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 prizeprize Value thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the Eastthe East East Indies, southeast Asia, including India; the English East India Company began in 1600. doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,My … rivers cannot quench Compare the Song of Solomon: “Muche water can not quenche love, nether can the floods drowne it.” (Geneva Bible) Also, quench could mean to satisfy.
Nor oughtought Anything but love from thee give recompenserecompense Return payment; reward.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifoldmanifold In abundance, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so perseverpersever Both to continue steadfastly, and in the Theological sense to remain in a state of grace. An earlier spelling of the word “persevere.”,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.
Source: The Complete Works of Anne Bradstreet (1981)
Anne Bradstreet is generally considered the first American poet. Born around 1612 near Northampton, England, she married Simon Bradstreet at age 16, and the couple emigrated to the New World in 1630. In such bestselling collections as The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, Bradstreet wrote of her life as a mother, wife, and daughter during the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
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