A few years back I came across this poem To My Dear and Loving Husband and its author, Anne Bradstreet, in an old book I was reading about the Pilgrims. She was a Puritan English poet from Northampton, England, and the first woman to have her works published in America. You can read more about Anne Bradstreet here but a brief background is in order:
“Anne Bradstreet was the first woman to be recognized as an accomplished New World Poet. Her volume of poetry “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America” received considerable favorable attention when it was first published in London in 1650. Eight years after it appeared it was listed by William London in his Catalogue of the Most Vendible Books in England, and George III is reported to have had the volume in his library. Bradstreet’s work has endured, and she is still considered to be one of the most important early American poets.”
To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Of all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold I pray.
Then, while we live, in love let’s so persever,
That when we live no more we may live ever.
I’ve been learning English Roundhand (also known as ‘Copperplate’ script) since mid-January of this year, and for my daily drills I’ve been writing the scriptures as well as old poems. As you can see in the photo, I haven’t yet perfected the thin upstrokes, or thick downstrokes, or the ovals in each letterform. It’s not even in a precise 55 degree angle. It’s far from perfect and I suspect that even with 30 minutes practice everyday, it might take me years to get it right.😂 The featured image was written in a rough 300 gsm calligraphy paper (I’ve added a bit of artwork on the border using metallic ink/watercolours), and the two photos above are rough drafts, practice sheets, before I did the 3rd and final work. I presented it to Jared for our anniversary😆 and Lord willing, I’ll have to rewrite this again next year to see if I’ve made some progress.