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ANNE BRADSTREET

(1612-1672)

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you show

my friend

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(The text is taken from the edition by My other foures do intermixed tell J. H. Ellis, 1867.)

Each others faults, and where themselves To her most Honoured Father

excell; THOMAS DUDLEY Esq;

How hot and dry contend with moist and THESE HUMBLY PRESENTED.

cold, Dear Sir of late delighted with the sight How Air and Earth no correspondence Of your four Sisters cloth'd' in black and

hold, white,

And yet in equal tempers, how they 'gree Of fairer Dames the Sun, ne'r saw the How divers natures make one Unity face;

Something of all (though mean) I did inThough made a pedestal for Adams Race; tend Their worth so shines in these rich lines

But fear'd you'ld judge Du Bartas was Their paralels to finde I scarcely know I honour him, but dare not wear his To climbe their Climes, I have nor wealth strength nor skill

My goods are true (though poor) I love To mount so high requires an Eagles quill; no stealth Yet view thereof did cause my thoughts to But if I did I durst not send them you soar;

Who must reward a Thief, but with his My lowly pen might wait upon these four

due. I bring my four times four, now meanly I shall not need, mine innocence to clear clad

These ragged lines, will do't, when they To do their homage, unto yours, full glad:

appear : Who for their Age, their worth and quality On what they are, your mild aspect I crave Might seem of yours to claim precedency:

Accept my best, my worst vouchsafe a But by my humble hand, thus rudely pen'd Grave. They are, your bounden handmaids to attend

From her that to your self, more duty These same are they, from whom we being have

Then water in the bound[1]ess Ocean These are of all, the Life, the Nurse, the

flows. Grave, These are the hot, the cold, the moist, the

ANNE BRADSTREET. dry,

March 20, 1642. That sink, that swim, that fill, that up

wards fly, Of these consists our bodies, Cloathes and In Honour of that High and Mighty Food,

Princess The World, the useful, hurtful, and the good,

QUEEN ELIZABETH Sweet harmony they keep, yet jar oft times

OF HAPPY MEMORY Their discord doth appear, by these harsh

rimes Yours did contest for wealth, for Arts, for Age,

Although great Queen thou now in silence

lye My first do shew their good, and then

Yet thy loud Herald Fame doth to the sky

Thy wondrous worth proclaim in every i Thomas Dudley was a man of considerable Clime, culture (See Appendix). The reference in the opening lines is to a supposed manuscript poem

And so hath vow'd while there is world or "On the Four Parts of the World" of which

time. nothing further is known.

So great's thy glory and thine excellence,

owes

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THE PROEME

their rage.

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The sound itcrzoi rapts every humane

sence, That men account it no impiety, To say thou wert a fleshly Diety: Thousands bring offerings (though out of

date) Thy world of honours to accumulate, Mongst hundred Hecatombs of roaring

verse, Mine bleating stands before thy royal

Herse. Thou never didst nor canst thou now dis

dain T accept the tribute of a loyal brain. Thy clemency did yerst esteem as much The acclamations of the poor as rich, Which makes me deem my rudeness is no

wrong, Though I resound thy praises 'mongst the

throng.

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THE POEM

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She taught them better manners, to their

cost. The Salique law, in force now had not

been, If France had ever hop'd for such a

Queen. But can you Doctors now this point dis

pute, She's Argument enough to make you mute. Since first the sun did run his nere run

race, And earth had once a year, a new old

face, Since time was time, and man unmanly

man, Come shew me such a Phænir if you

can? Was ever people better rul'd then hers? Was ever land more happy freed from

stirrs? Did ever wealth in England more abound? Her victoryes in forreign Coasts resound, Ships more invincible then Spain's, her foe She wrackt, she sackt, she sunk his Ar

mado: Her stately troops advanc'd to Lisbons

wall Don Anthony in's right there to install. She frankly helpt, Franks brave distressed

King. The States United now her fame do

sing, She their Protectrix was, they well do

know Unto our dread Virago, what they owe. Her Nobles sacrific'd their noble blood, Nor men nor Coyn she spar'd to do them

good. The rude untamed Irish, she did quel, Before her picture the proud Tyrone fell. Had ever Prince such Counsellours as

she? Her self Minerva caus'd them so to be. Such Captains and such souldiers never

seen, As were the Subjects of our Pallas Queen. Her Sea-men through all straights the

world, did round, Terra incognita might know the sound. Her Drake came laden home with Spanish

gold: Her Essex took Cades, their Herculean

Hold: But time would fail me, so my tongue

would to. To tell of half she did, or she could doe. Semiramis to her, is but obscure, More infamy then fame, she did procure. She built her glory but on Babels walls,

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No Phænir pen, nor Spencers poetry,
No Speedst nor Cambdens? learned His-

tory, Elizahs works, warrs, praise, can e're com

pact, The World's the Theatre where she did act. No memoryes nor volumes can contain The 'leven Olympiads of her happy reign : Who was so good, so just, so learn'd so

wise, From all the Kings on earth she won the

prize. Nor say I more then duly is her due, Millions will testifie that this is true. She hath wip'd off th' aspersion of her Sex, That women wisdome lack to play the Rex:

30 Spains Monarch, sayes not so, nor yet his

host: 1 “THE HISTORIE OF GREAT BRITAINE UNDER THE CONQUESTS OF THE ROMANS, SAXONS, DANES AND NORMANS. Their Originals, Manners, Habits, Warres, Coines, and Seales: with the Succes. sions, Liues, Acts, and Issues of the English Monarchs, from Julius Cæsar, to our inost gra. cious Soueraigne, King James." “By Jону Speed." London, 1623.

