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Life's Progress



How gayly is at first begun
Our Life's uncertain Race!
Whilst yet that sprightly Morning Sun,
With which we just set out to run
Enlightens all the Place.

How smiling the World's Prospect lies
How tempting to go through !
Not Canaan to the Prophet's Eyes,
From Pisgah with a sweet Surprize,
Did more inviting shew.

How promising's the Book of Fate,
Till thoroughly understood!
Whilst partial Hopes such Lots create,
As may the youthful Fancy treat
With all that's Great and Good.

How soft the first Ideas prove,
Which wander through our Minds!
How full the Joys, how free the Love,
Which do's that early Season move;
As Flow'rs the Western Winds!

Our Sighs are then but Vernal Air;
But April–drops our Tears,
Which swiftly passing, all grows Fair,
Whilst Beauty compensates our Care,
And Youth each Vapour clears.

But oh! too soon, alas, we climb;
Scarce feeling we ascend
The gently rising Hill of Time,
From whence with Grief we see that Prime,
And all its Sweetness end.

The Die now cast, our Station known,
Fond Expectation past;
The Thorns, which former Days had sown,
To Crops of late Repentance grown,
Thro' which we toil at last.

Whilst ev'ry Care's a driving Harm,
That helps to bear us down;
Which faded Smiles no more can charm,
But ev'ry Tear's a Winter-Storm,
And ev'ry Look's a Frown.

Till with succeeding Ills opprest,
For Joys we hop'd to find;
By Age too, rumpl'd and undrest,
We gladly sinking down to rest,
Leave following Crouds behind.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:21 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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    "Life's Progress" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 28 Jun 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/3266/life%27s-progress>.

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