On my Selfe
MS's: F-H 283, 34-5; Portland, XIX, 212*.
Good Heav'en I thank thee, Since it was design'd
I shou'd be fram'd but of the weaker kind,
That yet my Soul, is rescu'd from the Love
Of all those trifles, which their passions move
Pleasures, and Praises, and Company with me
Have their Just Vallue, if allow'd they be;
Freely, and thankfully, as much I taste
As will not reason, nor Religion waste,
If they're deny'd, I on my Selfe can live
Without the aids a cheating World can give
When in the Sun, my wings can be display'd
And in retirement I can have the shade.
1903 Reynolds prints Folger,14; rpts of 1903 Reynolds: 1928 Murray, 23; 1930 Fausset, 6; 1979 Rogers AF, 18; 1987 Thompson, 34.
rpts of 1713/1903: 1973 Goulianos, 75-6; 1975 Kaplan, 63; 1991 Uphaus/Foster, 174.
Striking statement of an assertion of inward independence: "I on my Selfe can live" (which I took as the title of my biography); Portland text stronger clearer rejection of "Company," "the Cheating World" (both phrases eliminated in F-H 283/Folger), assertion of her preference for "retirement" (word pluralized in F-H 283/Folger, and softened by verb "bless"; in Portland she merely possesses her dark solitude).
Page Last Updated 7 January 2003