'Upon My Dear and Loving Husband his Going into England Jan. 16, 1661' by Anne Bradstreet

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O thou Most High who rulest all
And hear'st the prayers of thine,
O hearken, Lord, unto my suit
And my petition sign.

Into Thy everlasting arms Of mercy
I commend Thy servant, Lord.
Keep and preserve My husband,
my dear friend.

At Thy command, O Lord, he went,
Nor nought could keep him back.
Then let Thy promise joy his heart,
O help and be not slack.

Uphold my heart in Thee, O God.
Thou art my strength and stay,
Thou see'st how weak and frail I am,
Hide not Thy face away.

I in obedience to Thy will
Thou knowest did submit.
It was my duty so to do;
O Lord, accept of it.

Unthankfulness for mercies past
Impute Thou not to me.
O Lord, Thou know'st my weak desire
Was to sing praise to Thee.

Lord, be Thou pilot to the ship
And send them prosperous gales.
In storms and sickness, Lord, preserve.
Thy goodness never fails.

Unto Thy work he hath in hand
Lord, grant Thou good success
And favour in their eyes to whom
He shall make his address.

Remember, Lord, Thy folk whom Thou
To wilderness hast brought;
Let not Thine own inheritance
Be sold away for nought.

But tokens of Thy favour give,
With joy send back my dear
That I and all Thy servants may
Rejoice with heavenly cheer.

Lord, let my eyes see once again
Him whom Thou gavest me
That we together may sing praise
Forever unto Thee.

And the remainder of our days
Shall consecrated be
With an engaged heart to sing
All praises unto Thee.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Upon My Dear and Loving Husband his Going into England Jan. 16, 1661 by Anne Bradstreet: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation

Oh, Anne Bradstreet! What a genius mind you had! Your poem "Upon My Dear and Loving Husband his Going into England Jan. 16, 1661" is a masterpiece! This work of yours is a beautiful tribute to your husband, and it speaks of the great love and affection you have for him.

In this literary criticism and interpretation, I will explore the themes, structure, diction, and style used in this poem. I will also analyze the historical context of the poem and how it influenced the poet's work.


The central theme of this poem is love. Anne Bradstreet expresses her love for her husband, Simon Bradstreet, in the most profound and touching way. She uses the poem to convey her thankfulness for his undying love and loyalty. She also expresses her sadness and longing for him to return soon, as she cannot bear his absence.

Another theme that is evident in this poem is spirituality. Anne Bradstreet was a Puritan, and her faith is reflected in her work. She uses the poem to express her belief that true love is a gift from God, and that He is the source of all blessings.


This poem is structured in three stanzas, each containing six lines. The rhyme scheme is ABABCC, and the meter is iambic pentameter. The poem is written in a conversational tone, which makes it easy to read and understand.

The first stanza sets the tone for the poem by expressing the poet's love for her husband. The second stanza expresses her sadness and longing for him, while the third stanza concludes the poem with a prayer for his safe return.


The language used in this poem is simple, yet powerful. The poet uses words that are easy to understand, but at the same time, convey deep emotions. The use of the word "dear" to describe her husband shows the depth of affection she has for him.

The poet also uses religious language in the poem to express her faith. For example, she refers to her husband as her "better part," which is a reference to the biblical passage in Genesis 2:18, where God says that it is not good for man to be alone and that He will make a helper suitable for him.


The style used in this poem is typical of Anne Bradstreet's work. She uses a simple, yet elegant style to convey her message. She also uses classical allusions to add depth and meaning to her work.

For example, in the second stanza, she refers to the "Ganges," which is a river in India, to describe the distance between her and her husband. This allusion adds a touch of exoticism to the poem and emphasizes the vastness of the distance between them.

Historical Context

Anne Bradstreet lived during a time when women were not encouraged to express themselves creatively. However, she defied societal norms and wrote poetry, which was highly unusual for women of her time.

The historical context of this poem is also significant. It was written in 1661, just after the English Restoration, when King Charles II was reinstated as the ruler of England. This period was marked by political and social instability, and many people were uncertain about the future.

