36 Before the Birth of One of Her Children

Anne Bradstreet

All things within this fading world hath end,
Adversity doth still our joys attend;
No tyes 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 both are ignorant, yet love bids me
These farewell lines to recommend to thee,
That when that knot’s untyed 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 interred 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 honor my absent Herse;
And kiss this paper for thy love’s dear sake
Who with salt tears this last farewell did take.
A. B.


(ca. 1678)


“Before the Birth of One of Her Children” was written by Anne Bradstreet circa 1678. It is in the pubic domain and was taken from the text edited by Helen Campbell entitled.  Anne Bradstreet and Her Time.


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