Page:Anne Bradstreet and her time.djvu/264

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248
ANNE BRADSTREET.

CHAPTER XII.

miscellaneous poems.


THOUGH the series of quaternions which form the major part of the poems, have separate titles and were written at various times, they are in fact a single poem, containing sixteen personified characters, all of them giving their views with dreary facility and all of them to the Puritan mind, eminently correct and respectable personalities. The "Four Seasons" won especial commendations from her most critical readers, but for all of them there seems to have been a delighted acceptance of every word this phenomenal woman had thought it good to pen. Even fifty years ago, a woman's work, whether prose or verse, which came before the public, was hailed with an enthusiastic appreciation, it is difficult to-day to comprehend, Mrs. S. C. Hall emphasizing this in a paragraph on Hannah More, who held much the relation to old England that Anne Bradstreet did to the New. "In this age, when female talent is so rife—when, indeed, it is not too much to say women have fully sustained their right to equality with men in reference to all the productions of the mind—it is difficult to comprehend the popularity, almost amounting to adoration, with which a woman writer was