Earth
By Anne Bradstreet

  • Transcription, correction, editorial commentary, and markup by Staff and Research Assistants at The University of Virginia, Tim Schott, John O'Brien, Sara Brunstetter
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Sources

American Colonies : original publisher, 1678 Our texts are taken from the Text Creation Partnership's digital edition of "Several poems compiled with great variety of wit and learning, full of delight, wherein especially is contained a compleat discourse, and description of the four elements constitutions, ages of man, seasons of the year. : Together with an exact epitome of the three first monarchyes viz. the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian. And beginning of the Romane Common-Wealth to the end of their last king: with diverse other pleasant & serious poems, by a gentlewoman in New-England," published in Boston in 1678.

Editorial Statements

Research informing these annotations draws on publicly-accessible resources, with links provided where possible. Annotations have also included common knowledge, defined as information that can be found in multiple reliable sources. If you notice an error in these annotations, please contact lic.open.anthology@gmail.com.

Original spelling and capitalization is retained, though the long s has been silently modernized and ligatured forms are not encoded.

Hyphenation has not been retained, except where necessary for the sense of the word.

Page breaks have been retained. Catchwords, signatures, and running headers have not. Where pages break in the middle of a word, the complete word has been indicated prior to the page beginning.

Materials have been transcribed from and checked against first editions, where possible. See the Sources section.

