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Best Famous Anne Kingsmill Finch Poems

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Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

A Nocturnal Reverie

In such a night, when every louder wind
Is to its distant cavern safe confined;
And only gentle Zephyr fans his wings,
And lonely Philomel, still waking, sings;
Or from some tree, famed for the owl's delight,
She, hollowing clear, directs the wand'rer right:
In such a night, when passing clouds give place,
Or thinly veil the heav'ns' mysterious face;
When in some river, overhung with green,
The waving moon and trembling leaves are seen;
When freshened grass now bears itself upright,
And makes cool banks to pleasing rest invite,
Whence springs the woodbind, and the bramble-rose,
And where the sleepy cowslip sheltered grows;
Whilst now a paler hue the foxglove takes,
Yet checkers still with red the dusky brakes
When scattered glow-worms, but in twilight fine,
Shew trivial beauties watch their hour to shine;
Whilst Salisb'ry stands the test of every light,
In perfect charms, and perfect virtue bright:
When odors, which declined repelling day,
Through temp'rate air uninterrupted stray;
When darkened groves their softest shadows wear,
And falling waters we distinctly hear;
When through the gloom more venerable shows
Some ancient fabric, awful in repose,
While sunburnt hills their swarthy looks conceal,
And swelling haycocks thicken up the vale:
When the loosed horse now, as his pasture leads,
Comes slowly grazing through th' adjoining meads,
Whose stealing pace, and lengthened shade we fear,
Till torn-up forage in his teeth we hear:
When nibbling sheep at large pursue their food,
And unmolested kine rechew the cud;
When curlews cry beneath the village walls,
And to her straggling brood the partridge calls;
Their shortlived jubilee the creatures keep,
Which but endures, whilst tyrant man does sleep;
When a sedate content the spirit feels,
And no fierce light disturbs, whilst it reveals;
But silent musings urge the mind to seek
Something, too high for syllables to speak;
Till the free soul to a composedness charmed,
Finding the elements of rage disarmed,
O'er all below a solemn quiet grown,
Joys in th' inferior world, and thinks it like her own:
In such a night let me abroad remain,
Till morning breaks, and all's confused again;
Our cares, our toils, our clamors are renewed,
Or pleasures, seldom reached, again pursued.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

Adam Posed

Could our first father, at his toilsome plow,
Thorns in his path, and labor on his brow,
Clothed only in a rude, unpolished skin,
Could he a vain fantastic nymph have seen,
In all her airs, in all her antic graces,
Her various fashions, and more various faces;
How had it posed that skill, which late assigned
Just appellations to each several kind!
A right idea of the sight to frame;
T'have guessed from what new element she came;
T'have hit the wav'ring form, or giv'n this thing a name.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

HOPE

 Do you believe, in what you see
do you believe in reality
do you believe in the sun that’s bright
do you believe in the stars in the night

Do you believe in the birds that fly
do you believe in clouds and the sky
do you believe in wind that flows
do you believe in moon that glows
do you believe in light

Do you believe the spoken word
do you believe the things you’ve heard
do you believe in the final answer
do you believe in the swirling dancer


Do you believe in sound and sight
do you believe in moments bright
do you believe in taste and touch
do you believe that much

Do you believe in the soul inside
do you believe in ecstasy and delight
do you believe in glory and god
do you believe in that thought

Do you believe in the sky above
do you believe in love 

Do you believe in the heaven and the earth 
do you believe in death and birth
do you believe in life

open your eyes with hope within
open the door, let light reach in
if you believe, then you'll win

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

Jealousy

 VAIN Love, why do'st thou boast of Wings, 
That cannot help thee to retire! 
When such quick Flames Suspicion brings, 
As do the Heart about thee fire.
Still Swift to come, but when to go Thou shou'd'st be more–Alas! how Slow.
Lord of the World must surely be But thy bare Title at the most; Since Jealousy is Lord of Thee, And makes such Havock on thy Coast, As do's thy pleasant Land deface, Yet binds thee faster to the Place.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

The Change

 POOR River, now thou'rt almost dry, 
What Nymph, or Swain, will near thee lie? 
Since brought, alas! to sad Decay, 
What Flocks, or Herds, will near thee stay? 
The Swans, that sought thee in thy Pride, 
Now on new Streams forgetful ride: 
And Fish, that in thy Bosom lay, 
Chuse in more prosp'rous Floods to play.
All leave thee, now thy Ebb appears, To waste thy sad Remains in Tears; Nor will thy mournful Murmurs heed.
Fly, wretched Stream, with all thy speed, Amongst those solid Rocks thy Griefs bestow; For Friends, like those alas! thou ne'er did'st know.
And thou, poor Sun! that sat'st on high; But late, the Splendour of the Sky; What Flow'r, tho' by thy Influence born, Now Clouds prevail, will tow'rds thee turn? Now Darkness sits upon thy Brow, What Persian Votary will bow? What River will her Smiles reflect, Now that no Beams thou can'st direct? By watry Vapours overcast, Who thinks upon thy Glories past? If present Light, nor Heat we get, Unheeded thou may'st rise, and set.
Not all the past can one Adorer keep, Fall, wretched Sun, to the more faithful Deep.
Nor do thou, lofty Structure! boast, Since undermin'd by Time and Frost: Since thou canst no Reception give, In untrod Meadows thou may'st live.
None from his ready Road will turn, With thee thy wretched Change to mourn.
Not the soft Nights, or chearful Days Thou hast bestow'd, can give thee Praise.
No lusty Tree that near thee grows, (Tho' it beneath thy Shelter rose) Will to thy Age a Staff become.
Fall, wretched Building! to thy Tomb.
Thou, and thy painted Roofs, in Ruin mixt, Fall to the Earth, for That alone is fixt.
The same, poor Man, the same must be Thy Fate, now Fortune frowns on thee.
Her Favour ev'ry one pursues, And losing Her, thou all must lose.
No Love, sown in thy prosp'rous Days, Can Fruit in this cold Season raise: No Benefit, by thee conferr'd, Can in this time of Storms be heard.
All from thy troubl'd Waters run; Thy stooping Fabrick all Men shun.
All do thy clouded Looks decline, As if thou ne'er did'st on them shine.
O wretched Man! to other World's repair; For Faith and Gratitude are only there.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

