A Poem For The Birth-Day Of The Right Honble The Lady Catharine Tufton



'Tis fit SERENA shou'd be sung.
High-born SERENA, Fair and Young,
Shou'd be of ev'ry Muse and Voice
The pleasing, and applauded Choice.
But as the Meanest of the Show
Do First in all Processions go:
So, let my Steps pursue that Swain
The humblest of th' inspired Train;
Whose well-meant Verse did just appear,
To lead on the preceding Year:
So let my Pen, the next in Fame,
Now wait on fair SERENA's Name;
The second Tribute gladly pay,
And hail this blest returning Day.
But let it not attempt to raise
Or rightly speak SERENA's Praise:
Since with more ease we might declare
How Great her Predecessors were;
How Great that more distinguish'd Peer,
To whom she owes her Being here;
In whom our Britain lets us see
What once they were, and still shou'd be;
As, when the earliest Race was drown'd,
Some Patterns, from amongst them found,
Were kept to shew succeeding Times
Their Excellence without their Crimes:
More easily we might express
What Vertues do her Mother dress;
What does her Form and Mind adorn,
Of whom th' engaging Nymph was born;
What Piety, what generous Love,
Does the enlarged Bosom move
Of Her, whose Fav'rite she appears,
Who more than as a Niece endears.
Such full Perfections obvious lie,
And strike, at first, a Poet's Eye.
Deep Lines of Honour all can hit,
Or mark out a superior Wit;
Consummate Goodness all can show,
And where such Graces shine below:
But the more tender Strokes to trace,
T' express the Promise of a Face,
When but the Dawnings of the Mind
We from the Air unripen'd find;
Which alt'ring, as new Moments rise,
The Pen or Pencil's Art defies;
When Flesh and Blood in Youth appears,
Polish'd like what our Marble wears;
Fresh as that Shade of op'ning Green,
Which first upon our Groves is seen;
Enliven'd by a harmless Fire,
And brighten'd by each gay Desire;
These nicer Touches wou'd demand
A Cowley's or a Waller's Hand,
T'explain, with undisputed Art,
What 'tis affects th'enlighten'd Heart,
When ev'ry darker Thought gives way,
Whilst blooming Beauty we survey;
To shew how All, that's soft and sweet,
Does in the fair SERENA meet;
To tell us, with a sure Presage,
The Charms of her maturer Age.
When Hothfeild shall (as heretofore {4}
From its far-sought and virtuous Store
It Families of great Renown
Did with illustrious Hymens crown)
When Hothfeild shall such Treasure know,
As fair SERENA to bestow:
Then shou'd some Muse of loftier Wing
The Triumphs of that Season sing;
Describe the Pains, the Hopes, the Fears
Of noble Youths, th'ambitious Cares
Of Fathers, the long-fram'd Design,
To add such Splendour to their Line,
Whilst all shall strive for such a Bride
So Educated, and Ally'd.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:28 min read
41

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABBCCDDEEFFGGHHIJEKLLMMNNOOPPQRSBTTUUCCVVWWXXSYZZJJ1 1 2 2 GG3 3 4 5 6 6 7 7 CC8 8 SY9 9 0 M
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 2,644
Words 465
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 76

Anne Kingsmill Finch

Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (née Kingsmill), was an English poet and courtier. Finch's works often express a desire for respect as a female poet, lamenting her difficult position as a woman in the literary establishment and the court, while writing of "political ideology, religious orientation, and aesthetic sensibility". Her works also allude to other female authors of the time, such as Aphra Behn and Katherine Phillips. Through her commentary on the mental and spiritual equality of the genders and the importance of women fulfilling their potential as a moral duty to themselves and to society, she is regarded as one of the integral female poets of the Restoration Era. Finch died in Westminster in 1720 and was buried at her home at Eastwell, Kent.  more…

All Anne Kingsmill Finch poems | Anne Kingsmill Finch Books

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