A Midwife’s Memoir Penned in Tears
What cruel adulterate alchemy
Did torture this alembic, thy womb!
Were not the frost the bane of elder days?
Not so, alas:
The winter’s droplet hath
Betimes imbued thy still‐distilling spring,
And given unto budding life
A deathly flowering.
Some of these words are archaic. See this guide:
Adulterate: in the adjectival sense of adulterated, i.e., rendered impure by the introduction of something foul.
Alembic: a distilling apparatus used formerly in alchemy.
Betimes: to quote Oxford verbatim, before the usual or expected time; early
Unto: in this sense, ‘to’
The verb‐ending ‘th’ in Early Modern English (the kind Shakespeare and contemporaries wrote in) indicates the third person singular present tense, like our ‘s’. For example, ‘he hath been here and there’ is equivalent to ‘he has been here and there’.