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  • If ever two were one, then surely we.
  • If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
  • If ever wife were happy in a man,
  • Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
  • I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold
  • Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
  • My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
  • Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense.
  • Thy love is such I can no way repay,
  • The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray,
  • Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere
  • that when we live no more, we may live ever.

Anne Bradstreet (1612–1672) was born in Northampton, England, and arrived in the New World in 1630 to become a member of one of the founding families of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. At the age of 16, Anne was married to Simon Bradstreet, a 25-year-old assistant in the Massachusetts Bay Company and the son of a Puritan  minister. She and her husband Simon settled in North Andover and became the parents of eight children. Anne had no inclination to publish her poetry but  her brother-in-law, John Woodbridge, had secretly copied Anne’s work and had a volume of it published in England in 1650 without her permission. In poor health much of her life, Anne suffered both smallpox and tuberculosis, the latter disease proving fatal when she was in her 60th year. Seven years after her death her husband Simon became governor of Massachusetts. Anne Bradstreet is considered to have been this country’s first poet.

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