bradstreet trial

Old Age

The first section of the Tenth Muse includes four long poems known as the quaternions.These are the “Four Elements”, “The Four Humors of Man”, “The Four Ages of Man”, and “The Four Seasons.” Each poem consists of a series of orations with “Old Age” being the fourth portion of the poem “The Four Ages of Man” preceded by “Childhood”, “Youth”, and “Middle Age” respectively. (Poetry Foundation)Anne Bradstreet1650What you have been, ev’n such have I before,And all you say, say I, and something more;Babes innocence, Youths wildness I have seen,And in perplexed Middle-age have bin,Sicknesse, dangers, and anxieties have past,And on this Stage am come to act my last.I have bin young, and strong, ad wise as you,But now, Bis pueri senes Latin phrase meaning “old men are twice boys” (Encyclo. Co. UK), or “old men are boys for a second time” (Google Books, World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions: A Resource for Readers and Writers) , is too true;In every Age i’ve found much vanitie,An end of all perfection now I see.It’s not my valour, honour, nor my gold,My ruin’d house, now fallin can uphold;It’s not my Learning, Rhetorick, wit so large,Now hath the power, Deaths Warfare, to discharge;It’s not my goodly house, nor bed of down,That can refresh, or ease, if Conscience frown;Nor from alliance now can I have hope,But what I have done wel, that is my prop;


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