Skip to main content
Pages and Files
Brewster, Martha Wadsworth
Martha Wadsworth Brewster, who lived in Lebanon, Connecticut, published her
Poems on Divers Subjects
in New London (1757) and in Boston (1758). From this volume, we learn that her husband was named Oliver; her daughter, Ruby; and her son, Wadsworth. Brewster also provides a short notice (in prose) of a dream she had after her father's death in 1744, in which his spirit descended from Heaven to answer her questions about religion. Another notice relates the way in which Brewster vindicated herself from accusations of plagiarism. A Biblical extract (Chronicles Chapter 6, Verses 16-18) was presented to her "to translate into verse, in a few minutes Extempore," which task she accordingly accomplished.
"Pardon her bold Attempt"
Pardon her bold Attempt who has reveal'd
Her thoughts to View, more fit to be Conceal'd;
Since thus to do was urged Vehemently,
Yet most no doubt will call it vanity;
Condemn the Stile you may without Offence,
Call it Insipid, wanting Eloquence.
I Blush to Gaul so delicate an Ear,
Which to Sublimer Sonnets do adhere;
For why my Muse had but a single Aim,
My Self and nearest Friends to Entertain;
But since some have a gift for Novelty,
I here presume upon your Clemency,
For rare it is to see a
Or that my
have e're appear'd:
Let me improve my Talent tho' but small,
And thus it humbly wait upon you shall.
An Acrostick for my only Son
hile Amorous, Gay, and Sanguine swells thy Veins,
n Off'ring of first Fruits,
ue Odours of a sweet Perfume Present,
teep'd in the Blood of the New Covenant;
hat vulgar Notes Applaud, must be Suspected;
bedience to the Standard ne'er Neglected:
etire within the Mind, and shut the Door,
o all disorder'd Passions, Rude and Sow'r,
ere summons, and exert each Manly Pow'r.
y Adequate, and Studious Observation,
ise to the Poles, then dive to Navigation.
arly inrich thy Heart with moral Virtues,
hereby to rectify invarted Nature:
urvey the Globe of Man, then turn thine Eyes
o search through Nature's obscure Mysteries;
nby may Hiss in Vain, at virt'ous Minds,
egent in her own Breast, she sits Inshrin'd.
An Acrostick for my only Daughter
eceive good Counsel of the Wife, nor let
nhallow'd Lips Provoke, or Cause to Fret.
e Wife and Virt'ous, Modest, Chast and Grave,
ncrease in Learning, practise what you have,
nter the Light 'gainst Sin, with courage Brave.
e not Exalted far above your Sphere;
egard those Minds that truly Noble are:
steem a real Friend, if such there be;
ith Kindness overcome an Enemie:
et not your Heart on Pomp, and Worldly Pleasure,
is not a lasting, nor a solid Treasure.
mploy your Thoughts on Good, delight in Reading,
, and Live, and Die Believing.
A Letter to My Daughter Ruby Bliss
My only Daughter Dear, my Heart's Delight,
Since cruel Distance keeps thee from my Sight:
I breath forth Sighs into the empty Air,
My best Desires pursue thee ev'ry where.
My ardent Love can reach thee where thou art,
And mingle with thy sympathizing Heart.
My Breast a Magazine of tend'rest Passions,
Pregnant with Grief, seeks Vent in sev'ral Fashions:
Sometimes the optick Fountains up do break,
And liquid Salts do deluge o'er my Cheek:
Each Filial due Performance strikes my Heart,
And mournful Pleasure shoots through ev'ry Part;
[illegible] Fancies o'er the Mind still Float,
Sometimes your Joys, and pros'prous State I doat,
But grim Distrust soon rifles my Repose,
Presents you Sick, Bereav'd and full of Woes:
O Absence! Absence! sharper than a Thorn,
The tender Sian from the Stock is Torn:
But sure my fond affections wildly Rove,
My nobler Pow'rs in higher Orbs should move.
O Glorious Landlord! Thou hast pruned me,
Then Grant me Grace, to bear much Fruit to Thee.
My pleasant Branch, which thou hast Grafted,
Make her the charge of Angles, and afford,
Thy special Benediction while Alive,
Then to some Glorious Mansion her Receive;
But while she's Station'd here, let her obtain
Such precious Fruit as shall embalm her Name:
Let Bud, and Branch, and Tree securely stand,
Drest by the Culture of thy Gracious Hand:
Planted by purling Streams, and crystial Founts,
In Gospel Soil, and circle-ed about,
With a bright Rainbow of the Promises,
A sure Defence and costly purchas'd Peace.
Chear up my drooping Heart, shake of thy Woes,
Tho' cruel Distance means to interpose.
There is a Place where we may Daily meet,
With joynt Request, before the Mercy Seat;
In hopes of which your tender Mother rests,
Until your Countenance her Eyes shall Bless.
Brewster, Martha Wadsworth.
Poems on Divers Subjects.
New London: John Green, 1757.
Cowell, Pattie Lee.
Women Poets in Pre-Revolutionary America, 1650-1775.
University of Massachusetts, 1977.
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"