Several poems compiled with great variety of wit and learning, full of delight wherein especially is contained a compleat discourse, and description of the four elements, constitutions, ages of man, seasons of the year, together with an exact epitome of the three by a gentlewoman in New-England.
Bradstreet, Anne, 1612?-1672.

Xerxes,

Xerxes, Darius, and Atossa's Son,
Grand child to Cyrus, now sits on the Throne:
(His eldest brother put beside the place,
Because this was, first born of Cyrus race.)
His Father not so full of lenity,
As was his Son of pride and cruelty;
He with his Crown receives a double war,
The Egyptians to reduce, and Greece to marr,
The first begun, and finish'd in such haste,
None write by whom, nor how, 'twas over past.
But for the last, he made such preparation,
As if to dust, he meant, to grinde that nation;
Page  103Yet all his men, and Instruments of slaughter,
Produced but deriion and laughter,
Sage Artabanus Counsel had he taken,
And's Couzen young Mardonius forsaken,
His Souldiers credit, wealth at home had staid,
And Greece such wondrous triumphs ne'r had made.
The first dehorts and layes before his eyes
His Fathers ill success, in's enterprize,
Against the Scythians and Grecians too,
What Infamy to's honour did accrew.
Flatt'ring Mardonius on the other side;
With conquest of all Europe, feeds his pride:
Vain Xerxes thinks his counsel hath most wit,
That his ambitious humour best can fit;
And by this choice unwarily posts on,
To present loss, future subversion.
Although be hasted, yet four years was spent
In great provisions, for this great intent:
His Army of all Nations was compounded,
That the vast Persian government surrounded.
His Foot was seventeen hundred thousand strong,
Eight hundred thousand horses to these belong
His Camels, beasts for carriage numberless,
For Truths asham'd, how many to express;
The charge of all, he severally commended
To Princes, of the Persian bloud descended:
But the command of these commanders all,
Unto Mardonius made their General,
(He was the Son of the fore nam'd Gobrius,
Who married the Sister of Darius.)
Page  104Such his land Forces were, then next a fleet,
Of two and twenty thousand Gallies meet
Man'd with Phenicians and Pamphylians
Cipriots, Dorians and Cilicians,
Lycians, Carians and Ionians,
Eolians and the Helispontines
Besides the vessels for his transportation,
Which to three thousand came (by best relation)
Brave Artemisia, Hallicarnassus Queen
In person present for his aid was seen,
Whose Gallyes all the rest in neatness pass,
Save the Zdonians, where Xerxes was:
But hers she kept still seperate from the rest,
For to command alone, she judg'd was best.
O noble Queen, thy valour I commend;
But pitty 'twas thine aid thou here didst lend.
At Sardis in Lydia, all these do meet,
Whether rich Pythias comes Xerxes to greet,
Feasts all this multitude of his own charge,
Then gives the King a king-like gift full large,
Three thousand talents of the purest gold,
Which mighty sum all wondred to behold:
Then humbly to the king he makes request,
One of his five sons there might be releas'd,
To be to's age a comfort and a stay,
The other four he freely gave away.
The king calls for the youth, who being brought,
Cuts him in twain for whom his Sire besought,
Then laid his parts on both sides of the way,
'Twixt which his souldiers marcht in good array.
Page  105For his great love is this thy recompence?
Is this to do like Xerxes or a Prince?
Thou shame of kings, of men the detestation,
I Rhetorick want to pour out execration.
First thing he did that's worthy of recount,
A Sea passage cut behind Athos mount.
Next o're the Helespont a bridge he made
Of Boats together coupled, and there laid:
But winds and waves those iron bands did break,
To cross the sea such strength he found too weak,
Then whips the sea, and with a mind most vain
He fetters cast therein the same to chain.
The work-men put to death the bridge that made,
Because they wanted skill the same to've staid.
Seven thousand Gallyes chaind by Tyrians skill,
Firmly at last accomplished his will.
Seven dayes and nights, his host without least stay
Was marching o're this new devised way.
Then in Abidus plains mustring his forces,
He gloryes in his squadrons and his horses,
Long viewing them, thought it great happiness,
One king so many subjects should possess:
But yet this sight from him produced tears,
That none of those could live an hundred years.
What after did ensue had he foreseen,
Of so long time his thoughts had never been.
Of Artubanus he again demands
How of this enterprise his thoughts now stands,
His answ•• was, both sea and land he fear'd,
Which was not vain as after soon appear'd.
Page  106But Xerxes resolute to Thrace goes first,
His Host all Lissus drinks, to quench their thirst,
And for his Cattel, all Pissyrus Lake
Was scarce enough for each a draught to take:
Then marching on to th' streight Thermopyle,
The Spartan meets him brave Leonade;
This 'twixt the mountains lyes (half Acre wide)
That pleasant Thessaly from Greece divide
Two dayes and nights, a fight they there maintain,
Till twenty thousand Persians fell down lain;
And all that Army then dismaid, had fled,
But that a Fugitive discovered.
How some might o're the mountains go about,
And wound the backs of those brave warriors stout
They thus behem'd with multitude of Foes,
Laid on more fiercely their deep mortal blows.
None cries for quarter nor yet seeks to run;
But on their ground they die each Mothers Son.
O noble Greeks, how now degenerate,
Where is the valour of your ancient State?
When as one thousand could a million daunt,
Alas! it is Leonades you want.
