1650 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Bradstreet

John Rogers, "Upon Mrs. Anne Bradstreet, her Poems, &c."1650 ca.; Bradstreet, Several Poems (1678) sigs. a7v-a8v.



Madam, twice through the Muses Grove I walkt,
Under your blissful bowres, I shrowding there,
It seem'd with Nymphs of Helicon I talkt.
For there those sweet-lip'd Sisters sporting were,
Apollo with his sacred Lute sate by,
On high they made their heavenly Sonnets flye,
Posies around they strow'd, of sweetest Poesie.

Twice have I drunk the Nectar of your lines,
Which high sublim'd my mean born phantasie.
Flusht with these streams of your Maronean wines
Above my self rapt to an extasie:
Methought I was upon mount Hiblas top,
There where I might those fragrant flowers lop,
Whence did sweet odors flow, and honey spangles drop.

To Venus shrine no Altars raised are,
Nor venom'd shafts from painted quiver fly,
Nor wanton Doves of Aphrodites Carr,
Or fluttering there, nor here forlornly lie,
Lorne Paramours, not chatting birds tell news
How sage Apollo, Daphne hot pursues,
Or stately Jove himself is wont to haunt the stews.

Nor barking Satyrs breath, nor driery clouds
Exhal'd from Styx, their dismal drops distil
Within these Fairy, flowry fields, nor shrouds
The screeching night Raven, with his shady quill:
But Lyrick strings here Orpheus nimbly hitts,
Orion on his sadled Dolphin sits,
Chanting as every humour, age and season fits.

Here silver swans, with Nightingales set spells,
Which sweetly charm the Traveller, and raise
Earths earthed Monarchs, from their hidden Cells,
And to appearance summons lapsed dayes,
There heav'nly air, becalms the swelling frayes,
And fury fell, of Elements allayes,
By paying every one due tribute of his praise.

This seem'd the Scite of all those verdant vales,
And purled springs, whereat the Nymphs do play,
With lofty hills, where Poets rear their tales,
To heavenly vaults, which heav'nly sound repay
By ecchoes sweet rebound, here Ladyes kiss,
Circling nor songs, nor dances circle miss;
But whilst those Syrens sung, I sunk in sea of bliss.

Thus weltring in delight, my virgin mind
Admits a rape; truth still lyes undiscri'd,
Its singular, that plural seem'd, I find,
'Twas Fancies glass alone that multipli'd;
Nature with Art, so closely did combine,
I thought I saw the Muses trebble trine,
Which prov'd your lonely Muse, superiour to nine.

Your only hand those Poesies did compose,
Your head the source, whence all those springs did flow,
Your voice, whence changes sweet notes arose,
Your feet that kept the dance alone, I trow:
Then vail your bonnets, Poetasters all,
Strike, lower amain, and at these humbly fall,
And deem your selves advanc'd to be her Pedestal.

Should all with lowly Congies Laurels bring,
Waste Floraes Magazine to find a wreathe,
Or Pineus Banks 'twere too mean offspring,
Your Muse a fairer Garland doth bequeath
To guard your fairer front; here 'tis your name
Shall stand immarbled; this your little frame
Shall great Colossus be, to your eternal fame.

I'le please myself, though I my self disgrace,
What errors here be found, are in Errataes place.