35 Verses Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666

Anne Bradstreet

In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow neer I did not look,
I waken’d was with thundring nois
And Piteous shreiks of dreadfull voice;
That fearfull sound of fire and fire,
Let no man know is my desire.

I, starting up the light did spye,
And to my God my heart did cry
To strengthen me in my Distress
And not to leave me succourlesse,
When coming out, beheld a space,
The flame consume my dwelling place.

And, when I could no longer look,
I blest his name that gave and took,
That layd my goods now in the dust;
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 justly bereft
But yet sufficient for us left.
When by the Ruines oft I past,
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;
There lay that store I counted best;
My pleasant things in ashes lye,
And them behold no more shall I.
Vnder thy roof no guest shall sitt,
Nor at thy Table eat a bitt.

No pleasant tale shall ‘ere be told,
Nor things recounted done of old.
No Candle ‘ere shall shine in Thee,
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,
And did thy wealth on earth abide?
Dids’t fix thy hope on mouldering dust,
The arm of flesh dids’t make thy trust?
Raise up thy thoughts above the skye
That dunghill mists away may flie.

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

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

(ca 1666)


“Verses Upon the Burning of Our House” was written by Anne Bradstreet circa 1666. 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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This work (Verses Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666 by Anne Bradstreet) is free of known copyright restrictions.

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