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- Anne Bradstreet and Her Time - 40/59 -


More at her showers, which water them apace. For fruits my Season yields the early Cherry, The hasty Peas, and wholsome cool Strawberry. More solid fruits require a longer time, Each Season hath its fruit, so hath each Clime: Each man his own peculiar excellence, But none in all that hath preheminence. Sweet fragrant Spring, with thy short pittance fly Let some describe thee better than can I. Yet above all this priviledg is thine, Thy dayes still lengthen without least decline:

_SUMMER._

When Spring had done, the Summer did begin, With melted tauny face, and garments thin, Resembling Fire, Choler, and Middle age, As Spring did Air, Blood, Youth in 's equipage. Wiping the sweat from of her face that ran, With hair all wet she pussing thus began; Bright June, July and August hot are mine, In th' first Sol doth in crabbed Cancer shine. His progress to the North now's fully done, Then retrograde must be my burning Sun, Who to his Southward Tropick still is bent, Yet doth his parching heat but more augment Though he decline, because his flames so fair, Have throughly dry'd the earth, and heat the air. Like as an Oven that long time hath been heat, Whose vehemency at length doth grow so great, That if you do withdraw her burning store, 'Tis for a time as fervent as before. Now go those foolick Swains, the Shepherd Lads To wash the thick cloth'd flocks with pipes full glad In the cool streams they labour with delight Rubbing their dirty coats till they look white; Whose fleece when finely spun and deeply dy'd With Robes thereof Kings have been dignified, Blest rustick Swains, your pleasant quiet life, Hath envy bred in Kings that were at strife, Careless of worldly wealth you sing and pipe, Whilst they'r imbroyl'd in wars & troubles rife: Wich made great Bajazet cry out in 's woes, Oh happy shepherd which hath not to lose.

Orthobulus, nor yet Sebastia great, But whist'leth to thy flock in cold and heat. Viewing the Sun by day, the Moon by night Endimions, Dianaes dear delight, Upon the grass resting your healthy limbs, By purling Brooks looking how fishes swims, If pride within your lowly Cells ere haunt, Of him that was Shepherd then King go vaunt. This moneth the Roses are distil'd in glasses, Whose fragrant smel all made perfumes surpasses The cherry, Gooseberry are now in th' prime, And for all sorts of Pease, this is the time. July my next, the hott'st in all the year, The sun through Leo now takes his Career, Whose flaming breath doth melt us from afar, Increased by the star Ganicular, This month from Julius Ceasar took its name, By Romans celebrated to his fame. Now go the Mowers to their flashing toyle, The Meadowes of their riches to dispoyle, With weary strokes, they take all in their way, Bearing the burning heat of the long day. The forks and Rakes do follow them amain, Wich makes the aged fields look young again, The groaning Carts do bear away their prize, To Stacks and Barns where it for Fodder lyes. My next and last is August fiery hot (For much, the Southward Sun abateth not) This Moneth he keeps with Vigor for a space, The dry'ed Earth is parched with his face. August of great Augustus took its name, Romes second Emperour of lasting fame, With sickles now the bending Reapers goe The rustling tress of terra down to mowe; And bundles up in sheaves, the weighty wheat, Which after Manchet makes for Kings to eat: The Barly, Rye and Pease should first had place, Although their bread have not so white a face. The Carter leads all home with whistling voyce. He plow'd with pain, but reaping doth rejoice, His sweat, his toyle, his careful wakeful nights, His fruitful Crop abundantly requites. Now's ripe the Pear, Pear-plumb and Apricock, The prince of plumbs, whose stone's as hard as Rock The Summer seems but short, the Autumn hasts To shake his fruits, of most delicious tasts Like good old Age, whose younger juicy Roots Hath still ascended, to bear goodly fruits. Until his head be gray, and strength be gone. Yet then appears the worthy deeds he'th done: To feed his boughs exhausted hath his Sap, Then drops his fruit into the eaters lap.

_AUTUMN._

Of Autumn moneths September is the prime, Now day and night are equal in each Clime, The twelfth of this Sol riseth in the Line, And doth in poizing Libra this month shine. The vintage now is ripe, the grapes are prest, Whose lively liquor oft is curs'd and blest: For nought so good, but it may be abused, But its a precious juice when well its used. The raisins now in clusters dryed be, The Orange, Lemon dangle on the tree: The Pomegranate, the Fig are ripe also, And Apples now their yellow sides do show. Of Almonds, Quinces, Wardens, and of Peach, The season's now at hand of all and each, Sure at this time, time first of all began, And in this moneth was made apostate man: For then in Eden was not only seen, Boughs full of leaves, or fruits unripe or green, Or withered stocks, which were all dry and dead, But trees with goodly fruits replenished; Which shows nor Summer, Winter nor the Spring Our Grand-Sire was of Paradice made King: Nor could that temp'rate Clime such difference make, If cited as the most Judicious take. October is my next, we hear in this The Northern winter-blasts begin to hip, In Scorpio resideth now the Sun, And his declining heat is almost done. The fruitless trees all withered now do stand, Whose sapless yellow leavs, by winds are fan'd Which notes when youth and strength have passed their prime Decrepit age must also have its time.

The Sap doth slily creep toward the Earth There rests, until the Sun give it a birth. So doth old Age still tend until his grave, Where also he his winter time must have; But when the Sun of righteousness draws nigh, His dead old stock, shall mount again on high. November is my last, for Time doth haste, We now of winters sharpness 'gins to taste This moneth the Sun's in Sagitarius, So farre remote, his glances warm not us. Almost at shortest, is the shorten'd day, The Northern pole beholdeth not one ray, Nor Greenland, Groanland, Finland, Lapland, see No Sun, to lighten their obscurity; Poor wretches that in total darkness lye, With minds more dark then is the dark'ned Sky. Beaf, Brawn, and Pork are now in great request, And solid meats our stomacks can digest. This time warm cloaths, full diet, and good fires, Our pinched flesh, and hungry marres requires; Old cold, dry Age, and Earth Autumn resembles, And Melancholy which most of all dissembles. I must be short, and shorts the short'ned day, What winter hath to tell, now let him say.

_WINTER._

Cold, moist, young flegmy winter now doth lye In swaddling Clouts, like new born Infancy Bound up with frosts, and furr'd with hail & snows, And like an Infant, still it taller grows; December is my first, and now the Sun To th' Southward Tropick, his swift race doth run: This moneth he's hous'd in horned Capricorn, From thence he 'gins to length the shortned morn, Through Christendome with great Feastivity, Now's held, (but ghest) for blest Nativity, Cold frozen January next comes in, Chilling the blood and shrinking up the skin; In Aquarius now keeps the long wisht Sun, And Northward his unwearied Course doth run: The day much longer then it was before, The cold not lessened, but augmented more. Now Toes and Ears, and Fingers often freeze, And Travellers their noses sometimes leese.

Moist snowie Feburary is my last, I care not how the winter time doth haste, In Pisces now the golden Sun doth shine, And Northward still approaches to the Line, The rivers 'gin to ope, the snows to melt, And some warm glances from his face are felt; Which is increased by the lengthen'd day, Until by's heat, he drives all cold away, And thus the year in Circle runneth round: Where first it did begin, in th' end its found.

With the final lines a rush of dissatisfaction came over the writer, and she added certain couplets, addressed to her father, for whom the whole set seems to have been originally written, and who may be responsible in part for the bald and didactic quality of most of her work.

My Subjects bare, my Brain is bad, Or better Lines you should have had; The first fell in so nat'rally, I knew not how to pass it by;


Anne Bradstreet and Her Time - 40/59

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