More Poems by Anne Bradstreet

The Author to Her Book

Thou ill-formed 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 exposed 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,
The visage was so irksome in my sight,
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
I washed 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 may’st thou roam.
In critic’s 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 caused her thus to send thee out of door.

To My Dear and Loving Husband

If ever two were one, then surely we,
If ever man were lov’d 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 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 persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

As Weary Pilgrim

As weary pilgrim, now at rest,
++Hugs with delight his silent nest,
His wasted limbs now lie full soft
++That mirey steps have trodden oft,
Blesses himself to think upon
++His dangers past, and travails done.
The burning sun no more shall heat,
++Nor stormy rains on him shall beat.
The briars and thorns no more shall scratch,
++Nor hungry wolves at him shall catch.
He erring paths no more shall tread,
++Nor wild fruits eat instead of bread.
For waters cold he doth not long
++For thirst no more shall parch his tongue.
No rugged stones his feet shall gall,
++Nor stumps nor rocks cause him to fall.
All cares and fears he bids farewell
++And means in safety now to dwell.
A pilgrim I, on earth perplexed
++With Sins, with cares and sorrows vext,
By age and pains brought to decay,
++And my clay house mold’ring away.
Oh, how I long to be at rest
++And soar on high among the blest.
This body shall in silence sleep,
++Mine eyes no more shall ever weep,
No fainting fits shall me assail,
++Nor grinding pains my body frail,
With cares and fears ne’er cumb’red be
++Nor losses know, nor sorrows see.
What though my flesh shall there consume,
++It is the bed Christ did perfume,
And when a few years shall be gone,
++This mortal shall be clothed upon.
A corrupt carcass down it lies,
++A glorious body it shall rise.
In weakness and dishonour sown,
++In power ’tis raised by Christ alone.
Then soul and body shall unite
++And of their Maker have the sight.
Such lasting joys shall there behold
++As ear ne’er heard nor tongue e’er told.
Lord make me ready for that day,
++Then come, dear Bridegroom, come away!

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