The Executor

 A Greedy Heir long waited to fulfill, 
As his Executor, a Kinsman's Will; 
And to himself his Age repeated o'er, 
To his Infirmities still adding more; 
And nicely kept th' Account of the expected Store: 
When Death, at last, to either gave Release, 
Making One's Pains, the Other's Longings cease: 
Who to the Grave must decently convey, 
Ere he Possession takes the kindred Clay, 
Which in a Coach was plac'd, wherein he rides, 
And so no Hearse, or following Train provides; 
Rejecting Russel, who wou'd make the Charge 
Of one dull tedious Day, so vastly Large.
When, at his Death, the humble Man declar'd, He wished thus privately to be Interr'd.
And now, the Luggage moves in solemn State, And what it wants in Number, gains in Weight.
The happy Heir can scarce contain his Joy, Whilst sundry Musings do his Thoughts employ, How he shalt act, now Every thing's his Own, Where his Revenge, or Favour shall be shown; Then recollecting, draws a counterfeited Groan.
The Avenues, and Gardens shall be chang'd, Already he the Furniture has ranged.
To ransack secret Draw'rs his Phancy flies, Nor can th' appearing Wealth his Mind suffice.
Thus he an Age runs o'er betwixt the Porch Of his Friend's House, and the adjacent Church: Whilst the slow Driver, who no reck'ning kept Of what was left, indulging Nature, slept; Till on a Bank, so high, the Wheel was borne That in a Moment All must overturn: Whilst the rich Heir now finds the giving Dead Less weighty in his Gold, than in his Lead; Which falling just on his contriving Breast, Expell'd the Soul, leaving the corpse to rest In the same Grave, intended for his Friend.
Then why shou'd We our Days in Wishes spend, Which, e'er we see fulfill'd, are often at an End?

