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Of The Four Ages Of Man - Poem by Anne Bradstreet

Lo, now four other act upon the stage,
Childhood and Youth, the Many and Old age:
The first son unto phlegm, grandchild to water,
Unstable, supple, cold and moist's his nature
The second, frolic, claims his pedigree
From blood and air, for hot and moist is he.
The third of fire and choler is compos'd,
Vindicative and quarrelsome dispos'd.
The last of earth and heavy melancholy,
Solid, hating all lightness and all folly.
Childhood was cloth'd in white and green to show
His spring was intermixed with some snow:
Upon his head nature a garland set
Of Primrose, Daisy and the Violet.
Such cold mean flowers the spring puts forth betime,
Before the sun hath thoroughly heat the clime.
His hobby striding did not ride but run,
And in his hand an hour-glass new begun,
In danger every moment of a fall,
And when 't is broke then ends his life and all:
But if he hold till it have run its last,
Then may he live out threescore years or past.
Next Youth came up in gorgeous attire
(As that fond age doth most of all desire),
His suit of crimson and his scarf of green,
His pride in's countenance was quickly seen;
Garland of roses, pinks and gillyflowers
Seemed on's head to grow bedew'd with showers.
His face as fresh as is Aurora fair,
When blushing she first 'gins to light the air.
No wooden horse, but one of mettle tried,
He seems to fly or swim, and not to ride.
Then prancing on the stage, about he wheels,
But as he went death waited at his heels,
The next came up in a much graver sort,
As one that cared for a good report,
His sword by's side, and choler in his eyes,
But neither us'd as yet, for he was wise;
Of Autumn's fruits a basket on his arm,
His golden god in's purse, which was his charm.
And last of all to act upon this stage
Leaning upon his staff came up Old Age,
Under his arm a sheaf of wheat he bore,
An harvest of the best, what needs he more?
In's other hand a glass ev'n almost run,
Thus writ about: "This out, then am I done."

Comments about Of The Four Ages Of Man by Anne Bradstreet

  • Gold Star - 11,882 Points Frank Avon (8/19/2014 4:14:00 PM)

    If the colonies had had a poet laureate, it should have been she. (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 6,422 Points Patricia Grantham (8/19/2014 9:48:00 AM)

    I enjoyed this poem full of laughter and very witty.
    The poets heart and soul was poured into this
    write. Enjoyed it. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Serena Silenced (8/19/2013 11:47:00 PM)

    Very good! Very witty. I really enjoyed it. Why are people not voting this a proper number? Definitely not a five. Come on! (Report) Reply

Read all 12 comments »

Poems About Couplet

  1. 51. Of The Four Ages Of Man , Anne Bradstreet
  2. 52. Eloisa To Abelard , Alexander Pope
  3. 53. The Debt , Paul Laurence Dunbar
  4. 54. Love And Friendship , Emily Jane Brontë
  5. 55. On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer , John Keats
  6. 56. A Dialogue Between Old England And New , Anne Bradstreet
  7. 57. Sonnet 80: O, How I Faint When I Of You .. , William Shakespeare
  8. 58. Wild Peaches , Elinor Morton Wylie
  9. 59. Childhood , Anne Bradstreet
  10. 60. The Harlem Dancer , Claude McKay
  11. 61. A Virginal , Ezra Pound
  12. 62. Only Until This Cigarette Is Ended , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  13. 63. The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 1 , Alexander Pope
  14. 64. Religio Laici , John Dryden
  15. 65. The Lynching , Claude McKay
  16. 66. On A Proposed Trip South , William Carlos Williams
  17. 67. The Uses Of Poetry , William Carlos Williams
  18. 68. Sonnet Lxxiii , William Shakespeare
  19. 69. Sonnet 147: My Love Is As A Fever, Longi.. , William Shakespeare
  20. 70. Sonnet Xxix: When, In Disgrace With Fort.. , William Shakespeare
  21. 71. Sonnet Lxxi: Who Will In Fairest Book , Sir Philip Sidney
  22. 72. Mac Flecknoe: A Satire Upon The True-Blu.. , John Dryden
  23. 73. Idea Li: Calling To Mind Since First My .. , Michael Drayton
  24. 74. Delia Xlv: Care-Charmer Sleep, Son Of Th.. , Samuel Daniel
  25. 75. The Hippopotamus , Ogden Nash
  26. 76. Where Lies The Land To Which The Ship Wo.. , Arthur Hugh Clough
  27. 77. His Prayer To Ben Jonson , Robert Herrick
  28. 78. The Author To Her Book , Anne Bradstreet
  29. 79. Absalom And Achitophel , John Dryden
  30. 80. Sonnet 65: Since Brass, Nor Stone, Nor E.. , William Shakespeare
  31. 81. The Reading Mother , Strickland Gillilan
  32. 82. Ode To Stephen Dowling Bots, Dec'D , Mark Twain
  33. 83. Mountains , Henry Kendall
  34. 84. Rhyme Builder , Robert William Service
  35. 85. Leaves From Australian Forests (12 Sonne.. , Henry Kendall
  36. 86. Verses On The Death Of Dr. Swift, D.S.P.D. , Jonathan Swift
  37. 87. Morning Swim , Maxine Kumin
  38. 88. Sick , Shel Silverstein
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