‘To My Dear and Loving Husband’
This week I heard about a mid-seventeenth century poet called Ann Bradstreet. Ann lived in the new world (now the United States of America) and was the first, not just woman but person, to have a book of poems published there.
In her book was a poem entitled ‘To my Dear and Loving Husband’.
If ever two were one, then surely we.
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,
Or 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 had to read this poem a few times, slowly line by line to let her meaning sink in. Part of it was probably the different rhythm and order of words, not to mention the quite flowery imagery. As one ponders each line an image I can grasp comes to light. She really loved and appreciated her husband. I am sure that living in those times life was not at all easy and having someone she could trust and admire to do life with must have been such a blessing to her. and here she is using her talent for words to show him her gratitude.
I don’t have her gift for being such a noteworthy wordsmith but I do share her deep gratitude for a wonderful partner. Sometimes in the daily living of life my gratitude is not found front and centre but reading a poem like this brings it back and makes me remember that I too have a dear and loving husband to do life with. I really am most blessed and most grateful.
She gets it right when she says that there is no way to ever repay his love. Getting the gift of love from someone else is a real treasure, and even more so when we know that they know all our warts and faults. When they still give us love that’s priceless. Abundant blessing from heaven is her request for him.
My ‘dear and loving husband’ flies home today. I have missed him. Perhaps that is why this poem is hitting the spot for me today and making all this gratefulness well up for the one I get to do life with. Do you ever get these overwhelming floods of appreciation for your partner and the gift they give you? For the life you get to build together, not necessarily perfect but unique and quirky to you two? Well, that’s me today loving and appreciating him. Looking forward to his return. And being incredibly grateful for the love we have. Safe travels home, my Love.