As Weary Pilgrim

Anne Bradstreet*

As weary pilgrim, now at rest,

Hugs with delight his silent nest,

His wasted limbs now lie full soft

That mirey steps have trodden oft,

Blesses himself to think upon

His dangers past, and travails done.

The burning sun, no more shall heat.

Nor stormy rains on him shall beat.

The briars and thorns no more shall scratch,

Nor hungry wolves at him shall catch.

He erring paths no more shall tread,

Nor wild fruits eat instead of bread.

For waters cold he doth not long

For thirst no more shall parch his tongue.

No rugged stones his feet shall gall,

Nor stumps nor rocks cause to fall.

All cares and fears he bids farewell

And means in safety now to dwell.

A pilgrim I, on earth perplexed

With sins, with cares and sorrows vext,

By age and pains brought to decay.

And my clay house mold'ring away.

Oh, how I long to be at rest

And soar on high among the blest.

This body shall in silence sleep,

Mine eyes no more shall ever weep,

No fainting fits shall me assail,

Nor grinding pains my body frail,

With cares and fears ne'er cumb'red be

Nor losses know, nor sorrows see.

What though my flesh shall there consume,

It is the bed Christ did perfume,

And when a few years shall be gone,

This mortal shall be clothed upon.

A corrupt carcass down it lays,

A glorious body it shall rise.

In weakness and dishonour sown,

In power 'tis raised by Christ alone.

Then soul and body shall unite

And of their Maker have the sight.

Such lasting joys shall there behold

As ear ne'er heard nor tongue e'er told.

Lord make me ready for that day,

Then come, dear Bridegroom, come away.

Aug. 31, 1669


*Puritan poetess Anne Bradstreet (ca. 1612-1672) sailed with John Winthrop and her husband Simon on the Arabella from England to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. Mother of eight children, she wrote her verses in devotion to her God, her Savior and her family. Her poetry shows the influence of Guillaume du Bartas (Divine Weeks and Works), Edmund Spenser (Faerie Queene) and Sir Philip Sydney. The first edition of her poems was released unbeknownst to her, in 1650 by her brother-in-law. An enlarged edition was published posthumously in 1678.