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On The Death Of The Queen

Mary of Modena d. 1718 {1}
Dark was the shade where only cou'd be seen
Disasterous Yew that ever balefull green
Distructive in the field of old when strung
Gloomy o'er graves of sleeping warriours hung
Deep was the wild recess that not an ear
Which grudged her praises might the accents hear
Where sad ARDELIA {2} mourn'd URANIA's{3} Death
In sighs which seem'd her own expireing breath
In moving Sylables so often broke
That more then Eloquence the anguish spoke
Urging the tears which cou'd not give relief
But seem'd to propagate renewing grief
Lamira{4} near her sat and caught the sound
Too weak for ecchoing rocks which fixt the bound
For Clifts that overlook't the dangerous wave
Th'unhappy Vessels or the Sailors grave
The pittying Nymph whom sympathy constrain'd
Ask't why her friend thus heavily complain'd
Why she retired to that ill omen'd spot
By men forsaken and the World forgot
Why thus from light and company she fled
And living sought the mansions of the Dead
Her head reclined on the obdurate stone
Still uttering low but interrupted moan
In which URANIA she to all prefer'd
And with her seem'd unactive or interr'd
As if all virtues of the polish't mind
All excellencies of the female kind
All wining graces in Urania join'd
As if perfection but in her was seen
And Her least dignity was England's Queen.
Thou hast discrib'd her pleas'd ARDELIA cry'd
As thou hadst known her awfull without pride
As thou in Her Domestick train hadst stood
And seen her great and found her warmly good
Duely maintaining her exalted place
Yet condescending with attractive grace
Recall'd be days when ebon locks o'erspread
My youthfull neck my cheeks a bashfull red
When early joys my glowing bosom warm'd
When trifles pleas'd & every pleasure charm'd
Then eager from the rural seat I came
Of long traced Ancestors of worthy name
To seek the Court of many woes the source
Compleated by this last this sad divorce
From her to whom my self I had resign'd
The Sovereign Mistress of my vanquish't mind
Who now survive but to attend her hearse
With dutious tribute of recording verse
In which may truth with energy be found
And soft as her compassion be the sound
Bless't were the hours when thro' attendance due
Her numerous charms were present to my view
When lowly to her radiant eyes I bowed
Suns to my sight but Suns without a cloud
Towards me their beneficial aspect turn'd
Imprest my duty and my conduct warn'd
For who that saw the modest airs they cast
But from that pattern must be nicely chast
Peculiar Souls have their peculiar sighs
And thro' the eye the inward beauty shines
Then who can wonder if in hers appear'd
Superior sense to be reveer'd & fear'd
Endearing sweetness to her happy friends
And Holy fire which towards the alter tends
Bles't my attention was when drawing near
(My places claim) her crouded audience chair
I heard her by admiring States addrest
With embasies in different tongues exprest
To all that Europe sent she gave replies
In their own speech most eloquent & wise
Soft was her talk and soothing to the heart
By nature solid perfected by art
The Roman Accent which such grace affords
To Tuscan language harmonized her words
All eyes all listning sense upon her hung
When from her lovely mouth th'inchantment sprung
What Livia was when Rome Augustus sway'de {5}
And thro' a woman's wit the world obey'd
What Portia was when fortitude and love {6}
Inflected wounds which did her firmness prove
And forcing Brutus to applaud her worth
Drew with the steel th'important secret forth
Such was URANIA where they most excell'd
And where they fail'd by nobler zeal upheld
What Italy produc't of glorious names
Her native Country & her kindred Dames
All virtues which Antiquity cou'd boast
She equal'd but on Stormy Britain tost
They lost their value on a northern Coast
Yet who can wonder if to her we grant
What Poets feign when they Diana paint {7}
What Legends write when they enthrone a Saint
What now ARDELIA speaks with conscious sense
Of Real Worth & matchless excellence
Never such lustre strove against the light
Never such beauty satisfied the sight
Never such Majesty on earth was found
As when URANIA worthyly was crown'd
As when superior airs declared her birth
From Conquerors o'er the Monarchs of the Earth
And large excuse did for their Maxim bring
That Roman Ladies stoop'd to wed a King
If Royalty had then arose from choice
And merit had compell'd the publick voice
All had allow'd URANIA claimed the most
In view of wh
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:11 min read

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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