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Bradstreet's 1666 poem "Upon the Burning of Our House"

Heart Worms?
Hulda Clark Cleanses


Heart Worms?
Hulda Clark Cleanses

Agathos1 Views: 7,484
Published: 13 years ago
This is a reply to # 1,244,488

Bradstreet's 1666 poem "Upon the Burning of Our House"

The poetess, a Puritan woman who'd just lost all her possessions in a fire, had in response to her hardship written a profound poem, filled with both her sorrow and her Eternal Hope. May you, R.G., and your family find consolation in her consolations. Me beloved Mums and I are sharing your grief with you, and requesting the Giver of all good gifts give you an eternal perspective and a persevering faith. Thank you for your update.

Verses upon the Burning of our House [1666]

In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow near I did not look,
I waken'd was with thund'ring noise
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
That fearful sound of "fire" and "fire,"
Let no man know is my Desire.
I starting up, the light did spy,
And to my God my heart did cry
To straighten me in my Distress
And not to leave me succourless.
Then coming out, behold a space
The flame consume my dwelling place.
And when I could no longer look,
I blest his grace that gave and took,
That laid my goods now in the dust.
Yea, so it was, and so 'twas just.
It was his own; it was not mine.
Far be it that I should repine,
He might of all justly bereft
But yet sufficient for us left.
When by the Ruins oft I past
My sorrowing eyes aside did cast
And here and there the places spy
Where oft I sate and long did lie.
Here stood that Trunk, and there that chest,
There lay that store I counted best,
My pleasant things in ashes lie
And them behold no more shall I.
Under the roof no guest shall sit,
Nor at thy Table eat a bit.
No pleasant talk 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 lie.
Adieu, Adieu, All's Vanity.
Then straight I 'gin my heart to chide:
And did thy wealth on earth abide,
Didst fix thy hope on mouldring dust,
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
Raise up thy thoughts above the sky
That dunghill mists away may fly.
Thou hast a house on high erect
Fram'd by that mighty Architect,
With glory richly furnished
Stands permanent, though this be fled.
It's purchased and paid for too
By him who hath enough to do.
A price so vast as is unknown,
Yet by his gift is made thine own.
There's wealth enough; I need no more.
Farewell, my pelf; farewell, my store.
The world no longer let me love;
My hope and Treasure lies above.

Wikipedia adds to Anne Bradstreet's tensile soul strength:

Having previously been afflicted with smallpox, Anne would once again fall prey to illness as paralysis took over her joints; however, she did not let her predicament dim her passion for living, and creating a home and family with her husband. Despite her poor health, she had eight children and achieved a comfortable social standing.

Tragedy struck one night in 1666 when the Bradstreet home was engulfed in flames; a devastating fire that left the family homeless and devoid of personal belongings for a time. By then, Anne Bradstreet's health was slowly failing. She suffered from tuberculosis and had to deal with the loss of her daughter Dorothy to illness as well. But her will remained strong, and perhaps, as a reflection of her religious devotion and her knowledge of Biblical scriiptures, she found peace in the firm belief that her daughter was in heaven.

Bradstreet's education allowed her to write with authority about politics, history, medicine, and theology. Her personal library of books was said to have numbered over 800, many of which were destroyed when her home burned down on July 10, 1666. This event itself inspired a poem entitled "Upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666", wherein Bradstreet rejects the anger and grief that this worldly tragedy has caused her and instead looks toward God and the assurance of heaven as consolation, saying:

"And when I could no longer look,
I blest his grace that gave and took,
That laid my goods now in the dust.
Yea, so it was, and so 'twas just.
It was his own; it was not mine.
Far be it that I should repine."

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