Verses upon the Burning Of Our House, July 10th, 1666

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

Here followes some verses upon the burning of our house, July 10th, 1666. Copyed out of a loose Paper.

IN silent night when rest I took,1.
For sorrow neer I did not look, 
I waken’d was with thundring nois3.
And Piteous shreiks of dreadfull voice. 
That fearful sound of fire and fire, 
Let no man know is my Desire. 

I, starting up, the light did spye,7.
And to my God my heart did cry 
To strengthen me in my Distresse9.
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,13.
I blest his Name that gave and took, 
That layd my goods now in the dust:15.
Yea so it was, and so ’twas just. 
It was his own: it was not mine; 
ffar be it that I should repine. 

He might of All iustly bereft,19.
But yet sufficient for us left. 
When by the Ruines oft I past,21.
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;25.
There lay that store I counted best: 
My pleasant things in ashes lye,27.
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,31.
Nor things recounted done of old. 
No Candle ‘ere shall shine in Thee,33.
Nor bridegroom’s voice ere heard shall bee. 
In silence ever shalt thou lye; 
Adieu, Adieu; All’s vanity. 

Then streight I gin my heart to chide,37.
And did thy wealth on earth abide? 
Didst fix thy hope on mouldring dust,39.
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust? 
Raise up thy thoughts above the skye 
That dunghill mists away may flie. 

Thou hast a house on high erect,43.
Fram’d by that mighty Architect, 
With glory richly furnished,45.
Stands permanent tho: this bee fled. 
‘Its purchased, and paid for too 
By him who hath enough to doe. 

A Price so vast as is unknown,49.
Yet, by his Gift, is made thine own. 
Ther’s wealth enough, I need no more;51.
Farewell my Pelf, farewell my Store. 
The world no longer let me Love, 
My hope and Treasure lyes Above. 

Full Colophon Information

Genre: Poetry
Subjects: Colonial Society and Life, Religion
Period: 1650-1700
Location: New England
Format: verse

This text was first published in 1650 in The Tenth Muse lately sprung up in America.

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.