Anne Bradstreet was also affected by this uncertainty. Her husband was going to England on official business, and she did not know when he would return. The poem reflects her anxiety and her hope that he would return safely.


In conclusion, "Upon My Dear and Loving Husband his Going into England Jan. 16, 1661" is a beautiful poem that expresses the depth of love and affection that Anne Bradstreet had for her husband. The poem is also significant because it was written during a period of political and social instability, which adds to its depth and meaning.

The poem is a testament to Anne Bradstreet's talent as a poet and her courage as a woman who defied societal norms to express herself creatively. Her work remains relevant today and continues to inspire poets and readers alike.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Anne Bradstreet is one of the most celebrated poets of the 17th century, and her poem "Poetry Upon My Dear and Loving Husband his Going into England Jan. 16, 1661" is a masterpiece that showcases her exceptional talent. This poem is a tribute to her husband, Simon Bradstreet, who was leaving for England on January 16, 1661, to attend to some business matters. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail, exploring its themes, literary devices, and historical context.

The poem is a sonnet, a form of poetry that originated in Italy and became popular in England during the Renaissance. It consists of 14 lines, with a rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, a rhythmic pattern that consists of five iambs, or metrical feet, per line. An iamb is a metrical foot that consists of two syllables, with the first syllable unstressed and the second syllable stressed. This rhythmic pattern gives the poem a musical quality and makes it easy to read aloud.

The poem begins with the speaker expressing her love for her husband, saying that she loves him more than any other woman has loved her husband. She says that her love for him is so great that it cannot be measured or compared to anything else. This opening sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a celebration of the speaker's love for her husband.

In the second quatrain, the speaker compares her love for her husband to the love that the angels have for God. She says that just as the angels love God with all their hearts, she loves her husband with all her heart. This comparison elevates the speaker's love for her husband to a spiritual level, suggesting that it is pure and divine.

In the third quatrain, the speaker acknowledges that her husband is leaving her to go to England, but she says that their love will remain strong even though they are apart. She says that their love is like a bond that cannot be broken, even by distance or time. This idea of love as a bond that transcends physical distance is a common theme in Renaissance poetry, and it reflects the belief that true love is eternal and unchanging.

In the final couplet, the speaker expresses her hope that her husband will return safely from England. She says that she will pray for his safe return and that she will continue to love him with all her heart. This final couplet brings the poem to a close, emphasizing the speaker's love for her husband and her hope for his safe return.

One of the most striking features of this poem is its use of imagery. Throughout the poem, the speaker uses vivid and powerful images to convey the depth of her love for her husband. For example, in the first quatrain, she says that her love for her husband is "such that rivers cannot quench." This image suggests that her love is so intense that even the largest and most powerful natural force, a river, cannot extinguish it. Similarly, in the second quatrain, she compares her love for her husband to the love that the angels have for God, using the image of the angels' devotion to convey the depth and purity of her love.

Another notable feature of the poem is its use of repetition. Throughout the poem, the speaker repeats the phrase "my love" to emphasize the intensity and constancy of her feelings. This repetition creates a sense of rhythm and momentum, drawing the reader into the poem and emphasizing the speaker's emotional state.

The historical context of the poem is also important to consider. Anne Bradstreet was a Puritan poet who lived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the mid-17th century. Her husband, Simon Bradstreet, was a prominent figure in the colony and served as governor for several years. In 1661, he traveled to England to attend to some business matters, leaving Anne behind in the colony. The poem was written as a tribute to Simon and a reflection of Anne's feelings as she watched him depart.

In conclusion, "Poetry Upon My Dear and Loving Husband his Going into England Jan. 16, 1661" is a beautiful and powerful poem that showcases Anne Bradstreet's exceptional talent as a poet. Through its use of imagery, repetition, and rhythmic patterns, the poem conveys the depth and constancy of the speaker's love for her husband. It also reflects the historical context in which it was written, providing insight into the lives and emotions of Puritan colonists in the 17th century. Overall, this poem is a testament to the enduring power of love and the beauty of poetic expression.

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