Before the Birth of One of Her Children

By Anne Bradstreet 1612–1672 Anne Bradstreet
All things within this fading world hath end,   
Adversity doth still our joyes attend;
No ties so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,   
But with death’s parting blow is sure to meet.   
The sentence past is most irrevocable,   
A common thing, yet oh inevitable.
How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend,   
How soon’t may be thy Lot to lose thy friend,   
We are both ignorant, yet love bids me   
These farewell lines to recommend to thee,   
That when that knot’s untied that made us one,   
I may seem thine, who in effect am none.   
And if I see not half my dayes that’s due,
What nature would, God grant to yours and you;   
The many faults that well you know I have  
Let be interr’d in my oblivious grave;   
If any worth or virtue were in me,   
Let that live freshly in thy memory   
And when thou feel’st no grief, as I no harms,   
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms.
And when thy loss shall be repaid with gains   
Look to my little babes, my dear remains.   
And if thou love thyself, or loved’st me,
These o protect from step Dames injury.
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse,
With some sad sighs honour my absent Herse;   
And kiss this paper for thy loves dear sake,
Who with salt tears this last Farewel did take.

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Poet Anne Bradstreet 1612–1672

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Parenthood, Men & Women, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Birth & Birthdays, Time & Brevity, Marriage & Companionship, Living

Occasions Farewells & Good Luck

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Anne  Bradstreet

Biography

Anne Bradstreet was the first woman to be recognized as an accomplished New World Poet. Her volume of poetry The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America ... received considerable favorable attention when it was first published in London in 1650. Eight years after it appeared it was listed by William London in his Catalogue of the Most Vendible Books in England, and George III is reported to have had the volume in his library. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Parenthood, Men & Women, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Birth & Birthdays, Time & Brevity, Marriage & Companionship, Living

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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