[Page 272]

To Mr. F. now Earl of W.
[ed.] Heneage Finch (1657-1726), Anne's ("Ardelia") husband, who became fifth earl of Winchilsea in 1712. (AH)

Who going abroad, had desired ARDELIA to write some Verses upon whatever Subject she thought fit, against his Return in the Evening.

Written in the Year1689.

1 NO sooner, FLAVIO, was you gone,
2 But, your Injunction thought upon,
3 ARDELIA took the Pen;
4 Designing to perform the Task,
5 Her FLAVIO did so kindly ask,
6 Ere he returned agen.
[Page 273]
7 Unto Parnassus strait she sent,
8 And bid the Messenger, that went
9 Unto the Muses Court,
10 Assure them, she their Aid did need,
11 And begg'd they'd use their utmost Speed,
12 Because the Time was short.
13 The hasty Summons was allow'd;
14 And being well-bred, they rose and bow'd,
15 And said, they'd poste away;
16 That well they did ARDELIA know,
17 And that no Female's Voice below
18 They sooner wou'd obey:
19 That many of that rhiming Train,
20 On like Occasions, sought in vain
21 Their Industry t'excite;
22 But for ARDELIA all they'd leave:
23 Thus flatt'ring can the Muse deceive,
24 And wheedle us to write.
[Page 274]
25 Yet, since there was such haste requir'd;
26 To know the Subject 'twas desir'd,
27 On which they must infuse;
28 That they might temper Words and Rules,
29 And with their Counsel carry Tools,
30 As Country-Doctors use.
31 Wherefore to cut off all Delays,
32 'Twas soon reply'd, a Husband's Praise
33 (Tho' in these looser Times)
34 ARDELIA gladly wou'd rehearse
35 A Husband's, who indulg'e her Verse,
36 And now requir'd her Rimes.
37 A Husband! eccho'd all around:
38 And to Parnassus sure that Sound
39 Had never yet been sent;
40 Amazement in each Face was read,
41 In haste th' affrighted Sisters
* The Muses Erato, Melpomene, Thalia, Urania, &c.
42 And unto Council went.
[Page 275]
43 Erato cry'd, since Grizel's Days,
44 Since Troy-Town pleas'd, and Chivey-chace,
45 No such Design was known;
46 And 'twas their Bus'ness to take care,
47 It reach'd not to the publick Ear,
48 Or got about the Town:
49 Nor came where Evening Beaux were met
50 O'er Billet-doux and Chocolate,
51 Lest it destroy'd the House;
52 For in that Place, who cou'd dispence
53 (That wore his Cloaths with common Sense)
54 With mention of a Spouse?
55 'Twas put unto the Vote at last,
56 And in the Negative it past,
57 None to her Aid shou'd move;
58 Yet since ARDELIA was a Friend,
59 Excuses 'twas agreed to send,
60 Which plausible might prove:
[Page 276]
61 That Pegasus of late had been
62 So often rid thro' thick and thin,
63 With neither Fear nor Wit;
64 In Panegyrick been so spurr'd,
65 He cou'd not from the Stall be stirr'd,
66 Nor wou'd endure the Bit.
67 Melpomene had given a Bond,
68 By the new House alone to stand,
69 And write of War and Strife;
70 Thalia, she had taken Fees,
71 And Stipends from the Patentees,
72 And durst not for her Life.
73 Urania
Urania is the Heavenly Muse, and suppos'd to inspire Thoughts of Vertue.
only lik'd the Choice;
74 Yet not to thwart the publick Voice,
75 She whisp'ring did impart:
76 They need no Foreign Aid invoke,
77 No help to draw a moving Stroke,
78 Who dictate from the Heart.
[Page 277]
79 Enough! the pleas'd ARDELIA cry'd;
80 And slighting ev'ry Muse beside,
81 Consulting now her Breast,
82 Perceiv'd that ev'ry tender Thought,
83 Which from abroad she'd vainly sought,
84 Did there in Silence rest:
85 And shou'd unmov'd that Post maintain,
86 Till in his quick Return again,
87 Met in some neighb'ring Grove,
88 (Where Vice nor Vanity appear)
89 Her FLAVIO them alone might hear,
90 In all the Sounds of Love.
91 For since the World do's so despise
92 Hymen's Endearments and its Ties,
93 They shou'd mysterious be;
94 Till We that Pleasure too possess
95 (Which makes their fancy'd Happiness)
96 Of stollen Secrecy.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): To Mr. F. now Earl of W. Who going abroad, had desired ARDELIA to write some Verses upon whatever Subject she thought fit, against his Return in the Evening.
Themes: poetry; literature; writing
References: DMI 23852

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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. 272-277. [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