Here are two poems. One is by Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet; the other is by me, written in 11th grade as an assignment for a teacher who was fond of Puritan writing. I won't tell you which is which; you'll probably be able to tell. (If you can't tell, e-mail me and make my day!) No copyright infringement is intended, I'm not making money off of this, simply posting it for posterity ;)
Upon the Death of One of Her Children
My mind denied this worst of fears
Though screams still reached my covered ears.
They filled my ears and filled my home;
I hardly knew them as my own.
My son before me still did lie,
Who should have been the last to die.
His face so pale, his hands so cold,
My babe, who was not three years old.
A wand'ring snake, while passing by,
Beneath his hand had chanced to lie.
Their deadly meeting, though 'twas brief,
A mother's heart now filled with grief.
How ached my arms to hold him near.
How ached my ears his voice to hear.
How ached my cheek to feel his breath
Who lay now in the arms of death.
Yet I am not the only one
In history who's lost a son.
My mind and heart know who He is,
The one who wretched sins forgives.
The Son that God so freely gave,
From Hell our damned souls to save.
May He who gives and takes be blest,
For in His arms I find my rest.
Before the Birth of One of Her Children
All things within this fading world hath end
Adversity doth still our joys attend;
No ties 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 untied that made us one,
I may seem thine, who in effect am none.
And if I see not half my days 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-dame's injury.
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse,
With some sad sighs honour my absent hearse;
And kiss this paper for thy love's dear sake,
Who with salt tears this last farewell did take.