American Literature Benchmark Assessment

“Upon the Burning of Our House - July 10th, 1666”
by Anne Bradstreet


1- In silent night when rest I took,
2- For sorrow near I did not look
3- I wakened was with thund’ring noise
4- And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
5- That fearful sound of “Fire!” and “Fire!”
6- Let no man know is my desire.

7- I, starting up, the light did spy,
8- And to my God my heart did cry
9- To strengthen me in my distress
10- And not to leave me succorless.
11- Then, coming out, beheld a space
12- The flame consume my dwelling place.

13- And when I could no longer look,
14- I blest his Name that gave and took,
15- That laid my goods now in the dust:
16- Yea, so it was, and so 'twas just.
17- It was His own, it was not mine,
18- Far be it that I should repine;

19- He might of all justly bereft,
20- But yet sufficient for us left.
21- When by the ruins oft I past,
22- My sorrowing eyes aside did cast,
23- And here and there the places spy
24- Where oft I sat and long did lie:

25- Here stood that trunk, and there that chest,
26- There lay that store I counted best.
27- My pleasant things in ashes lie,
28- And them behold no more shall I.
29- Under thy roof no guest shall sit,
30- Nor at thy table eat a bit.

31- No pleasant tale shall e’er be told,
32- Nor things recounted done of old.
33- No candle e’er shall shine in thee,
34- Nor bridegroom's voice e’er heard shall be.
35- In silence ever shalt thou lie;
36- Adieu, Adieu, all's vanity.

37- Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide,
38- And didst thy wealth on earth abide?
39- Didst fix thy hope on mold’ring dust?
40- The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
41- Raise up thy thoughts above the sky
42- That dunghill mists away may fly.

43- Thou hast an house on high erect,
44- Framed by that mighty Architect,
45- With glory richly furnished,
46- Stands permanent though this bee fled.
47- It's purchased and paid for too
48- By him who hath enough to do.

49- A price so vast as is unknown,
50- Yet, by his Gift, is made thine own;
51- There’s wealth enough, I need no more,
52- Farewell, my pelf, farewell my store.
53- The world no longer let me love,
54- My hope and treasure lies above.

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