“ANNALES RERUM ANGLICARUM ET HIBERNICARUM, REGNANTE ELIZABETHA, AD ANNUM Salu

M.D.LXXXIX. Guilielmo Camdeno Authore. Londini, M.DC.Xv."

"ANNALES OR, THE, HISTORY OF THE Most Renowned and Victorious Princesse ELIZABETH, Late Queen of England. Contayning all the Important and Remarkable Passages of State, both at Home and Abroad, during her Long and Prosperous Reigne. Written in Latin by the learned Mr. WILLIAM CAMDEN. Translated into English by R. N. Gent. Together with divers Additions of the Authors never before published. The third Edition." London, 1635.

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TIS

HER EPITAPH

Here sleeps THE Queen, this is the Royal

Bed, Of th Damask Rose, sprung from the

white and red, Whose sweet perfume fills the all-filling

Air: This Rose is wither'd, once so lovely fair. On neither tree did grow such Rose before, The greater was our gain, our loss the

more.

ANOTHER

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Worlds wonder for a while, but yet it falls.

70 Fierce Tomris (Cyrus heads-man) Scy

thians queen, Had put her harness off, had shee but

seen Our Amazon in th’ Camp of Tilbury. Judging all valour and all Majesty Within that Princess to have residence, And prostrate yielded to her excellence. Dido first Foundress of proud Carthage

walls, (Who living consummates her Funeralls) A great Elisa, but compar'd with ours, How vanisheth her glory, wealth and

powers. Profuse, proud Cleopatra, whose wrong

name, Instead of glory, prov'd her Countryes

shame : Of her what worth in Storyes to be seen, But that she was a rich Egyptian Queen. Zenobya potent Empress of the East, And of all these, without compare the

best, Whom none but great Aurelius could quel; Yet for our Queen is no fit Parallel. She was a Phænix Queen, sd shall she be, Her ashes not reviv'd, more Phoenix she. Her personal perfections, who would tell, Must dip his pen in th' Heleconian Well, Which I may not, my pride doth but as

pire To read what others write, and so admire. Now say, have women worth? or have

they none ? Or had they some, but with our Queen is't

gone? Nay Masculines, you have thus taxt us

long, But she, though dead, will vindicate our

wrong. Let such as say our Sex is void of Reason, Know tis a Slander now, but once was

Treason. But happy England which had such a

Queen; Yea happy, happy, had those dayes still

been : But happiness lyes in a higher sphere, Then wonder not Eliza moves not here. Full fraught with honour, riches and with

dayes She set, she set, like Titan in his rayes. No more shall rise or set so glorious sun. Untill the heavens great revolution, If then new things their old forms shall

retain, Eliza shall rule Albion once again.

1 To sing of Wars, of Captains, and of

Kings, Of Cities founded, Common-wealths be

gun, For my mean pen are too superiour

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.

2 But when my wondring eyes and envious

heart Great Bartas sugar'd lines, do but read

o're Fool I do grudg 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.

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3 From school-boyes tongue no rhet'rick we

expect Nor yet a sweet Consort from broken

strings, Nor perfect beauty, where's a main de

fect: 1 To the long poems The Four Elements, The Four Humours, The Four Ages, and The Four Seasons.

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CONTEMPLATIONS:

1 Some time now past in the Autumnal Tide, When Phæbus wanted but one hour to

bed, The trees all richly clad, yet void of pride, Where gilded o're by his rich golden head. Their leaves & fruits seem'd painted, but

was true Of green, of red, of yellow, mixed hew, Rapt were my sences at this delectable view.

2 I wist not what to wish, yet sure thought

I, If so much excellence abide below; How excellent is he that dwells on high? Whose power and beauty by his works we

know. Sure he is goodness, wisdome, glory, light, That hath this under world so richly

dight : More Heaven then Earth was here no

winter & no night.

sure

A weak or wounded brain admits no cure.

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5 I am obnoxious to each carping tongue Who says my hand a needle better fits, A Poets 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'l say it's stoln, or else it was by chance.

6 But sure the Antique Greeks were far

more mild Else of our Sexe, 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 & lye.

7 Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what

they are Men have precedency and still excell, It is but vain unjustly to wage warre; Men can do best, and women know it well Preheminence in all and each is yours; Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours.

8 And oh ye high flown quills that soar the

Skies, And ever with your prey still catch your

praise, If e're you daigne these lowly lines your

eyes Give Thyme or Parsley wreath, I ask no

bayes, This mean and unrefine ure of mine Will make you[r] glistring gold, but more

to shine.

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3 Then on a stately Oak I cast mine Eye, Whose ruffling top the Clouds seem'd to

aspire; How long since thou wast in thine In

fancy? Thy strength, and stature, more thy years

admire, Hath hundred winters past since thou

wast born? Or thousand since thou brakest thy shell

of horn, If so, all these as nought, Eternity doth scorn.

4 Then higher on the glistering Sun I gaz'd, Whose beams was shaded by the leavie

Tree, The more I look'd, the more I grew

amaz’d, And softly said, what glory's like to thee? Soul of this world, this Universes Eye, No wonder, some made thee a Deity : Had I not better known (alas) the same had I.

5 Thou as a Bridegroom from thy Chamber

rushes, And as a strong man, joyes to run a race, 1 First published in edition of 1678.

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