If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov’d 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 recompetence.
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.
Short Poem Analysis
"To My Dear and Loving Husband" by Anne Bradstreet is a deeply emotional and heartfelt poem that celebrates the intensity of marital love and the spiritual connection between two souls. Written in the Puritan colonial America, the poem stands as one of the earliest examples of American poetry and offers a glimpse into the personal sentiments of the author.
The poem's opening lines immediately establish the theme of profound love and connection. The speaker addresses her "dear and loving husband," expressing her belief that their souls are intertwined in a spiritual union that transcends the earthly realm. This spiritual dimension of love reflects the Puritan worldview, where the marital bond was seen as not only a human relationship but also a sacred covenant.
Throughout the poem, the speaker employs religious and biblical imagery to convey the depth of her affection. The use of terms like "mine" and "thine" underscores the possessiveness and intimacy of their relationship, while phrases like "Two better ones till now, never made" express the idea that their love is a divine creation.
Bradstreet's language is characterized by simplicity and sincerity, reflecting her Puritan values of humility and devotion. The poem's structure, consisting of rhyming couplets, contributes to its balanced and harmonious tone, mirroring the sense of balance and harmony in the speaker's marriage.
Overall, "To My Dear and Loving Husband" is a celebration of both earthly and spiritual love, a reflection of the author's own personal experiences and beliefs. It serves as a timeless expression of the enduring power of love, transcending time and cultural context to resonate with readers across generations.