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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

In Praise of Mistress Bradstreet

By Nathaniel Ward (1578–1652)

[Prefixed to the Collection of Her Poems, “The Tenth Muse.” 1650.]

MERCURY show’d Apollo, Bartas’ book,

Minerva this, and wish’d him well to look,

And tell uprightly, which did which excel:

He view’d and view’d, and vow’d he could not tell.

They bid him hemisphere his mouldy nose,

With ’s crack’d leering glasses, for it would pose

The best brains he had in ’s old pudding-pan,

Sex weigh’d, which best, the woman or the man?

He peer’d, and por’d, and glar’d, and said for wore,

I ’m even as wise now, as I was before.

They both ’gan laugh, and said, it was no mar’l

The auth’ress was a right Du Bartas girl.

Good sooth, quoth the old Don, tell me ye so,

I muse whither at length these girls will go.

It half revives my chill frost-bitten blood,

To see a woman once do aught that ’s good;

And chode by Chaucer’s boots and Homer’s furs,

Let men look to ’t, lest women wear the spurs.