Discover the Bible and Hope in History

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


By Night When Others Soundly Slept

Anne Bradstreet (1612–1672) came to America with her family in 1630, settling in the Puritan colony of Massachusetts, where her father and husband became governors. She is generally recognized as America’s first poet. This poem relives her faith-filled response to a sleepless night. 

1. By night when others soundly slept,

And hath at once both ease and Rest,

My waking eyes were open kept,

And so to lie I found it best. 

2. I sought him whom my Soul did Love, [Song 3:4]

With tears I sought him earnestly; [Psalm 6:6; Hebrews 11:6]

He bow’d his ear down from Above, [Psalm 39:12; 1 Peter 5:7]

In vain I did not seek or cry. [Proverbs 8:17]

3. My hungry Soul he fill’d with Good; [Ecclesiastes 6:3]

He in his Bottle put my tears, [Psalm 56:8]

My smarting wounds washed in his blood, [Revelation 1:5]

And banished thence my Doubts and fears. 

4. What to my Saviour shall I give,

Who freely hath done this for me?

I’ll serve him here whilst I shall live

And Love him to Eternity.


Have you experienced nights like that described in the poem? How did you respond? What does Anne Bradstreet draw on for hope? Find a King James Version Bible (maybe alongside a more modern translation), and look up the verses she draws on. Consider memorizing one of today’s three Bible readings. 

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