This shameful victory cost Xerxes dear,
Among the rest, two brothers he lost there;
And as at Land, so he at Sea was crost,
Four hundred stately Ships by storms was lost;
Of Vessels small almot innumerable,
The Harbours to contain them was not 〈◊〉
Yet thinking to out match his Foes at S••
Enclos'd their Fleet i'th' streight of Eube••
Page  107But they as fortunate at Sea as Land,
In this streight as the other firmly stand.
And Xerxes mighty Gallyes battered so,
That their split sides witness'd his overthrow;
Then in the streight of Salamis he try'd,
If that small number his great force could? bide:
But he in daring of his forward Foe,
Received there a shameful overthrow.
Twice beaten thus at Sea he warr'd no more,
But then the P••cians Country wasted sore;
They no way able to withstand his force,
That brave Themistocles takes this wise course,
In secret manner word to Xerxes sends,
That Greeks to break his Bridg shortly intends:
Ad as a friend warns him what e're he do
For his Retreat, to have an ee thereto,
He hearing this, his thoughts & course home bended
Much fearing that which never was intended.
Yet 'fore he went to help out his expence
Part of his Host to Delphos sent from thence,
To rob the wealthy Temple of Apollo,
But mischief sacriledge doth ever follow.
Two mighty Rocks brake from Parnassus hill,
And many thousands of those men did kill;
VVhich accident the rest affrighted so,
VVith empty hands they to their Master go:
He finding all, to tend to his decay,
Fearing his Bridge, no longer there wuld stay.
Three hundred thousand yet he left behind,
VVith his Mardonius Index of his mind;
Page  108Who for his sake he knew would venture farre,
(Chief instigator of this hapless warr.)
He instantly to Athens sends for peace,
That all Hostility from thence forth cease;
And that with Xerxes they would be at one,
So should all favour to their State be shown.
The Spartans fearing Athens would agree,
As had Macedon, Thebes, and Thessaly,
And leave them out, this Shock now to sustain,
By their Ambassador they thus complain,
That Xerxes quarrel was 'gainst Athens State,
And they had helpt them as Confederate;
If in their need they should forsake their friends,
Their infamy would last till all things ends:
But the Athenians this peace detest,
And thus reply'd unto Mardon's request.
That whil'st the Sun did run his endless Course
Against the Persians, they would bend their force;
Nor could the brave Ambassador he sent,
With Rhetorick gain better Complement:
A Macedonian born, and great Commander.
No less then grand-Sire to great Alexadr
Mardonius proud hearing this Answer stout,
To add more to his numbers layes about;
And of those Greeks which by his Skill he'd won,
He fifty thousand joyns unto his own:
The other Greeks which were Confedeate
In all one hundred and ten thousand made
The Athenians could but forty thousand Arme,
The rest had weapons would do little harm;
Page  109But that which helpt defects, and made them bold,
Was victory by Oracle foretold.
Then for one battel shortly all provide;
Where both their Controversies they'l decide;
Ten dayes these Armyes did each other face,
Mardonius finding victuals wast apace,
No lnger dar'd, but bravely on set gave,
The other not a hand nor Sword would wave,
Til in the ntrails of their Sacrifice
The signal of their victory did rise,
Which found like Greeks they fight, the Persians fly,
And troublesome Mardonius now must dye.
All's lost, and of three hundred thousand men,
Three thousand only can run home agen.
For pitty let those few to Xerxes go,
To certifie his final overthrow:
Same day the small remainder of his Fleet,
The Grecians at Mycale in Asia meet.
And there so utterly they wrackt the same,
Scarce one was left to carry home the Fame;
Thus did the Greeks, consume, destroy, disperse.
That Army, which did fright the Universe.
Scorn'd Xerxes bated for his cruelty,
Yet ceases not to act his villany.
His brothers wife solicites to his will,
The chast and beautious Dame refused still;
Some years by him in this vain suit was spent,
Nor prayers nor gifts could win him least content;
Nor matching of her daughter to his Son,
But she was still as when he first begun:
Page  110When jealous Queen Amestris of this knew,
She Harpy like upon the Lady flew,
Cut off her breasts her lips her nose and ears,
And leavs her thus besmear'd in bloud and tears.
Straight comes her Lord, and finds his wife thus ly,
The sorrow of his heart did close his Eye▪
He dying to behold that wounding sight,
Where he had sometime gaz'd with great delight,
To see that face where rose, and Lillyes stood,
O'reflown with Torrent of her guiltless bloud,
To see those breasts where Chastity did dwell,
Thus cut and mangled by a Hag of Hell:
With loaden heart unto the King he goes,
Tells as he could his unexpressed woes;
But for his deep complaints and showres of tears,
His brothers recompence was nought but jears:
The grieved prince finding nor right, nor love,
To Bactria his houshold did remove.
His brother sent soon after him a crew,
With him and his most barbarously there slew
Unto such height did grow his cruelty,
Of life no man had least security.
At last his Uncle did his death conspire,
And for that end his Eunuch he did hire;
Who privately him smother'd in his bed,
But yet by search he was found murthered;
Then Artabanus hirer of this deed,
That from suspition he might be fre'd:
Accus'd Darius X••xes eldest Son,
To be the Author of the crime was done.
Page  111And by his craft order'd the matter so,
That the Prince innocent to death did goe:
But in short time this wickedness was known,
For which he died, and not he alone,
But all his Family was likewise slain:
Such Justice in the Persian Court did reign.
The eldest son thus immaturely dead,
The second was inthron'd in's fathers stead.