Anne Bradstreet

(1612 – 16 September 1672 / Northampton, England)

A Love Letter to Her Husband


Phoebus make haste, the day's too long, begone,
The silent night's the fittest time for moan;
But stay this once, unto my suit give ear,
And tell my griefs in either Hemisphere:
(And if the whirling of thy wheels do n't drown'd
The woful accents of my doleful sound),
If in thy swift career thou canst make stay,
I crave this boon, this errand by the way:
Commend me to the man more lov'd than life,
Show him the sorrows of his widow'd wife,
My dumpish thoughts, my groans, my brackish tears,
My sobs, my longing hopes, my doubting fears,
And, if he love, how can he there abide?
My interest's more than all the world beside.
He that can tell the stars or Ocean sand,
Or all the grass that in the meads do stand,
The leaves in th' woods, the hail or drops of rain,
Or in a cornfield number every grain,
Or every mote that in the sunshine hops,
May court my sighs and number all my drops.
Tell him, the countless steps that thou dost trace,
That once a day thy spouse thou mayst embrace;
And when thou canst not treat by loving mouth,
Thy rays afar, salute her from the south.
But for one month I see no day (poor soul)
Like those far situate under the pole,
Which day by day long wait for thy arise,
O how they joy when thou dost light the skies.
O Phoebus, hadst thou but thus long from thine
Restrain'd the beams of thy beloved shine,
At thy return, if so thou couldst or durst,
Behold a Chaos blacker than the first.
Tell him here's worse than a confused matter,
His little world's a fathom under water,
Naught but the fervor of his ardent beams
Hath power to dry the torrent of these streams.
Tell him I would say more, but cannot well,
Opressed minds abrupted tales do tell.
Now post with double speed, mark what I say,
By all our loves conjure him not to stay.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • Paul Akinrinde (9/1/2014 12:53:00 AM)

    This very piece provokes one to reasoning. It tells of the agitation by Bradstreet to re-unite with his beloved husband who is on course of assignment; she longs for the frigate of night to help deliver her heart rending messages, and to tell him of the prescient love that no wordly panoply of carrion fancies can surmont. (Report) Reply

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