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.
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Kind Reader:

HAd I opportunity but to borrow some of the Authors wit, 'tis possible I might so trim this curious work with such quaint expressions, as that the Preface might bespeak thy further Perusal; but I fear 'twill be a shame for a Man that can speak so little, To be seen in the title page of this Womans Book, lest by comparing the one with the other, the Rea∣der hould pass his sentence that it is the gift of wo∣mn not only to speak most but to speak best; I shall leave therefore to commend that, which with any ingenious Reader will too much commend the Au∣thor, unless men turn more peevish then women, to envy the excellency of the inferiour Sex. I doubt not but the Reader will quickly find more then I can say, and the worst effect of his reading will be unbelief, which will make him question whether it be a womans work, and aske, Is is possible? If any do, take this as an answer from him that dares avow it; It is the Work of a Woman, honoured, and esteemed where she lives, for her gracious de∣meanour, her eminent parts, her pious conversa∣tion, her courteous disposition, her exact diligence in her place, and discreet managing of her Family Page  [unnumbered] occasions, and more then so, these Poems are the fruit but of some few houres, curtailed from her sleep and other refreshments. I dare adde little lest I keep thee too long; if thou wilt not believe the worth of these things (in their kind) when a man sayes it, yet believe it from a woman when thou seest it. This only I shall annex, I fear the dis∣pleasure of no person in the publishing of these Poems but the Author, without whose knowledg, and contrary to her expectation, I have presumed to bring to publick view, what she resolved in such a manner should never see the Sun; but I found that diverse had gotten some scattered Pa∣pers, affected them well, were likely to have sent forth broken pieces, to the Authors prejudice, which I thought to prevent, as well as to pleasure those that earnestly desired the view of the whole.