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

The Poor Mans Lamb

 NOW spent the alter'd King, in am'rous Cares, 
The Hours of sacred Hymns and solemn Pray'rs: 
In vain the Alter waits his slow returns, 
Where unattended Incense faintly burns: 
In vain the whisp'ring Priests their Fears express, 
And of the Change a thousand Causes guess.
Heedless of all their Censures He retires, And in his Palace feeds his secret Fires; Impatient, till from Rabbah Tydings tell, That near those Walls the poor Uriah fell, Led to the Onset by a Chosen Few, Who at the treacherous Signal, soon withdrew; Nor to his Rescue e'er return'd again, Till by fierce Ammon's Sword they saw the Victim slain.
'Tis pass'd, 'tis done! the holy Marriage-Knot, Too strong to be unty'd, at last is cut.
And now to Bathsheba the King declares, That with his Heart, the Kingdom too is hers; That Israel's Throne, and longing Monarch's Arms Are to be fill'd but with her widow'd Charms.
Nor must the Days of formal Tears exceed, To cross the Living, and abuse the Dead.
This she denies; and signs of Grief are worn; But mourns no more than may her Face adorn, Give to those Eyes, which Love and Empire fir'd, A melting Softness more to be desir'd; Till the fixt Time, tho' hard to be endur'd, Was pass'd, and a sad Consort's Name procur'd: When, with the Pomp that suits a Prince's Thought, By Passion sway'd, and glorious Woman taught, A Queen she's made, than Michal seated higher, Whilst light unusual Airs prophane the hallow'd Lyre.
Where art thou Nathan? where's that Spirit now, Giv'n to brave Vice, tho' on a Prince's Brow? In what low Cave, or on what Desert Coast, Now Virtue wants it, is thy Presence lost? But lo! he comes, the Rev'rend Bard appears, Defil'd with Dust his awful silver Hairs, And his rough Garment, wet with falling Tears.
The King this mark'd, and conscious wou'd have fled, The healing Balm which for his Wounds was shed: Till the more wary Priest the Serpents Art, Join'd to the Dove-like Temper of his Heart, And thus retards the Prince just ready now to part.
Hear me, the Cause betwixt two Neighbors hear, Thou, who for Justice dost the Sceptre bear: Help the Opprest, nor let me weep alone For him, that calls for Succour from the Throne.
Good Princes for Protection are Ador'd, And Greater by the Shield, than by the Sword.
This clears the Doubt, and now no more he fears The Cause his Own, and therefore stays and hears: When thus the Prophet: – –In a flow'ry Plain A King-like Man does in full Plenty reign; Casts round his Eyes, in vain, to reach the Bound, Which Jordan's Flood sets to his fertile Ground: Countless his Flocks, whilst Lebanon contains A Herd as large, kept by his numerous Swains, That fill with morning Bellowings the cool Air, And to the Cedar's shade at scorching Noon repair.
Near to this Wood a lowly Cottage stands, Built by the humble Owner's painful Hands; Fenc'd by a Stubble-roof, from Rain and Heat, Secur'd without, within all Plain and Neat.
A Field of small Extent surrounds the Place, In which One single Ewe did sport and graze: This his whole Stock, till in full time there came, To bless his utmost Hopes, a snowy Lamb; Which, lest the Season yet too Cold might prove, And Northern Blasts annoy it from the Grove, Or tow'ring Fowl on the weak Prey might sieze, (For with his Store his Fears must too increase) He brings it Home, and lays it by his Side, At once his Wealth, his Pleasure and his Pride; Still bars the Door, by Labour call'd away, And, when returning at the Close of Day, With One small Mess himself, and that sustains, And half his Dish it shares, and half his slender Gains.
When to the great Man's table now there comes A Lord as great, follow'd by hungry Grooms: For these must be provided sundry Meats, The best for Some, for Others coarser Cates.
One Servant, diligent above the rest To help his Master to contrive the Feast, Extols the Lamb was nourished with such Care, So fed, so lodg'd, it must be Princely Fare; And having this, my Lord his own may spare.
In haste he sends, led by no Law, but Will, Not to entreat, or purchase, but to Kill.
The Messenger's arriv'd: the harmless Spoil, Unus'd to fly, runs Bleating to the Toil: Whilst for the Innocent the Owner fear'd, And, sure wou'd move, cou'd Poverty be heard.
Oh spare (he cries) the Product of my Cares, My Stock's Encrease, the Blessing on my Pray'rs; My growing Hope, and Treasure of my Life! More was he speaking, when the murd'ring Knife Shew'd him, his Suit, tho' just, must be deny'd, And the white Fleece in its own Scarlet dy'd; Whilst the poor helpless Wretch stands weeping by, And lifts his Hands for Justice to the Sky.
Which he shall find, th' incensed King replies, When for the proud Offence th' Oppressor dies.
O Nathan! by the Holy Name I swear, Our Land such Wrongs unpunished shall not bear If, with the Fault, th' Offender thou declare.
To whom the Prophet, closing with the Time, Thou art the Man replies, and thine th' ill-natur'd Crime.
Nor think, against thy Place, or State, I err; A Pow'r above thee does this Charge prefer; Urg'd by whose Spirit, hither am I brought T' expostulate his Goodness and thy Fault; To lead thee back to those forgotten Years, In Labour spent, and lowly Rustick Cares, When in the Wilderness thy Flocks but few, Thou didst the Shepherd's simple Art pursue Thro' crusting Frosts, and penetrating Dew: Till wondring Jesse saw six Brothers past, And Thou Elected, Thou the Least and Last; A Sceptre to thy Rural Hand convey'd, And in thy Bosom Royal Beauties laid; A lovely Princess made thy Prize that Day, When on the shaken Ground the Giant lay Stupid in Death, beyond the Reach of Cries That bore thy shouted Fame to list'ning Skies, And drove the flying Foe as fast away, As Winds, of old, Locusts to Egypt's Sea.
Thy Heart with Love, thy Temples with Renown, Th' All-giving Hand of Heav'n did largely crown, Whilst yet thy Cheek was spread with youthful Down.
What more cou'd craving Man of God implore? Or what for favour'd Man cou'd God do more? Yet cou'd not These, nor Israel's Throne, suffice Intemp'rate Wishes, drawn thro' wand'ring Eyes.
One Beauty (not thy own) and seen by chance, Melts down the Work of Grace with an alluring Glance; Chafes the Spirit, fed by sacred Art, And blots the Title AFTER GOD'S OWN HEART; Black Murder breeds to level at his Head, Who boasts so fair a Part'ner of his Bed, Nor longer must possess those envy'd Charms, The single Treasure of his House, and Arms: Giving, by this thy Fall, cause to Blaspheme To all the Heathen the Almighty Name.
For which the Sword shall still thy Race pursue, And, in revolted Israel's scornful View, Thy captiv'd Wives shall be in Triumph led Unto a bold Usurper's shameful Bed; Who from thy Bowels sprung shall seize thy Throne, And scourge thee by a Sin beyond thy own.
Thou hast thy Fault in secret Darkness done; But this the World shall see before the Noonday's Sun.
Enough! the King, enough! the Saint replies, And pours his swift Repentance from his Eyes; Falls on the Ground, and tears the Nuptial Vest, By which his Crime's Completion was exprest: Then with a Sigh blasting to Carnal Love, Drawn deep as Hell, and piercing Heaven, above Let Me (he cries) let Me attend his Rod, For I have sinn'd, for I have lost my God.
Hold! (says the Prophet ) of that Speech beware, God ne'er was lost, unless by Man's Despair.
The Wound that is thus willingly reveal'd, Th' Almighty is as willing should be heal'd.
Thus wash'd in Tears, thy Soul as fair does show As the first Fleece, which on the Lamb does grow, Or on the Mountain's top the lately fallen Snow.
Yet to the World that Justice may appear Acting her Part impartial, and severe, The Offspring of thy Sin shall soon resign That Life, for which thou must not once repine; But with submissive Grief his Fate deplore, And bless the Hand, that does inflict no more.
Shall I then pay but Part, and owe the Whole? My Body's Fruit, for my offending Soul? Shall I no more endure (the King demands) And 'scape thus lightly his offended Hands? Oh! let him All resume, my Crown, my Fame; Reduce me to the Nothing, whence I came; Call back his Favours, faster than he gave; And, if but Pardon'd, strip me to my Grave: Since (tho' he seems to Lose ) He surely Wins, Who gives but earthly Comforts for his Sins.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

