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Alcidor

Anne Kingsmill Finch 1661 – 1720 (Westminster)



While Monarchs in stern Battle strove
For proud Imperial Sway;
Abandon'd to his milder Love,
Within a silent peaceful Grove,
Alcidor careless lay.

Some term'd it cold, unmanly Fear;
Some, Nicety of Sense,
That Drums and Trumpets cou'd not hear,
The sullying Blasts of Powder bear,
Or with foul Camps dispense.

A patient Martyr to their Scorn,
And each ill-fashion'd Jest;
The Youth, who but for Love was born,
Remain'd, and thought it vast Return,
To reign in Cloria's Breast.

But oh! a ruffling Soldier came
In all the Pomp of War:
The Gazettes long had spoke his Fame;
Now Hautboys his Approach proclaim,
And draw in Crouds from far.

Cloria unhappily wou'd gaze;
And as he nearer drew,
The Man of Feather and of Lace
Stopp'd short, and with profound Amaze
Took all her Charms to view.

A Bow, which from Campaigns he brought,
And to his Holsters low,
Herself, and the Spectators taught,
That Her the fairest Nymph he thought,
Of all that form'd the Row.

Next day, ere Phoebus cou'd be seen,
Or any Gate unbarr'd;
At hers, upon th' adjoining Green,
From Ranks, with waving Flags between,
Were soften'd Trumpets heard.

The Noon do's following Treats provide,
In the Pavilion's Shade;
The Neighborhood, and all beside,
That will attend the amorous Pride,
Are welcom'd with the Maid.

Poor Alcidor! thy Hopes are cross'd,
Go perish on the Ground;
Thy Sighs by stronger Notes are toss'd,
Drove back, or in the Passage lost;
Rich Wines thy Tears have drown'd.

In Women's Hearts, the softest Things
Which Nature cou'd devise,
Are yet some harsh, and jarring Strings,
That, when loud Fame, or Profit rings,
Will answer to the Noise.

Poor Alcidor! go Fight or Dye;
Let thy fond Notions cease:
Man was not made in Shades to lie,
Or his full Bliss, at ease, enjoy,
To Live, or Love in peace.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:40 min read
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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…

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