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A Letter to Her Husband

By Bradstreet, Anne

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Book Id: WPLBN0000679653
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 136,086 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2007

Title: A Letter to Her Husband  
Author: Bradstreet, Anne
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Poetry, Verse drama
Collections: Poetry Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Public Library Association


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Bradstreet, A. (n.d.). A Letter to Her Husband. Retrieved from


Excerpt: 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 lie? // 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 zodiac, // Whom whilst I 'joyed, nor storms, nor frost I felt, // His warmth such fridged colds did cause to melt. // My chilled limbs now numbed lie forlorn; // Return; return, sweet Sol, from Capricorn; // In this dead time, alas, what can I more // Than view those fruits which through thy heart I bore? // Which sweet contentment yield me for a space, // True living pictures of their father's 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 nature's sad decree shall call thee hence; // Flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone, // I here, thou there, yet both but one. // Anne Bradstreet // To My Dear and Loving Husband // IF ever two were one then surely we. // If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; // If ever wife were 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 aught 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 perservere // That when we live no more, we may live ever. // Anne Bradstreet // The Prologue // To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings, // Of cities founded, commonwealths 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 work. // But when my wondering eyes and envious heart // Great Bartas' sugared lines do but read o'er, // Fool I do grudge the Muses did not part // 'Twixt him and me that overfluent store;- // A Bartas can do what a Bartas will, // But simple I according to my skill. // From school-boys tongues no rhetoric 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 is so, irreparable. // Nor can I, like that fluent, sweet-tongued Greek // Who lisped at first, in future times speak plain; // By art he gladly found what he did seek- // A full requitl 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 was stolen, or else it was by chance. // But shure the ancient Greeks were far more mild, // Else of our sex why feign‚d they those Nine, // And Posey 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 naught but play the fools and lie. // Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are. // Men have precenency, and still excell. // 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. // 2 // And oh, ye high flownquills 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 unrefin‚d ore of mine // Will make your glistening gold but more to shine. // Anne Bradstreet // from Contemplations // WHEN I behold the heavens as in their prime, // And then the earth, though old, still clad in green, // The stones and trees insensible of time, // Nor age nor wrinkle on their front are seen; // If winter come, and greenness then doth fade, // A spring returns, and they're more youthful made. // But man grows old, lies down, remains where once he's laid. // By birth more noble than those creatures all, // Yet seems by nature and by custom cursed- // No sooner born but grief and care make fall // That state obliterate he had at first; // Nor youth, nor strength, nor wisdom spring again, // Nor habitations long their names retain, // But in oblivion to the final day remain. // Shall I then praise the heavens, the trees, the earth, // Because their beauty and their strength last longer? // Shall I wish there or never to had birth, // Because they're bigger and their bodies stronger? // Nay, they shall darken, perish, fade, and die, // And when unmade so ever shall they lie; // But man was made for endless immortality. // Anne Bradstreet // In Memory of my Dear Grandchild Anne Bradstreet, who deceased // June 20, 1699, being Tree Years and Seven Months Old // WITH troubled heart and trembling hand I write. // The heavens have changed to sorrow my delight. // How oft with dissappointment have I met // When I on fading things my hopes have set. // Experience might 'fore this have made me wise // To value things according to their price. // Was ever stable joy yet found below? // Or perfect bliss without mixture of woe? // I knew she was but as a withering flower, // That's here today, perhaps gone in an hour; // Like as a bubble, or the brittle glass, // Or like a shadow turning, as it was. // More fool, then, I to look on that was lent // As if mine own, when thus impermanent. // Farewell, dear child; thou ne'er shalt come to me, // 3 // But yet a while and I shall go to thee. // Meantime my throbbing heart's cheered up with this- // Thou with thy Savior art in endless bliss...


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