The Spleen

 What art thou, SPLEEN, which ev'ry thing dost ape?
Thou Proteus to abus'd Mankind,
Who never yet thy real Cause cou'd find,
Or fix thee to remain in one continued Shape.
Still varying thy perplexing Form, Now a Dead Sea thou'lt represent, A Calm of stupid Discontent, Then, dashing on the Rocks wilt rage into a Storm.
Trembling sometimes thou dost appear, Dissolv'd into a Panick Fear; On Sleep intruding dost thy Shadows spread, Thy gloomy Terrours round the silent Bed, And croud with boading Dreams the Melancholy Head: Or, when the Midnight Hour is told, And drooping Lids thou still dost waking hold, Thy fond Delusions cheat the Eyes, Before them antick Spectres dance, Unusual Fires their pointed Heads advance, And airy Phantoms rise.
Such was the monstrous Vision seen, When Brutus (now beneath his Cares opprest, And all Rome's Fortunes rolling in his Breast, Before Philippi's latest Field, Before his Fate did to Octavius lead) Was vanquish'd by the Spleen.
Falsly, the Mortal Part we blame Of our deprest, and pond'rous Frame, Which, till the First degrading Sin Let Thee, its dull Attendant, in, Still with the Other did comply, Nor clogg'd the Active Soul, dispos'd to fly, And range the Mansions of it's native Sky.
Nor, whilst in his own Heaven he dwelt, Whilst Man his Paradice possest, His fertile Garden in the fragrant East, And all united Odours smelt, No armed Sweets, until thy Reign, Cou'd shock the Sense, or in the Face A flusht, unhandsom Colour place.
Now the Jonquille o'ercomes the feeble Brain; We faint beneath the Aromatick Pain, {6} Till some offensive Scent thy Pow'rs appease, And Pleasure we resign for short, and nauseous Ease.
In ev'ry One thou dost possess, New are thy Motions, and thy Dress: Now in some Grove a list'ning Friend Thy false Suggestions must attend, Thy whisper'd Griefs, thy fancy'd Sorrows hear, Breath'd in a Sigh, and witness'd by a Tear; Whilst in the light, and vulgar Croud, Thy Slaves, more clamorous and loud, By Laughters unprovok'd, thy Influence too confess.
In the Imperious Wife thou Vapours art, Which from o'erheated Passions rise In Clouds to the attractive Brain, Until descending thence again, Thro' the o'er-cast, and show'ring Eyes, Upon her Husband's soften'd Heart, He the disputed Point must yield, Something resign of the contested Field; Til Lordly Man, born to Imperial Sway, Compounds for Peace, to make that Right away, And Woman, arm'd with Spleen, do's servilely Obey.
The Fool, to imitate the Wits, Complains of thy pretended Fits, And Dulness, born with him, wou'd lay Upon thy accidental Sway; Because, sometimes, thou dost presume Into the ablest Heads to come: That, often, Men of Thoughts refin'd, Impatient of unequal Sence, Such slow Returns, where they so much dispense, Retiring from the Croud, are to thy Shades inclin'd.
O'er me, alas! thou dost too much prevail: I feel thy Force, whilst I against thee rail; I feel my Verse decay, and my crampt Numbers fail.
Thro' thy black Jaundice I all Objects see, As Dark, and Terrible as Thee, My Lines decry'd, and my Employment thought An useless Folly, or presumptuous Fault: Whilst in the Muses Paths I stray, Whilst in their Groves, and by their secret Springs My Hand delights to trace unusual Things, And deviates from the known, and common way; Nor will in fading Silks compose Faintly th' inimitable Rose, Fill up an ill-drawn Bird, or paint on Glass The Sov'reign's blurr'd and undistinguish'd Face, The threatning Angel, and the speaking Ass.
Patron thou art to ev'ry gross Abuse, The sullen Husband's feign'd Excuse, When the ill Humour with his Wife he spends, And bears recruited Wit, and Spirits to his Friends.
The Son of Bacchus pleads thy Pow'r, As to the Glass he still repairs, Pretends but to remove thy Cares, Snatch from thy Shades one gay, and smiling Hour, And drown thy Kingdom in a purple Show'r.
When the Coquette, whom ev'ry Fool admires, Wou'd in Variety be Fair, And, changing hastily the Scene From Light, Impertinent, and Vain, Assumes a soft, a melancholy Air, And of her Eyes rebates the wand'ring Fires, The careless Posture, and the Head reclin'd, The thoughtful, and composed Face, Proclaiming the withdrawn, the absent Mind, Allows the Fop more liberty to gaze, Who gently for the tender Cause inquires; The Cause, indeed, is a Defect in Sense, Yet is the Spleen alleg'd, and still the dull Pretence.
But these are thy fantastic Harms, The Tricks of thy pernicious Stage, Which do the weaker Sort engage; Worse are the dire Effects of thy more pow'rful Charms.
By Thee Religion, all we know, That shou'd enlighten here below, Is veil'd in Darkness, and perplext With anxious Doubts, with endless Scruples vext, And some Restraint imply'd from each perverted Text.
Whilst Touch not, Taste not, what is freely giv'n, Is but thy niggard Voice, disgracing bounteous Heav'n.
From Speech restrain'd, by thy Deceits abus'd, To Desarts banish'd, or in Cells reclus'd, Mistaken Vot'ries to the Pow'rs Divine, Whilst they a purer Sacrifice design, Do but the Spleen obey, and worship at thy Shrine.
In vain to chase thee ev'ry Art we try, In vain all Remedies apply, In vain the Indian Leaf infuse, Or the parch'd Eastern Berry bruise; Some pass, in vain, those Bounds, and nobler Liquors use.
Now Harmony, in vain, we bring, Inspire the Flute, and touch the String.
From Harmony no help is had; Musick but soothes thee, if too sweetly sad, And if too light, but turns thee gayly Mad.
Tho' the Physicians greatest Gains, Altho' his growing Wealth he sees Daily increas'd by Ladies Fees, Yet dost thou baffle all his studious Pains.
Not skilful Lower thy Source cou'd find, Or thro' the well-dissected Body trace The secret, the mysterious ways, By which thou dost surprize, and prey upon the Mind.
Tho' in the Search, too deep for Humane Thought, With unsuccessful Toil he wrought, 'Til thinking Thee to've catch'd, Himself by thee was caught, Retain'd thy Pris'ner, thy acknowleg'd Slave, And sunk beneath thy Chain to a lamented Grave.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

