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6 Let cleave my tongue my pallate on,
if chiefe joyes or'e I prize not more.
7 Remember Lord, Edoms sons word,
it rase, it rase, when as it was
Ierusalem her day.
8 Blest shall hee bee, that payeth thee,
daughter of Babilon,
who must be waste: that which thou hast
rewarded us upon.
9 O happie hee shall surely bee
that taketh up, that eke
thy little ones against the stones
On the last page of the Bay Psalm Book is a list of "Faults escaped in printing," and the little volume closes in most independent fashion :
"The rest, which have escaped through over-
REV. MICHAEL WIGGLESWORTH
With all his imaginative power, the learned minister was a most practical man. Cotton Mather said of him:
"It was a surprize unto us, to see a Little, Feeble Shadow of a Man, beyond Seventy, Preaching usually Twice or Thrice in a Week; Visiting and Comforting the Afflicted; Encouraging the Private Meetings; Catechising the Children of the Flock; and managing the Government of the Church; and attending the Sick, not only as a Pastor, but as a Physician too; and this not only in his own Town, but also in all those of the Vicinity."- From A Faithful Man Described and Rewarded, 1705.
From "The Day of Doom," edition of 1673.
Calm was the season, and carnal reason
Wallowing in all kind of Sin,
amongst the best were number'd, Had clos'd their eyes; yea, and the Wise through sloth and frailty slumber'd.
Like as of old, when men grew bold
But took their course, without remorse,
till God began to pour Destruction the World upon
in a tempestuous shower.
They put away the evil day,
and drown'd their cares and fears, Till drown'd were they, and swept away by vengeance unawares:
So at the last, whilst men sleep fast
in their security,
Surpriz'd they are in such a snare
as cometh suddenly.
For at midnight brake forth a light, which turn'd the night to day: And speedily an hideous cry
did all the World dismay. Sinners awake, their hearts do ake,
trembling their loyns surprizeth; Amaz'd with fear, by what they hear, each one of them ariseth.
They rush from beds with giddy heads, and to their windows run,
Viewing this Light, which shines more bright then doth the noon-day Sun. Straightway appears (they see't with tears) the Son of God most dread; Who with his Train comes on amain to judge both Quick and Dead.
Before his Face the Heav'ns give place, and Skies are rent asunder,
With mighty voice, and hideous noise, more terrible than Thunder.
His brightness damps Heav'ns glorious lamps, and makes them hide their heads,
As if afraid and quite dismaid, they quit their wonted steads.
Ye sons of men that durst contemn
Now Atheist blind, whose brutish mind
Stout courages (whose hardiness
could Death and Hell out-face) Are you as bold now you behold
your Judge draw near apace? They cry No, no: Alas and wo!
our courage all is gone : Our hardiness, (fool, hardiness) hath us undone, undone.
No heart so bold but now grows cold, and almost dead with fear :
No eye so dry, but now can cry,
Mean men lament, great men do rent their robes, and tear their hair: They do not spare there flesh to tear through horrible despair.
All kindreds wail: their hearts do fail: horrour the world doth fill
With weeping eyes, and loud out-cries, yet knows not how to kill.
Some hide themselves in Caves and Delves, in places under ground:
Some rashly leap into the deep,
to 'scape by being drown'd: Some to the Rocks (O sensless blocks!) and woody Mountains run,
That there they might this fearful sight, and dreadful Presence shun.
Our first Massachusetts poetess did not, like the Connecticut lady of whom John Winthrop wrote, lose "her understanding and reason" by literary composition. Indeed, many of Mistress Bradstreet's poems were quite too carefully reasoned out to be called poetry. A sense of humor would have saved her from choosing such prosaic subjects as "The Four Monarchies," "The Four Humours in Man's Constitution," and the like; but even if she had possessed any such power, she would not have dreamed of using it, for the somewhat pompous and affected Du Bartas was her adored model. Anagrams were in fashion in those days, and doubtless she read and reread one that was written in the first of her book, on "Anna Bradstreate," "Deer neat An Bartas."
From her poem "Contemplations." This and the following poems are from the second American edition, entitled "Severall Poems, etc., Boston, 1678."
Under the cooling shadow of a stately Elm
Where gliding streams the Rocks did overwhelm ;
I once that lov'd the shady woods so well,
Now thought the rivers did the trees excel,
And if the sun would ever shine, there would I dwell.
While on the stealing stream I fixt mine eye,
Till thou arrive at thy beloved place,
Nor is it rocks or shoals that can obstruct thy pace.