Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

In thankfull acknowledgment for the letters I received from my husband ovt of En

O thou that hear’st the Prayers of Thine,
And ‘mongst them hast regarded Mine,
Hast heard my cry’s, and seen my Teares;
Hast known my doubts and All my ffeares.
Thov hast releiv’d my fainting heart,
Nor payd me after my desert;
Thov hast to shore him safely brovght
For whom I thee so oft besovght.
Thov wast the Pilott to the ship,
And rais’d him vp when he was sick;
And hope thov’st given of good successe,
In this his Buisnes and Addresse;
And that thov wilt return him back,
Whose presence I so much doe lack.
For All these mercyes I thee Praise,
And so desire ev’n all my Dayes.
Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

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 have their different natures: some are like
flesh which nothing but salt will keep from putrefaction; some
again like tender fruits that are best preserved with sugar. Those
parents are wise that can fit their nurture according to their
nature.
Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge,
fitter to bruise than polish.
The reason why Christians are so loath to exchange this world
for a better, is because they have more sense than faith: they see
what they enjoy, they do but hope for that which is to come.
Dim eyes are the concomitants of old age; and short-
sightedness, in those that are the eyes of a Republic, foretells a
declining State.
Wickedness comes to its height by degrees. He that dares say
of a less sin, Is it not a little one? will erelong say of a
greater, Tush, God regards it not.
Fire hath its force abated by water, not by wind; and anger
must be allayed by cold words and not by blustering threats.
The gifts that God bestows on the sons of men, are not only
abused, but most commonly employed for a clean contrary end than
that which they were given for; as health, wealth, and honor, which
might be so many steps to draw men to God in consideration of his
bounty towards them, but have driven them the further from him,
that they are ready to say, We are lords, we will come no more at
thee. If outward blessings be not as wings to help us mount
upwards, they will certainly prove clogs and weights that will pull
us lower downward.
Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

My soul, rejoice thou in thy God

My soul, rejoice thou in thy God,
Boast of him all the Day,
Walk in his Law, and kisse his Rod,
Cleaue close to him alway.
What tho: thy outward Man decay,
Thy inward shall waxe strong;
Thy body vile it shall bee chang’d,
And gloriovs made ere-long.
With Angels-wings thy Soul shall movnt
To Blisse vnseen by Eye,
And drink at vnexhausted fovnt
Of Joy vnto Eternity.
Thy teares shall All bee dryed vp,
Thy Sorrowes all shall flye;
Thy Sinns shall ne’r bee summon’d vp,
Nor come in memory.
Then shall I know what thov hast done
For me, vnworthy me,
And praise thee shall ev’n as I ovght,
ffor wonders that I see.
Base World, I trample on thy face,
Thy Glory I despise,
No gain I find in ovght below,
For God hath made me wise.
Come, Jesvs, qvickly, Blessed Lord,
Thy face when shall I see?
O let me covnt each hour a Day
‘Till I dissolved bee.

Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

My thankfull heart with glorying Tongue

My thankfull heart with glorying Tongue
Shall celebrate thy Name,
Who hath restor’d, redeem’d, recur’d
From sicknes, death, and Pain.
I cry’d thov seem’st to make some stay,
I sovght more earnestly;
And in due time thou succóur’st me,
And sent’st me help from High.
Lord, whilst my fleeting time shall last,
Thy Goodnes let me Tell.
And new Experience I haue gain’d,
My future Doubts repell.
An humble, faitefull life, O Lord,
For ever let me walk;
Let my obedience testefye,
My Praise lyes not in Talk.
Accept, O Lord, my simple mite,
For more I cannot giue;
What thou bestow’st I shall restore,
For of thine Almes I liue.

Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

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 lightness and all folly.
Childhood was cloth’d in white and green to show
His spring was intermixed with some snow:
Upon his head nature a garland set
Of Primrose, Daisy and the Violet.
Such cold mean flowers the spring puts forth betime,
Before the sun hath thoroughly heat the clime.
His hobby striding did not ride but run,
And in his hand an hour-glass new begun,
In danger every moment of a fall,
And when ‘t is broke then ends his life and all:
But if he hold till it have run its last,
Then may he live out threescore years or past.
Next Youth came up in gorgeous attire
(As that fond age doth most of all desire),
His suit of crimson and his scarf of green,
His pride in’s countenance was quickly seen;
Garland of roses, pinks and gillyflowers
Seemed on’s head to grow bedew’d with showers.
His face as fresh as is Aurora fair,
When blushing she first ‘gins to light the air.
No wooden horse, but one of mettle tried,
He seems to fly or swim, and not to ride.
Then prancing on the stage, about he wheels,
But as he went death waited at his heels,
The next came up in a much graver sort,
As one that cared for a good report,
His sword by’s side, and choler in his eyes,
But neither us’d as yet, for he was wise;
Of Autumn’s fruits a basket on his arm,
His golden god in’s purse, which was his charm.
And last of all to act upon this stage
Leaning upon his staff came up Old Age,
Under his arm a sheaf of wheat he bore,
An harvest of the best, what needs he more?
In’s other hand a glass ev’n almost run,
Thus writ about: “This out, then am I done.”

Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

On my dear Grand-child Simon Bradstreet, Who dyed on 16. Novemb. 1669. being but

No sooner come, but gone, and fal’n asleep,
Acquaintance short, yet parting caus’d us weep,
Three flours, two searcely blown, the last i’th’ bud,
Cropt by th’Almighties hand; yet is he good,
With dreadful awe before him let’s be mute,
Such was his will, but why, let’s not dispute,
With humble hearts and mouths put in the dust,
Let’s say he’s merciful as well as just.
He will return, and make up all our losses,
And smile again, after our bitter crosses.
Go pretty babe, go rest with Sisters twain
Among the blest in endless joyes remain.
Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

On My Son’s Return Out Of England, July 17, 1661.

All Praise to him who hath now turn’d
My feares to Joyes, my sighes to song,
My Teares to smiles, my sad to glad:
He’s come for whom I waited long.
Thou di’st preserve him as he went;
In raging stormes did’st safely keep:
Did’st that ship bring to quiet Port.
The other sank low in the Deep.
From Dangers great thou did’st him free
Of Pyrates who were neer at hand;
And order’st so the adverse wind,
That he before them gott to Land.
In covntry strange thou did’st provide,
And freinds rais’d him in euery Place;
And courtesies of svndry sorts
From such as ‘fore nere saw his face.
In sicknes when he lay full sore,
His help and his Physitian wer’t;
When royall ones that Time did dye,
Thou heal’dst his flesh, and cheer’d his heart.
From troubles and Incúbers Thov,
Without (all fraud), did’st sett him free,
That, without scandall, he might come
To th’Land of his Nativity.
On Eagles wings him hether brovght
Thro: Want and Dangers manifold;
And thvs hath gravnted my Reqvest,
That I thy Mercyes might behold.
O help me pay my Vowes, O Lord!
That ever I may thankfull bee,
And may putt him in mind of what
Tho’st done for him, and so for me.
In both our hearts erect a frame
Of Duty and of Thankfullnes,
That all thy favours great receiv’d,
Oure vpright walking may expresse.
O Lord, gravnt that I may never forgett thy Loving kindnes in this Particular,
and how gratiovsly thov hast answered my Desires.
Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