The LORD and the BRAMBLE

 To view his stately Walks and Groves, 
A Man of Pow'r and Place
Was hast'ning on; but as he roves,
His Foe the slighted Bramble proves, 
And stops his eager Pace.
That Shrub was qualify'd to Bite; And now there went a Tale, That this injurious partial Wight Had bid his Gard'ner rid it quite, And throw it o'er the Pail.
Often the Bry'r had wish'd to speak, That this might not be done; But from the Abject and the Weak, Who no important Figure make, What Statesman does not run? But clinging now about his Waste, Ere he had time to fly, My Lord (quoth he) for all your haste, I'll know why I must be displac'd, And 'mongst the Rubbish lie.
Must none but buffle-headed Trees Within your Ground be seen? Or tap'ring Yews here court the Breeze, That, like some Beaux whom Time does freeze, At once look Old and Green? I snarl, 'tis true, and sometimes scratch A tender-footed Squire; Who does a rugged Tartar catch, When me he thinks to over-match, And jeers for my Attire.
As to Yourself, who 'gainst me fret, E'en give this Project o'er: For know, where'er my Root is set, These rambling Twigs will Passage get, And vex you more and more.
No Wants, no Threatnings, nor the Jail Will curb an angry Wit: Then think not to chastise, or rail; Appease the Man, if you'd prevail, Who some sharp Satire writ.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

An Apology for my fearfull temper

 Tis true of courage I'm no mistress
No Boadicia nor Thalestriss
Nor shall I e'er be famed hereafter
For such a Soul as Cato's Daughter
Nor active valour nor enduring 
Nor leading troops nor forts securing
Like Teckley's wife or Pucell valiant
Will e'er be reckonded for my talent
Who all things fear whilst day is shining
And my own shadow light declining 
And from the Spleen's prolifick fountain
Can of a mole hill make a mountain
And if a Coach that was invented
Since Bess on Palfrey rode contented
Threatens to tumble topsy turvy 
With screeches loud and faces scurvey
I break discourse whilst some are laughing
Some fall to chear me some to chaffing
As secretly the driver curses
And whips my fault upon the horses 
These and ten thousand are the errours
Arising from tumultuous terrours
Yet can't I understand the merit
In Female's of a daring spirit
Since to them never was imparted 
In manly strengh tho' manly hearted
Nor need that sex be self defending
Who charm the most when most depending
And by sweet plaints and soft distresses
First gain asistance then adresses 
As our fourth Edward (beauty suing)
From but releiving fell to wooing
Who by Heroick speech or ranting
Had ne'er been melted to galanting
Nor had th'Egyptian Queen defying 
Drawn off that fleet she led by flying
Whilst Cesar and his ships crew hollow'd
To see how Tony row'd and follow'd
Oh Action triumph of the Ladies
And plea for her who most afraid is 
Then let my conduct work no wonder
When fame who cleaves the air asunder
And every thing in time discovers
Nor council keeps for Kings or Lovers
Yet stoops when tired with States and battles 
To Gossips chats and idler tattles
When she I say has given no knowledge
Of what has happen'd at Wye College
Think it not strange to save my Person
I gave the family diversion 
'Twas at an hour when most were sleeping
Some chimnies clean some wanted sweeping
Mine thro' good fires maintain'd this winter
(Of which no FINCH was e'er a stinter)
Pour'd down such flakes not Etna bigger 
Throws up as did my fancy figure
Nor does a Cannon ram'd with Powder
To others seem to Bellow louder
All that I thought or spoke or acted
Can't in a letter be compacted 
Nor how I threatn'd those with burning
Who thoughtless on their beds were turning
As Shakespear says they serv'd old Prium
When that the Greeks were got too nigh'em
And such th'effect in spite of weather 
Our Hecuba's all rose together
I at their head half cloath'd and shaking
Was instantly the house forsaking
And told them 'twas no time for talking
But who'd be safe had best be walking 
This hasty councel and conclusion
Seem'd harsh to those who had no shoes on
And saw no flames and heard no clatter
But as I had rehears'd the matter
And wildly talk't of fire and water 
For sooner then 'thas took to tell it
Right applications did repell it
And now my fear our mirth creating
Affords still subject for repeating
Whilst some deplore th'unusual folly 
Some (kinder) call it melancholy
Tho' certainly the spirits sinking
Comes not from want of wit or thinking
Since Rochester all dangers hated
And left to those were harder pated.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

