Today, another poem by Puritan poet, Anne Bradstreet, who emigrated to Ipswich, Massachusetts in the 1630s with her husband, Simon Bradstreet, a Cambridge graduate who eventually became Governor of the Colony of Massachusetts. Anne and her husband had eight children, despite Anne suffering from some paralysis, possibly as a lasting effect of smallpox. She wrote in the Elizabethan tradition, as her mastery of rhymed couplets and iambic pentameter show. A volume of poems was published in England during her lifetime. Shortly after her death, a volume of her work (containing today's poem) was published in America. A third collection of religious poems was published in the 19th century.
I started reading more Bradstreet after a dear friend confessed a massive crush on Anne, and I completely see why. Happy birthday, B!
Today's poem is a beautiful love poem, methinks. I don't believe I know too many women who are as content in their marriages as Anne seems to have been, gauging from this poem, but it is decidedly something to aspire to.
To My Dear and Loving Husband
by Anne Bradstreet
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever,
That when we live no more we may live ever.