Before the Birth of one of her Children

An Electronic Edition · Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)

Original Source: The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse. Edited by John Harvard Ellis. (Charlestown: A. E. Cutter, 1867)

Copyright 2003. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided.

Full Colophon Information

Before the Birth of one of her Children.

All things within this fading world hath end,  
Adversity doth still our joyes attend;  
No tyes so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,  
But with deaths parting blow is sure to meet.  
The sentence past is most irrovocable, 5.
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 both are ignorant, yet love bids me  
These farewell lines to recommend to thee, 10.
That when that knot’s unty d 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, 15.
Let be interr’d in my oblivions 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: 20.
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, 25.
With some sad sighs honour my absent Herse;  
And kiss this paper for thy love’s dear sake,  
Who with salt tears this last Farewel did take. 


Full Colophon Information

Genre: Poetry
Period: 1650-1700
Location: New England
Format: verse

This text was first published in 1678 in Several Poems.

This electronic text was prepared from and proofed against The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse. Edited by John Harvard Ellis. (Charlestown: A. E. Cutter, 1867). All preliminaries and notes have been omitted except those for which the author is responsible and those in which editorial notes indicate significant textual variations. All editorial notes have been omitted except for those which indicate significant textual variations. Line and paragraph numbers contained in the source text have been retained. In cases where the source text displays no numbers, numbers are automatically generated. In the header, personal names have been regularized according to the Library of Congress authority files as "Last Name, First Name" for the REG attribute and "First Name Last Name" for the element value. Names have not been regularized in the body of the text.