A Pastoral Dialogue Between Two Shepherdesses

 [Silvia] Pretty Nymph! within this Shade, 
Whilst the Flocks to rest are laid,
Whilst the World dissolves in Heat,
Take this cool, and flow'ry Seat: 
And with pleasing Talk awhile
Let us two the Time beguile; 
Tho' thou here no Shepherd see, 
To encline his humble Knee, 
Or with melancholy Lays 
Sing thy dangerous Beauty's Praise.
[Dorinda] Nymph! with thee I here wou'd stay, But have heard, that on this Day, Near those Beeches, scarce in view, All the Swains some Mirth pursue: To whose meeting now I haste.
Solitude do's Life but waste.
[Silvia] Prithee, but a Moment stay.
[Dorinda] No! my Chaplet wou'd decay; Ev'ry drooping Flow'r wou'd mourn, And wrong the Face, they shou'd adorn.
[Silvia] I can tell thee, tho' so Fair, And dress'd with all that rural Care, Most of the admiring Swains Will be absent from the Plains.
Gay Sylvander in the Dance Meeting with a shrew'd Mischance, To his Cabin's now confin'd By Mopsus, who the Strain did bind: Damon through the Woods do's stray, Where his Kids have lost their way: Young Narcissus iv'ry Brow Rac'd by a malicious Bough, Keeps the girlish Boy from sight, Till Time shall do his Beauty right.
[Dorinda] Where's Alexis? [Silvia] –He, alas! Lies extended on the Grass; Tears his Garland, raves, despairs, Mirth and Harmony forswears; Since he was this Morning shown, That Delia must not be his Own.
[Dorinda] Foolish Swain! such Love to place.
[Silvia] On any but Dorinda's Face.
[Dorinda] Hasty Nymph! I said not so.
[Silvia] No–but I thy Meaning know.
Ev'ry Shepherd thou wou'd'st have Not thy Lover, but thy Slave; To encrease thy captive Train, Never to be lov'd again.
But, since all are now away, Prithee, but a Moment stay.
[Dorinda] No; the Strangers, from the Vale, Sure will not this Meeting fail; Graceful one, the other Fair.
He too, with the pensive Air, Told me, ere he came this way He was wont to look more Gay.
[Silvia] See! how Pride thy Heart inclines To think, for Thee that Shepherd pines; When those Words, that reach'd thy Ear, Chloe was design'd to hear; Chloe, who did near thee stand, And his more speaking Looks command.
[Dorinda] Now thy Envy makes me smile.
That indeed were worth his while: Chloe next thyself decay'd, And no more a courted Maid.
[Silvia] Next myself! Young Nymph, forbear.
Still the Swains allow me Fair, Tho' not what I was that Day, When Colon bore the Prize away; When– [Dorinda] –Oh, hold! that Tale will last, Till all the Evening Sports are past; Till no Streak of Light is seen, Nor Footstep prints the flow'ry Green.
What thou wert, I need not know, What I am, must haste to show.
Only this I now discern From the things, thou'd'st have me learn, That Woman-kind's peculiar Joys From past, or present Beauties rise.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