Prologue

To sing of Wars, of Captains, and of Kings,
Of Cities founded, Common-wealths begun,
For my mean Pen are too superior things;
Or how they all, or each their dates have run,
Let Poets and Historians set these forth.
My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth.
But when my wond’ring eyes and envious heart
Great Bartas’ sugar’d lines do but read o’er,
Fool, I do grudge the Muses did not part
‘Twixt him and me that over-fluent store.
A Bartas can do what a Bartas will
But simple I according to my skill.
From School-boy’s tongue no Rhet’ric we expect,
Nor yet a sweet Consort from broken strings,
Nor perfect beauty where’s a main defect.
My foolish, broken, blemished Muse so sings,
And this to mend, alas, no Art is able,
‘Cause Nature made it so irreparable.
Nor can I, like that fluent sweet-tongued Greek
Who lisp’d at first, in future times speak plain.
By Art he gladly found what he did seek,
A full requital of his striving pain.
Art can do much, but this maxim’s most sure:
A weak or wounded brain admits no cure.
I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
Who says my hand a needle better fits.
A Poet’s Pen all scorn I should thus wrong,
For such despite they cast on female wits.
If what I do prove well, it won’t advance,
They’ll say it’s stol’n, or else it was by chance.
But sure the antique Greeks were far more mild,
Else of our Sex, why feigned they those nine
And poesy made Calliope’s own child?
So ‘mongst the rest they placed the Arts divine,
But this weak knot they will full soon untie.
The Greeks did nought but play the fools and lie.
Let Greeks be Greeks, and Women what they are.
Men have precedency and still excel;
It is but vain unjustly to wage war.
Men can do best, and Women know it well.
Preeminence in all and each is yours;
Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours.
And oh ye high flown quills that soar the skies,
And ever with your prey still catch your praise,
If e’er you deign these lowly lines your eyes,
Give thyme or Parsley wreath, I ask no Bays.
This mean and unrefined ore of mine
Will make your glist’ring gold but more to shine.

Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

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 my arise is from above,
Whence my dear father I do love.
Thou speak’st me fair but hat’st me sore.
Thy flatt’ring shews I’ll trust no more.
How oft thy slave hast thou me made
When I believ’d what thou hast said
And never had more cause of woe
Than when I did what thou bad’st do.
I’ll stop mine ears at these thy charms
And count them for my deadly harms.
Thy sinful pleasures I do hate,
Thy riches are to me no bait.
Thine honours do, nor will I love,
For my ambition lies above.
My greatest honour it shall be
When I am victor over thee,
And Triumph shall, with laurel head,
When thou my Captive shalt be led.
How I do live, thou need’st not scoff,
For I have meat thou know’st not of.
The hidden Manna I do eat;
The word of life, it is my meat.
My thoughts do yield me more content
Than can thy hours in pleasure spent.
Nor are they shadows which I catch,
Nor fancies vain at which I snatch
But reach at things that are so high,
Beyond thy dull Capacity.
Eternal substance I do see
With which inriched I would be.
Mine eye doth pierce the heav’ns and see
What is Invisible to thee.
My garments are not silk nor gold,
Nor such like trash which Earth doth hold,
But Royal Robes I shall have on,
More glorious than the glist’ring Sun.
My Crown not Diamonds, Pearls, and gold,
But such as Angels’ heads infold.
The City where I hope to dwell,
There’s none on Earth can parallel.
The stately Walls both high and trong
Are made of precious Jasper stone,
The Gates of Pearl, both rich and clear,
And Angels are for Porters there.
The Streets thereof transparent gold
Such as no Eye did e’re behold.
A Crystal River there doth run
Which doth proceed from the Lamb’s Throne.
Of Life, there are the waters sure
Which shall remain forever pure.
Nor Sun nor Moon they have no need
For glory doth from God proceed.
No Candle there, nor yet Torch light,
For there shall be no darksome night.
From sickness and infirmity
Forevermore they shall be free.
Nor withering age shall e’re come there,
But beauty shall be bright and clear.
This City pure is not for thee,
For things unclean there shall not be.
If I of Heav’n may have my fill,
Take thou the world, and all that will.”

Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

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 as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight,
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobbling than is meet.
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
In this array, ‘mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam.
In Critics’ hands, beware thou dost not come,
And take thy way where yet thou art not known.
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none;
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door.
Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

The Flesh and the Spirit

In secret place where once I stood
Close by the Banks of Lacrim flood,
I heard two sisters reason on
Things that are past and things to come.
One Flesh was call’d, who had her eye
On worldly wealth and vanity;
The other Spirit, who did rear
Her thoughts unto a higher sphere.
“Sister,” quoth Flesh, “what liv’st thou on
Nothing but Meditation?
Doth Contemplation feed thee so
Regardlessly to let earth go?
Can Speculation satisfy
Notion without Reality?
Dost dream of things beyond the Moon
And dost thou hope to dwell there soon?
Hast treasures there laid up in store
That all in th’ world thou count’st but poor?
Art fancy-sick or turn’d a Sot
To catch at shadows which are not?
Come, come. I’ll show unto thy sense,
Industry hath its recompence.
What canst desire, but thou maist see
True substance in variety?
Dost honour like? Acquire the same,
As some to their immortal fame;
And trophies to thy name erect
Which wearing time shall ne’er deject.
For riches dost thou long full sore?
Behold enough of precious store.
Earth hath more silver, pearls, and gold
Than eyes can see or hands can hold.
Affects thou pleasure? Take thy fill.
Earth hath enough of what you will.
Then let not go what thou maist find
For things unknown only in mind.”
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 my arise is from above,
Whence my dear father I do love.
Thou speak’st me fair but hat’st me sore.
Thy flatt’ring shews I’ll trust no more.
How oft thy slave hast thou me made
When I believ’d what thou hast said
And never had more cause of woe
Than when I did what thou bad’st do.
I’ll stop mine ears at these thy charms
And count them for my deadly harms.
Thy sinful pleasures I do hate,
Thy riches are to me no bait.
Thine honours do, nor will I love,
For my ambition lies above.
My greatest honour it shall be
When I am victor over thee,
And Triumph shall, with laurel head,
When thou my Captive shalt be led.
How I do live, thou need’st not scoff,
For I have meat thou know’st not of.
The hidden Manna I do eat;
The word of life, it is my meat.
My thoughts do yield me more content
Than can thy hours in pleasure spent.
Nor are they shadows which I catch,
Nor fancies vain at which I snatch
But reach at things that are so high,
Beyond thy dull Capacity.
Eternal substance I do see
With which inriched I would be.
Mine eye doth pierce the heav’ns and see
What is Invisible to thee.
My garments are not silk nor gold,
Nor such like trash which Earth doth hold,
But Royal Robes I shall have on,
More glorious than the glist’ring Sun.
My Crown not Diamonds, Pearls, and gold,
But such as Angels’ heads infold.
The City where I hope to dwell,
There’s none on Earth can parallel.
The stately Walls both high and trong
Are made of precious Jasper stone,
The Gates of Pearl, both rich and clear,
And Angels are for Porters there.
The Streets thereof transparent gold
Such as no Eye did e’re behold.
A Crystal River there doth run
Which doth proceed from the Lamb’s Throne.
Of Life, there are the waters sure
Which shall remain forever pure.
Nor Sun nor Moon they have no need
For glory doth from God proceed.
No Candle there, nor yet Torch light,
For there shall be no darksome night.
From sickness and infirmity
Forevermore they shall be free.
Nor withering age shall e’re come there,
But beauty shall be bright and clear.
This City pure is not for thee,
For things unclean there shall not be.
If I of Heav’n may have my fill,
Take thou the world, and all that will.”
Anne Bradstreet Poems
Anne Bradstreet Poems

The 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 Air, in sunder crack;
The sea did threat the heav’ns, the heavn’s the earth,
All looked like a Chaos or new birth:
Fire broyled Earth, & scorched Earth it choaked
Both by their darings, water so provoked
That roaring in it came, and with its source
Soon made the Combatants abate their force
The rumbling hissing, puffing was so great
The worlds confusion, it did seem to threat
Till gentle Air, Contention so abated
That betwixt hot and cold, she arbitrated
The others difference, being less did cease
All storms now laid, and they in perfect peace
That Fire should first begin, the rest consent,
The noblest and most active Element.

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