This is a poem by Anne Finch. It's the eighth in the series of ten poems in Steele's 1714 Poetical Miscellanies under consideration here. It follows "The Sigh". This one a free elaboration upon an ingenious conceit, recalling her similar but early and Donnian response to Montaigne's "Song of Canibals"; here she is writing a vers de sociéte in the manner of the 1710's, impersonal, clear, yet piquant; the theme is that of another of her poems from Mlle Le Fevre's paraphrase and commentaries of Anacreon and Sapho (and her own poem of Clarinda on parting with beauty); it takes wit as well as beauty to engage the heart; the technique and story recalls her imitation of La Fontaine's "L'Amour and la Folie," probably written during the same period.
See Annotated Chronology No. 165 (1709-12). See 1696 Dacier, "Les Poesies d'Anacreon" her Les Poesies d'Anacreon et de Sapho, 158-61. Again the source is the same as that for her "Melinda on an Insippid Beauty" and "A Sigh;" it also shows her gift for exquisitely realized or delicate details (e.g., the way the Muses "chain" Cupid" with "myrtle twigs"); the poem was probably too daring for Ann to acknowledge, e.g, "She stroak'd his Cheeks and often prest/The wanton Archer to her Breast;/Then loos'd his Hands." For Full Listing of poems in a row in 1714 Steele, see "Grown old in rhyme…". See also An Annotated Bibliography: Primary and Secondary Sources for all Finch's translations (paraphrases), imitations and adaptations.
The 30th Ode of Anacreon, p 47
The Muses frolicksom and gay
Caught Cupid as he sleeping lay;
With Myrtle Twigs his Hands they ty'd,
And laid him by Cleora's Side.
She stroak'd his Cheeks and often prest
The wanton Archer to her Breast;
Then loos'd his Hands--You're free, she said,
Yet he refus'd to leave the Maid.
In vain his Mother hunts about,
Offers Rewards to find him out;
In vain would set the Captive free,
He's pleas'd with such a Slavery.
Close by her Side he watching lies;
The Wretch who sees Cleora dies.
Page Last Updated: 8 January 2003.