The Critick and the Writer of Fables

 Weary, at last, of the Pindarick way, 
Thro' which advent'rously the Muse wou'd stray; 
To Fable I descend with soft Delight, 
Pleas'd to Translate, or easily Endite: 
Whilst aery Fictions hastily repair 
To fill my Page, and rid my Thoughts of Care, 
As they to Birds and Beasts new Gifts impart, 
And Teach, as Poets shou'd, whilst they Divert.
But here, the Critick bids me check this Vein.
Fable, he crys, tho' grown th' affected Strain, But dies, as it was born, without Regard or Pain.
Whilst of his Aim the lazy Trifler fails, Who seeks to purchase Fame by childish Tales.
Then, let my Verse, once more attempt the Skies, The easily persuaded Poet cries, Since meaner Works you Men of Taste despise.
The Walls of Troy shall be our loftier Stage, Our mighty Theme the fierce Achilles Rage.
The Strength of Hector, and Ulysses Arts Shall boast such Language, to adorn their Parts, As neither Hobbes, nor Chapman cou'd bestow, Or did from Congreve, or from Dryden flow.
Amidst her Towers, the dedicated Horse Shall be receiv'd, big with destructive Force; Till Men shall say, when Flames have brought her down.
" Troy is no more, and Ilium was a Town.
Is this the way to please the Men of Taste, The Interrupter cries, this old Bombast? I'm sick of Troy, and in as great a Fright, When some dull Pedant wou'd her Wars recite, As was soft Paris, when compell'd to Fight.
To Shades and Springs shall we awhile repair, The Muse demands, and in that milder Air Describe some gentle Swain's unhappy Smart Whose folded Arms still press upon his Heart, And deeper drive the too far enter'd Dart? Whilst Phillis with a careless pleasure reigns The Joy, the Grief, the Envy of the Plains; Heightens the Beauty of the verdant Woods, And softens all the Murmurs of the Floods.
Oh! stun me not with these insipid Dreams, Th' Eternal Hush, the Lullaby of Streams.
Which still, he cries, their even Measures keep, Till both the Writers, and the Readers sleep.
But urge thy Pen, if thou wouldst move our Thoughts, To shew us private, or the publick Faults.
Display the Times, High-Church or Low provoke; We'll praise the Weapon, as we like the Stroke, And warmly sympathizing with the Spite Apply to Thousands, what of One you write.
Then, must that single Stream the Town supply, The harmless Fable-writer do's reply, And all the Rest of Helicon be dry ? And when so many choice Productions swarm, Must only Satire keep your Fancies warm? Whilst even there, you praise with such Reserve, As if you'd in the midst of Plenty starve, Tho' ne'er so liberally we Authors carve.
Happy the Men, whom we divert with Ease, Whom Opera's and Panegyricks please.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

Lifes Progress

 How gayly is at first begun 
Our Life's uncertain Race! 
Whilst yet that sprightly Morning Sun, 
With which we just set out to run 
Enlightens all the Place.
How smiling the World's Prospect lies How tempting to go through ! Not Canaan to the Prophet's Eyes, From Pisgah with a sweet Surprize, Did more inviting shew.
How promising's the Book of Fate, Till thoroughly understood! Whilst partial Hopes such Lots create, As may the youthful Fancy treat With all that's Great and Good.
How soft the first Ideas prove, Which wander through our Minds! How full the Joys, how free the Love, Which do's that early Season move; As Flow'rs the Western Winds! Our Sighs are then but Vernal Air; But April–drops our Tears, Which swiftly passing, all grows Fair, Whilst Beauty compensates our Care, And Youth each Vapour clears.
But oh! too soon, alas, we climb; Scarce feeling we ascend The gently rising Hill of Time, From whence with Grief we see that Prime, And all its Sweetness end.
The Die now cast, our Station known, Fond Expectation past; The Thorns, which former Days had sown, To Crops of late Repentance grown, Thro' which we toil at last.
Whilst ev'ry Care's a driving Harm, That helps to bear us down; Which faded Smiles no more can charm, But ev'ry Tear's a Winter-Storm, And ev'ry Look's a Frown.
Till with succeeding Ills opprest, For Joys we hop'd to find; By Age too, rumpl'd and undrest, We gladly sinking down to rest, Leave following Crouds behind.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

