The Four Elements by Anne Bradstreet

The Fire, Air, Earth and water did contest
Which was the strongest, noblest and the best,
Who was of greatest use and might’est force;
In placid Terms they thought now to discourse,
That in due order each her turn should speak;
But enmity this amity did break
All would be chief, and all scorn’d to be under
Whence issu’d winds & rains, lightning & thunder
The quaking earth did groan, the Sky looked black
The Fire, the forced Air, in sunder crack;
The sea did threat the heav’ns, the heavn’s the earth,
All looked like a Chaos or new birth:
Fire broiled Earth, & scorched Earth it choked
Both by their darings, water so provoked
That roaring in it came, and with its source
Soon made the Combatants abate their force
The rumbling hissing, puffing was so great
The worlds confusion, it did seem to threat
Till gentle Air, Contention so abated
That betwixt hot and cold, she arbitrated
The others difference, being less did cease
All storms now laid, and they in perfect peace
That Fire should first begin, the rest consent,
The noblest and most active Element.

Anne Bradstreet
1612-1672

About Russell Boyle

Russell Boyle is a mathematics teacher, writer, and poet. His poetry anthologies are titled The Beginning, Footprints and Loneliness. Russell is the author of the Year 7 to 8 Mathematics Short-Answer Tasks, the Year 7 to 10 Mathematics Multiple-Choice Tasks, the Year 9 to 10 Extended-Response Tasks, the solutions to the Year 12 VCAA Mathematics Exams and the Web-Programming For Beginners series of courses. Sample poems and questions may be downloaded from http://russellboyle.com
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2 Responses to The Four Elements by Anne Bradstreet

  1. cindy knoke says:

    Another new poet for me! Thank you Russel~

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