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[154] gifted English contemporaries. The one elegiac poem of early New England that may be worth preserving is the Funeral song (1709), written by the Rev. Samuel Wigglesworth, son of Michael, on the death of his friend Nathaniel Clarke. Together with its real feeling, it exhibits a certain felicity of diction that bespeaks Elizabethan models; and such phrases as “where increate eternity's concealed,” “solemn music,” and “warbling divinest airs,” seem to show that Milton had reached New England. As a genre the elegy died with the decline of the clergy, and passed as a fashion passes with changed conditions.

The most interesting as well as the most pleasing figure in early New England verse is that of Anne Bradstreet, who was “fathered and husbanded” respectively by Thomas Dudley and Simon Bradstreet, both in their time governors of Massachusetts. Born in London in 1612, she emigrated in 1630 with her husband and died in 1672. Although the mother of eight children, she found time to write over seven thousand lines of verse in what must have been, to her, peculiarly uncongenial surroundings. Her brother-in-law, the Rev. John Woodbridge, when on a visit to London in 1650, published without her knowledge her poems under the title of The tenth Muse, lately sprung up in America, and a second edition followed in Boston in 1678. That her poems were read and admired is attested by such poetic tributes as that of Nathaniel Ward, who affirms that she was “a right Du Bartas girle,” and represents Apollo as unable to decide whether Du Bartas or the New England Muse was the more excellent poet. But Anne Bradstreet was not a poet; she was a winsome personality in an unlovely age. That she should have written verse at all was phenomenal, but that it should have been poor verse was inevitable. Her Exact epitome of the four Monarchies, in several thousand lines of bad pentameter couplets, is simply a rhyming chronicle of the medieval type, the matter of which was supplied by Raleigh's History of the world. Her Four elements, constitutions, ages of man, and seasons of the year, almost equally worthless as poetry, is an interesting adaptation of Sylvester's translation of the Divine weeks. She repeatedly states her admiration for Du Bartas and her indebtedness to him. Thirteen lines in the second day of the first week of his poem suggested her theme, and this she expands in the form of a medieval debat; other

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