For the Better



A Quack, to no true Skill in Physick bred,
With frequent Visits cursed his Patient's Bed;
Enquiring, how he did his Broths digest,
How chim'd his Pulse, and how he took his Rest:
If shudd'ring Cold by Burnings was pursu'd,
And at what time the Aguish Fit renew'd.
The waining Wretch, each day become more faint,
In like proportion doubles his Complaint;
Now swooning Sweats he begs him to allay,
Now give his Lungs more liberty to play,
And take from empty'd Veins these scorching Heats away:
Or if he saw the Danger did increase,
To warn him fair, and let him part in Peace.
My Life for yours, no Hazard in your Case
The Quack replies; your Voice, your Pulse, your Face,

Good Signs afford, and what you seem to feel
Proceeds from Vapours, which we'll help with Steel.
With kindled Rage, more than Distemper, burns
The suff'ring Man, who thus in haste returns:
No more of Vapours, your belov'd Disease,
Your Ignorance's Skreen, your What-you-please,
With which you cheat poor Females of their Lives,
Whilst Men dispute not, so it rid their Wives.
For me, I'll speak free as I've paid my Fees;
My Flesh consumes, I perish by degrees:
And as thro' weary Nights I count my Pains,
No Rest is left me, and no Strength remains.
All for the Better, Sir, the Quack rejoins:
Exceeding promising are all these Signs.
Falling-away, your Nurses can confirm,
Was ne'er in Sickness thought a Mark of Harm.
The want of Strength is for the Better still;
Since Men of Vigour Fevers soonest kill.
Ev'n with this Gust of Passion I am pleas'd;
For they're most Patient who the most are seiz'd.

But let me see! here's that which all repels:
Then shakes, as he some formal Story tells,
The Treacle-water, mixt with powder'd Shells.
My Stomach's gone (what d'you infer from thence?)
Nor will with the least Sustenance dispense.
The Better; for, where appetite endures,
Meats intermingle, and no Med'cine cures.
The Stomach, you must know, Sir, is a Part–
But, sure, I feel Death's Pangs about my Heart.

 Nay then Farewel! I need no more attend
The Quack replies. A sad approaching Friend
Questions the Sick, why he retires so fast;
Who says, because of Fees I've paid the Last,
And, whilst all Symptoms tow'rd my Cure agree,
Am, for the Better, Dying as you see.

Font size:
Collection  PDF     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:07 min read
46

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABBCCDDEEEFFGG HHIIJJXXJJKKXXXXLLMM NNNOOPPQQ RRSSTT
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 2,227
Words 401
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 15, 20, 9, 6

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

0 fans

Discuss the poem For the Better with the community...

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "For the Better" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/3255/for-the-better>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    May 2024

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.
    9
    days
    19
    hours
    2
    minutes

    Special Program

    Earn Rewards!

    Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Who wrote four original poems for the movie 'Paterson'?
    A John Berryman
    B Anne Bradstreet
    C Ron Padgett
    D Matthew Arnold