To the Honourable The Lady Worsley at Long-leate who had most obligingly desired my Corresponding with her by Letters.
MS Folger, unnumbered page -275*.
Here are some excerpts:
If from some lonely and obscure recesse
The shunn'd retreat of solitary peace
Lost to the Wrold and like Ardelia's Seat
Fitt only for the Wretch opress'd by Fate
A melancholy Summons had been sent
To deal in Woe and mingle discontent
By Sympathising Lines t'attempt relief
And load each Poste with sad exchange of Grief
For still Distresse wou'd Herd with the distress'd
And to our Cares itt seems a short allay
To fold them close and from our selves convey ...
As Ardelia writes on, her spirit takes fire and Longleat is translated into a poetical fairyland of figures and allusions surrounding its genius loci, Weymouth himself, for whose improvements of the grounds Ardelia says her "hand" will "snatch from the Muses store/Transporting Figures ne're expos'd before," and beat Denham and Cowley to "shew"
The real Splendours of our fam'd Long-leate
Which above Metaphor itts Structure reares
Tho all Enchantment to our sight appears
Magnificently Great the Eye to fill ...
Paint her Cascades that spread their Sheets so wide
And emulate th'Italian Waters pride
Her Fountains which so high their streames extend
Th'amazed Clouds now feel the Rains ascend
Whilst Phoebus as they tow'rds his Mantion flow
Graces th'attempt and marks them with his Bow
Then shou'd my Pen (smooth as their Turf) convey
Swift Thought o're Terasses that lead the way
To flow'ry Groves where ev'ning Odours stray
To Lab'rinths into which, who fondly comes
Attracted still and wilder'd with Parfumes
Till by acquaintance he their Stations knows
Here twists a Woodbine there a Jasmin grows
Next springs th'Hesperian Broom and last th'Assyria Rose
Shall endless Rove nor tread the way he went
No thread to guide his steps no Clue but ravish'd Scent…
Protect him Heaven [Lord Weymouth] and long may He appear
The leading Star to his great offspring here
Their Treasury of council and support
Who went att last he shall attend your Court
To all his future Race the mark shall be
To stem the waves of Life's tempestuous Sea ...
So Paradice did wond'rous Things disclose
Yett surely not from them itts Name arose
Not from the Fruits in such profusion found
Or early Beauties of th'enammell'd ground
Not from the Trees in their first leaves arraid
Or Birds uncurs'd that warbl'd in their shade
Not from the Streams that in new channells rol'd
O're radiant Beds of uncorrupting Gold
These might suprise but 'twas th'accomplish'd Pair
That gave the Title and that made itt fair
All lesser Thoughts Immagination Balk
Twas paradice in some expanded Walk
To see Her motions, and attend his Talk
1903 Reynolds prints Folger text, 52-5; rpt of 1903 Reynolds: 1930 Fausset, 28-31
In the guise of an Augustan poem in celebration of place and owner, Finch writes another poem about her depression; this poem makes more sense in the context of the poems found in Tate and Gilden.
Francis Thynne, Lady Worseley (Utresia), daughter to Thomas Thynne, 1st Viscount Weymouth, by Francis Finch Thynne, Lady Weymouth, Heneage's older sister; the younger Francis Thynne was married to Robert Worseley by 1690; she was Anne Finch's niece by marriage, and Finch appears to have loved and wanted to confide in Lady Worsley her most anguished thoughts. But as the years went by, Lady Worseley found Anne's demands oppressive and could no longer give of her own strength in the way Anne needed; see "The long the long expected hour is come".
Page Last Updated 7 January 2003