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Mother's Epitaph

by Anne Bradstreet

Anne Bradstreet, American poet, was born in Northhampton, England, in 1612, and died on September 16, 1672 in North Andover, Massachusetts. Bradstreet was the first woman to publish a book of poetry in America. The poems were published using an anonymous author, but it was widely known who the true writer was.

The full name of this poem is An Epitaph on My Dear and Ever-Honored Mother, Mrs. Dorothy Dudley, Who Deceased DECEMB. 27 1643, and of Her Age of 61.


Here lyes

A worthy Matron of unspotted life, 
A loving Mother and obedient wife, 
A friendly Neighbor pitiful to poor, 
Whom oft she fed and clothed with her store, 
To Servants wisely aweful but yet kind, 
And as they did so they reward did find; 
A true Instructer of her Family, 
The which she ordered with dexterity. 
The publick meetings ever did frequent, 
And in her Closet constant hours she spent; 
Religious in all her words and wayes 
Preparing still for death till end of dayes; 
Of all her Children, Children lived to see, 
Then dying, left a blessed memory.


Source: Anne Bradstreet and her Time, By Helen Campbell, 1891


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