Tuesday, May 05, 2009

When husbands and wives knew how to profess their love

Benjmain Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He professed his love for his wife in this poem, written in 1812, on the occasion of their 36th anniversary one year before his death.

To Mrs. Julia Rush from her husband Benjamin Rush, 36 years after their marriage.

When tossed upon the bed of pain
And every healing art was vain,
Whose prayers brought back my life again?
My Julia's.

When shafts of scandal 'round me flew
And ancient friends no longer knew my humble name,
Whose heart was true?
My Julia's. 

When falsehood aimed its poison dart
And treachery pierced my bleeding heart,
Whose friendship did a cure impart?
My Julia's.

When hope was weak and faith was dead
And every earthly joy was fled, 
Whose hand sustained my drooping head?
My Julia's.

When worn by age and sunk in years,
My shadow at full length appears,
Who shall anticipate my cares?
My Julia.

When life's low wick shall feebly blaze 
And weeping children on me gaze,
Who shall assist my prayers and praise?
My Julia.

And when my mortal parts shall lay,
Waiting in hope the final day,
Who shall mourn o'er my sleeping clay?
My Julia. 

And when the stream of time shall end,
And the last trump my grave shall rend,
Who shall with me to heaven ascend?
My Julia.

Anne Bradstreet was an author who lived from 1612-1672.

To My Dear and Loving Husband

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.