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New England's annoyances, you that would know them,
Pray ponder these verses which briefly do show them.

THE place where we live is a wilderness wood,
Where grass is much wanting that's fruitful and good;
Our mountains and hills and our valleys below
Being commonly covered with ice and with snow:
And when the north-west wind with violence blows,
Then every man pulls his cap over his nose:
But, if any's so hardy and will it withstand,
He forfeits a finger, a foot, or a hand.

But, when the spring opens, we then take the hoe,
And make the ground ready to plant and to sow.
Our corn being planted and seed being sown,
The worms destroy much before it is grown;

1 Written towards 1630; the oldest known composition in English verse by an American colonist.


And when it is growing some spoil there is made
By birds and by squirrels that pluck up the blade;
And, when it is come to full corn in the ear,
It is often destroyed by racoon and by deer.

And now do our garments begin to grow thin,
And wool is much wanted to card and to spin.
If we get a garment to cover without,

Our other in-garments are clout upon clout.
Our clothes we brought with us are apt to be torn ;
They need to be clouted soon after they're worn;
But clouting our garments they hinder us nothing,-
Clouts double are warmer than single whole clothing.

If fresh meat be wanting, to fill up our dish
We have carrots and pumpkins and turnips and fish :
And, is there a mind for a delicate dish,

We repair to the clam-banks, and there we catch fish.
'Stead of pottage and puddings and custards and pies,
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies :
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon;
If it was not for pumpkins we should be undone.

If barley be wanting to make into malt,
We must be contented and think it no fault;
For we can make liquor to sweeten our lips
Of pumpkins and parsnips and walnut-tree chips.

Now while some are going let others be coming,
For while liquor's boiling it must have a scumming;
But I will not blame them, for birds of a feather
By seeking their fellows are flocking together.
But you whom the Lord intends hither to bring,
Forsake not the honey for fear of the sting;
But bring both a quiet and contented mind,
And all needful blessings you surely will find.


[Born in England in 1613, daughter of Thomas Dudley, steward to the Earl of Lincoln; died in New England in 1672. She married in 1629 Simon Bradstreet, who appears at that date to have been the successor to her father as the Earl's steward in the following year all three, with other Nonconformists, settled in New England. As may readily be inferred from the very early age at which she left her native shores, Mrs. Bradstreet, as an authoress, belongs exclusively to America. The first collection of her poems was published at Boston in 1640, with the long title of—Several Poems, compiled with great variety of wit and learning, full of delight, wherein especially is contained a Complete Discourse and Description of the Four Elements, Constitutions, Ages of Man, and Seasons of the Year; together with an Exact Epitome of the Three First Monarchies, viz.: the Assyrian, Persian, and Grecian, and the Beginning of the Roman Commonwealth to the end of their last King; with divers other pleasant and serious Poems. By a Gentlewoman of New England. This volume was reprinted in London in 1650; the lofty title of "The Tenth Muse, lately sprung up in America," being awarded to the authoress. Besides her literary deservings, Mrs. Bradstreet appears to have been a loveable and excellent woman. Both her father and her husband became Gcvernors of Massachusetts. After her death, the latter married again; and, living not much less than a century, was termed "the Nestor of New England." Many of Mrs. Bradstreet's descendants -among them the poet Dana-have been distinguished for ability.]


FAREWELL, dear child, my heart's too much content,
Farewell, sweet babe, the pleasure of mine eye;
Farewell, fair flower, that for a space was lent,
Then ta'en away into eternity.

Blest babe, why should I once bewail thy fate,
Or sigh the days so soon were terminate,
Sith thou art settled in an everlasting state?

By Nature trees do rot when they are grown,
And plums and apples throughly ripe do fall,
And corn and grass are in their season mown,

And time brings down what is both strong and tall. But plants new-set to be eradicate,

And buds new-blown to have so short a date,

Is by His hand alone that Nature guides, and Fate.



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,
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 days that's due,
What Nature would God grant to yours and you.
The many faults that well you know I have
Let be interred in my oblivious grave;
If any worth or virtue is in me,

Let that live freshly in my 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 lov'st thyself or lovest me,
These oh protect from stepdame's injury!
And, if chance to thine eyes doth bring this verse,
With some sad sighs honour my absent hearse;
And kiss this paper, for thy love's dear sake,
Who with salt tears this last farewell doth take.



[Born in 1779, died in 1843. Known principally as a painter. His longest poem is named The Sylphs of the Seasons, published in 1813].


"Он pour upon my soul again

That sad, unearthly strain,

That seems from other worlds to plain;
Thus falling, falling from afar,

As if some melancholy star

Had mingled with her light her sighs,
And dropped them from the skies.

"No-never came from aught below
This melody of wo,

That makes my heart to overflow
As from a thousand gushing springs
Unknown before; that with it brings
This nameless light-if light it be-
That veils the world I see.

"For all I see around me wears
The hue of other spheres ;

And something blent of smiles and tears
Comes from the very air I breathe.
Oh nothing, sure, the stars beneath,
Can mould a sadness like to this-
So like angelic bliss."

So, at that dreamy hour of day
When the last lingering ray
Stops on the highest cloud to play—
So thought the gentle Rosalie,
As on her maiden reverie

First fell the strain of him who stole

In music to her soul.

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