A Tale of the Miser and the Poet

 A WIT, transported with Inditing, 
Unpay'd, unprais'd, yet ever Writing; 
Who, for all Fights and Fav'rite Friends, 
Had Poems at his Fingers Ends; 
For new Events was still providing; 
Yet now desirous to be riding, 
He pack'd-up ev'ry Ode and Ditty 
And in Vacation left the City; 
So rapt with Figures, and Allusions, 
With secret Passions, sweet Confusions; 
With Sentences from Plays well-known, 
And thousand Couplets of his own; 
That ev'n the chalky Road look'd gay, 
And seem'd to him the Milky Way.
But Fortune, who the Ball is tossing, And Poets ever will be crossing, Misled the Steed, which ill he guided, Where several gloomy Paths divided.
The steepest in Descent he follow'd, Enclos'd by Rocks, which Time had hollow'd; Till, he believ'd, alive and booted, He'd reach'd the Shades by Homer quoted.
But all, that he cou'd there discover, Was, in a Pit with Thorns grown over, Old Mammon digging, straining, sweating, As Bags of Gold he thence was getting; Who, when reprov'd for such Dejections By him, who liv'd on high Reflections, Reply'd; Brave Sir, your Time is ended, And Poetry no more befriended.
I hid this Coin, when Charles was swaying; When all was Riot, Masking, Playing; When witty Beggars were in fashion, And Learning had o'er-run the Nation, But, since Mankind is so much wiser, That none is valued like the Miser, I draw it hence, and now these Sums In proper Soil grow up to {1} Plumbs; Which gather'd once, from that rich Minute We rule the World, and all that's in it.
But, quoth the Poet,can you raise, As well as Plumb-trees, Groves of Bays? Where you, which I wou'd chuse much rather, May Fruits of Reputation gather? Will Men of Quality, and Spirit, Regard you for intrinsick Merit? And seek you out, before your Betters, For Conversation, Wit, and Letters? Fool, quoth the Churl, who knew no Breeding; Have these been Times for such Proceeding? Instead of Honour'd, and Rewarded, Are you not Slighted, or Discarded? What have you met with, but Disgraces? Your PRIOR cou'd not keep in Places; And your VAN-BRUG had found no Quarter, But for his dabbling in the Morter.
ROWE no Advantages cou'd hit on, Till Verse he left, to write North-Briton.
PHILIPS, who's by the Shilling known, Ne'er saw a Shilling of his own.
Meets {2} PHILOMELA, in the Town Her due Proportion of Renown? What Pref'rence has ARDELIA seen, T'expel, tho' she cou'd write the Spleen? Of Coach, or Tables, can you brag, Or better Cloaths than Poet RAG? Do wealthy Kindred, when they meet you, With Kindness, or Distinction, greet you? Or have your lately flatter'd Heroes Enrich'd you like the Roman Maroes? No–quoth the Man of broken Slumbers: Yet we have Patrons for our Numbers; There are Mecænas's among 'em.
Quoth Mammon,pray Sir, do not wrong 'em; But in your Censures use a Conscience, Nor charge Great Men with thriftless Nonsense: Since they, as your own Poets sing, Now grant no Worth in any thing But so much Money as 'twill bring.
Then, never more from your Endeavours Expect Preferment, or less Favours.
But if you'll 'scape Contempt, or worse, Be sure, put Money in your Purse; Money! which only can relieve you When Fame and Friendship will deceive you.
Sir, (quoth the Poet humbly bowing, And all that he had said allowing) Behold me and my airy Fancies Subdu'd, like Giants in Romances.
I here submit to your Discourses; Which since Experience too enforces, I, in that solitary Pit, Your Gold withdrawn, will hide my Wit: Till Time, which hastily advances, And gives to all new Turns and Chances, Again may bring it into use; Roscommons may again produce; New Augustean Days revive, When Wit shall please, and Poets thrive.
Till when, let those converse in private, Who taste what others don't arrive at; Yielding that Mammonists surpass us; And let the Bank out-swell Parnassus.

Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch |

Mans Injustice Towards Providence

 A Thriving Merchant, who no Loss sustained, 
In little time a mighty Fortune gain'd.
No Pyrate seiz'd his still returning Freight; Nor foundring Vessel sunk with its own Weight: No Ruin enter'd through dissever'd Planks; No Wreck at Sea, nor in the Publick Banks.
Aloft he sails, above the Reach of Chance, And do's in Pride, as fast as Wealth, advance.
His Wife too, had her Town and Country-Seat, And rich in Purse, concludes her Person Great.
A Dutchess wears not so much Gold and Lace; Then 'tis with Her an undisputed Case, The finest Petticoat must take the Place.
Her Rooms, anew at ev'ry Christ'ning drest, Put down the Court, and vex the City-Guest.
Grinning Malottos in true Ermin stare; The best Japan, and clearest China Ware Are but as common Delft and English Laquar there.
No Luxury's by either unenjoy'd, Or cost withheld, tho' awkardly employ'd.
How comes this Wealth? A Country Friend demands, Who scarce cou'd live on Product of his Lands.
How is it that, when Trading is so bad That some are Broke, and some with Fears run Mad, You can in better State yourself maintain, And your Effects still unimpair'd remain! My Industry, he cries, is all the Cause; Sometimes I interlope, and slight the Laws; I wiser Measures, than my Neighbors, take, And better speed, who better Bargains make.
I knew, the Smyrna–Fleet wou'd fall a Prey, And therefore sent no Vessel out that way: My busy Factors prudently I chuse, And in streight Bonds their Friends and Kindred noose: At Home, I to the Publick Sums advance, Whilst, under-hand in Fee with hostile France, I care not for your Tourvills, or Du-Barts, No more than for the Rocks, and Shelves in Charts: My own sufficiency creates my Gain, Rais'd, and secur'd by this unfailing Brain.
This idle Vaunt had scarcely past his Lips, When Tydings came, his ill-provided Ships Some thro' the want of Skill, and some of Care, Were lost, or back return'd without their Fare.
From bad to worse, each Day his State declin'd, 'Till leaving Town, and Wife, and Debts behind, To his Acquaintance at the Rural Seat He Sculks, and humbly sues for a Retreat.
Whence comes this Change, has Wisdom left that Head, (His Friend demands) where such right Schemes were bred? What Phrenzy, what Delirium mars the Scull, Which fill'd the Chests, and was it self so full? Here interrupting, sadly he Reply'd, In Me's no Change, but Fate must all Things guide; To Providence I attribute my Loss.
Vain-glorious Man do's thus the Praise engross, When Prosp'rous Days around him spread their Beams: But, if revolv'd to opposite Extreams, Still his own Sence he fondly will prefer, And Providence, not He, in his Affairs must Err!