| Quote #1
Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge,
“Rags” sounds like what we’d expect a poor child to be wearing, doesn’t it? Here “rags” also describes a metaphorical poverty, the “poor” and tattered quality of the speaker’s poems.
| Quote #2
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
“Unfit for light” and “irksome in my sight”—sounds like the revulsion you’d experience if you saw a kid in nasty “rags.” In other words, this is the speaker’s response to the “poverty” of her work.
| Quote #3
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
The speaker wishes she could “afford” to give her child “better dress,” but all she has is “home-spun cloth.” These lines echo the lines about “rags” earlier, and continue to describe the woman’s book as a poor, destitute child.