Earthn020n020Earth is the second poem in her collection: "The Four Elements." Anne Bradstreet 1The next in place, Earth judg'd to be her due, 2Sister, in worth I come not short of you; 3In wealth and use I doe surpasse you all, 4And Mother Earth, of old, men did me call, 5Such was my fruitfulnesse; an Epithiten001n001(DRAFT) I don't know which definition this is or should be 6Which none ere gave, nor you could claime of right, 7Among my praises this I count not least, 8I am th'origniall of man and beast, 9To tell what sundryn002n002Various. Source: Oxford English Dictionary fruits my fat soyle yeelds, 10In vine-yards, orchards, gardens, and corne fields, 11Their kinds, their tasts, their colours, and their smels, 12Would so passe time, I could say nothing else; 13The rich and poore, wife, foole, and every sort, 14Of these so common things, can make report: 15To tell you of my Countries, and my regions 16Soone would they passe, not hundreds, but legions, 17My cities famous, rich, and populous, 18Whose numbers now are growne innumerous; 19I have not time to thinke of every part, 20Yet let me name my Grecian003n003Greece. Source: Oxford English Dictionary, 'tis my heart 21For Learning, Armes, and Arts, I love it well: 22But chiefly, cause the Muses there did dwell; 23I'le here skip o're my mountaines, reaching skies, 24Whether Pyrenian, or the Alpes; both lyes 25On either side the country of the Gaulesn004n004An area of Western Europe that now makes up what is now present France, Luxembourg, Belgium, much of Switzerland, Northern Italy, and various small parts of the netherlands and Germany. Source: Wikipedia, 26Strong forts from the Spanish and Italian braules, 27And huge great Taurusn005n005Taurus is the second Zodiac constelaltion, the Bull. Source: Oxford English Dictionary, longer then the rest, 28Dividing great Armenia from the least, 29And Hemus(DRAFT) Hemus is an area in Sweden.n006, whose steep sides, none foote upon, 30But farewell all, for deare mount Helicon, 31And wonderous high Olimpus, of such fame, 32That heaven selfe was oft call'd by that name; 33Sweet ParnassusMount Parnassus is regarded as a source of poetic and other literary inspiration. Source: Oxford English Dictionaryn007, I dote too much on thee, 34Unless thou prove a better friend to me; 35But ile skip o're these Hills, not touch a Dalen008n008A valley. Source: Oxford English Dictionary, 36Nor yet expatiaten009Walk about or roam. Source: Oxford English Dictionary, in Temple vale; 37Ile here let goe, my Lions of Numedia, 38My Panther, and my leopards of Libia, 39The Behemoth, and rare found Unicorne, 40Poysons sure antidote lyes in his horne. 41And my Hyena (imitates mans voyce) 42Out of huge numbers, I might pick my choyce, 43Thousands in woods, and planes, both wild, and tame, 44But here, or there, I list now none: name; 45No, though the fawning dog did urge me sore 46In his behalfe to speak a word the more; 47Whose trust, and valour I might here commend: 48But time's too short, and precious so to spend. 49But hark, ye worthy Merchants who for prize 50Send forth your well man'd ships, where fun doth rise 51After three years, when men and meat is spent 52My rich commodities payes double rent. 53Ye Galenistsn010n010Followers of the medical practices of the Greek physician and philosopher Galen. Source: Oxford English Dictionary, my Drugs that come from thence 54Doe cure your patients, fill your purse with pence; 55Besides the use you have, or Hearbs and Plants, 56That with the lesse cost, neare home, supplyes your wants. 57But Marriners, where got you ships and sailes? 58And Oares to row, when both my sisters failes? 59Your tackling, Anchor, Compasse too, is mine; 60Which guides, when Sun, nor Moon, nor Stars do shine 61Ye mighty kinds, who for your lasting fames 62Built cities, Monuments call'd by your names; 63What those compiled heapes of mussyn011n011mossystones? 64That your ambition laid, ought but my bones? 65Ye greedy misers who do dig for gold; 66For gemmes, for silver, treasures which I hold: 67Will nor my goodly face, your rage suffice? 68Buy you will see what in my bowls lyes? 69And ye Artificersn012n012An artisan. Source: Oxford English Dictionary, all trades and forts; 70My bounty calls you forth to make reports, 71If ought have to use, to wear, to eate? 72But what I freely yeeld upon your sweat? 73And chorlerickn013n013A tendency to be easily angered. Source: Oxford English Dictionary sister, thou (for all thine ire) 74Well knowest, my fuell must maintain thy fire. 75As I ingenuously (with thanks) confesse 76My cold, thy (fruitful) heat, doth crave no lesse: 77But how my cold, dry temper, works upon 78The melancholy constitution. 79How the Autumnal season I do sway; 80And how I force the grey head to obey. 81I should here make a short, yet true narration, 82But that the method is my imitation. 83Now might I shew my adverse quality, 84And how I oft work mans mortality 85He sometimes findes, maugren014n014Ill will or reproach. Source: Oxford English Dictionary his toyling paine, 86Thistles and thornes, where he expected graine; 87My sap, to plants and trees, I must not grant, 88The Vine, the Olive, and the Figtree want: 89The Corne, and Hay, both fall before they'r mowne; 90And buds from fruitfull trees, before they'r blowne. 91Then dearth prevailes, That Nature to suffice, 92The tender mother on her Infant flyes: 93The Husband knowes no Wife, nor father sons; 94But to all outrages their hunger runnes. 95Dreadful expamples, soon I might produce, 96But to such auditours 'twere of no use 97Again, when Delvers dare in hope of gold, 98To ope those veines of Mine, audacious bold: 99While they thus in my intrallsn015n015Entrailsseem to dive; 100Before they know, they are inter'd alive. 101Ye affrighted wightsn016n016Human, man, or creature. Source: Oxford English Dictionary, appall'd how you do shake 102If one you feele me, your foundation, quake, 103Because in the abysse of my darke wombe: 104Your Cities and your selves I oft intombe. 105O dreadfull Sepulchern017n017A tomb or vault to house the dead. Source: Oxford English Dictionary! that this is true, 106Korahn018n018Character from Numbers 16 in the Bible who led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron for exalting themselves above the rest of the Israelites. It did not end well for Korah and his men: God opened up the earth, and the rebels and their families were swallowed whole (gotquestions.org). and all his Company well knew. 107And since, faire Italy full sadly knowes. 108What she hath lost by these my dreadfull woes. 109And Rome, her Curtius, can't forget I think; 110Who bravely rode into my yawning chinke. 111Again, what veines of poyson in me lye; 112As Stibium and unfixt Mercury: 113With divers moe, nay, into plants it creeps; 114In hot, and cold, and some benumsn019n019Stupify or shock. Source: Oxford English Dictionary with sleeps, 115Thus I occasion death to man and beast, 116When they seek food, and harme mistrust the least. 117Much might I say, of the Arabian sands; 118Wherein whole Armies I have overthrown; 119But windy sister, 'twas when you have blown. 120Ile say no more, yet this thing adde I must, 121Remember sonnes, your mould is of my dust 122And after death, whether inter'd, or burn'd; 123As earth at first, so earth into return'd.

Footnotes