This fragment of a poem is so rarely mentioned in the literature on Anne Finch that it may be unknown to many students of 18th century literature. Heneage found it in 1723, too late for inclusion in the Wellesley MS. So he copied it out in his almanac and on the margins of the page sideways wrote: "found in a little paper written in her own hand"

See my Annotated Chronology No. 271. This fragment reveals that Anne often started a poem by trying to define (through appositional phrases) an moral/emotional quality.

From MS F-H 282, Heneage's diary written into the page of an almanac for 1723, an unpaginated sheet which is the 122nd in the book.

A Fragment of a dessign'd Poem upon Pitty, found in a little paper written with in her own hand:

Pitty, the softest Attribute Above,
The tend'rest Ofspring of endearing Love,
Blest emanation from the'Eternal Seat
The Sinners claim, the Wretches safe retreat,
The Worlds inliv'ning, beneficial Ray,
The Providential Cure, the sweet allay
To all the weaknesse, to the Wants that wear
The human Frame, and urge it to Dispair,
The Tears that dew the penetential Cheek
Kind Pitty in their silent Courses seek

Comment: we see Anne here late in life communing with herself on a moral or emotional quality; by a series of phrases in apposition she attempts to define or capture the genesis, use, essense, visibilia of the quality.


Page Last Updated: 8 January 2003