[Page 227]

REFORMATION.

1 A Gentleman, most wretched in his Lot,
2 A wrangling and reproving Wife had got,
3 Who, tho' she curb'd his Pleasures, and his Food,
4 Call'd him My Dear, and did it for his Good,
5 Ills to prevent; She of all Ills the worst,
6 So wisely Froward, and so kindly Curst.
7 The Servants too experiment her Lungs,
8 And find they've Breath to serve a thousand Tongues.
9 Nothing went on; for her eternal Clack
10 Still rectifying, set all Matters back;
11 Nor Town, nor Neighbours, nor the Court cou'd please,
12 But furnish'd Matter for her sharp Disease.
13 To distant Plains at length he gets her down,
14 With no Affairs to manage of her own;
15 Hoping from that unactive State to find
16 A calmer Habit, grown upon her Mind:
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17 But soon return'd he hears her at his Door,
18 As noisy and tempestuous as before;
19 Yet mildly ask'd, How she her Days had spent
20 Amidst the Quiet of a sweet Content,
21 Where Shepherds 'tend their Flocks, and Maids their Pails,
22 And no harsh Mistress domineers, or rails?
23 Not rail! she cries Why, I that had no share
24 In their Concerns, cou'd not the Trollops spare;
25 But told 'em, they were Sluts And for the Swains.
26 My Name a Terror to them still remains;
27 So often I reprov'd their slothful Faults,
28 And with such Freedom told 'em all my Thoughts,
29 That I no more amongst them cou'd reside.
30 Has then, alas! the Gentleman reply'd,
31 One single Month so much their Patience try'd?
32 Where you by Day, and but at Seasons due,
33 Cou'd with your Clamours their Defects pursue;
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34 How had they shrunk, and justly been afraid,
35 Had they with me one Curtain-Lecture heard!
36 Yet enter Madam, and resume your Sway;
37 Who can't Command, must silently Obey.
38 In secret here let endless Faults be found,
39 Till, like Reformers who in States abound,
40 You all to Ruin bring, and ev'ry Part confound.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): REFORMATION.
Themes: virtue; vice
Genres: heroic couplet

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Source edition

Miscellany poems, on several occasions: Written by the Right Honble Anne, Countess of Winchilsea. London: printed for J. B. and sold by Benj. Tooke, William Taylor, and James Round, 1713, pp. 227-229. [8],390p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T94539; Foxon pp. 274-5; OTA K076314.000)

Editorial principles

The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

Other works by Anne Finch (née Kingsmill), countess of Winchilsea