Poetry by Anne Bradstreet

Poetry by Anne Bradstreet

We have spent a lit­tle bit of time study­ing Anne Brad­street. She was a remark­able woman who lived in Amer­ica dur­ing its early days. She suf­fered hard­ships such as the loss of chil­dren and her house burn­ing down in the night.

I’ve copied one of her poems below, since the thought of fires is fresh on my mind, as a way to per­haps intro­duce you to her writings.

Her son, at one point, asked her for her col­lec­tion of her poetry. Unknown to her, he sent them to be pub­lished. They arrived back to her bound and printed. It was such a beau­ti­ful gift for a mother. And it was a gift to all of us as we are now able to enjoy the poetry of a woman who served her fam­ily and loved the Lord.

I hope you enjoy her poem.

Upon the Burn­ing of Our House — July 10th, 1666

by Anne Brad­street


In silent night when rest I took,
For sor­row neer I did not look,
I waken’d was with thun­dring nois
And Piteous shreiks of dread­full voice.
That fear­full sound of fire and fire,
Let no man know is my Desire.
I, start­ing up, the light did spye,
And to my God my heart did cry
To strengthen me in my Dis­tresse
And not to leave me suc­cour­lesse.
Then com­ing out beheld a space,
The flame con­sume my dwelling place.

And, when I could no longer look,
I blest his Name that gave and took,
That layd 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 Ruines oft I past,
My sor­row­ing eyes aside did cast,
And here and there the places spye
Where oft I sate, and long did lye.

Here stood that Trunk, and there that chest;
There lay that store I counted best:
My pleas­ant things in ashes lye,
And them behold no more shall I.
Under thy roof no guest shall sitt,
Nor at thy Table eat a bitt.

No pleas­ant tale shall ‘ere be told,
Nor things recounted done of old.
No Can­dle ‘ere shall shine in Thee,
Nor bridegroom’s voice ere heard shall bee.
In silence ever shalt thou lye;
Adieu, Adeiu; All’s vanity.

Then streight I gin my heart to chide,
And didst thy wealth on earth abide?
Didst fix thy hope on mouldring dust,
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
Raise up thy thoughts above the skye
That dunghill mists away may flie.

Thou hast an house on high erect
Fram’d by that mighty Archi­tect,
With glory richly fur­nished,
Stands per­ma­nent tho’ this bee fled.
It’s pur­chased, and paid for too
By him who hath enough to doe.

A Prise so vast as is unknown,
Yet, by his Gift, is made thine own.
Ther’s wealth enough, I need no more;
Farewell my Pelf, farewell my Store.
The world no longer let me Love,
My hope and Trea­sure lyes Above.

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