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Quotes

Quote #1

Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge). (5-6)

“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,
The visage was so irksome in my sight, (9-10)

“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,
But nought save home-spun cloth, i' th' house I find. (17-18)

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.

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