This may be one of a pair that were separated. One, copied out in MS Finch-Hatton (pp 57-58), appeared for the first time in 1903 Reynolds' edition, pp 129-30, printed from MS Folger (pp29-30), the other, a response to speaker of first, now identified as Marcella, appeared in 1701 Gilden's New Miscellany, pp 293-4 (following AF's autobiographical The Retirement, also left anonymous). For full listing of poems in 1701 Gilden see "Mourn all ye Loves".
See Annotated Chronology No. 9 (1683-1689). Finch was partial to the name Thirsis in this decade; it appeared in Tasso's Aminta. The second poem also appears in The Hive which contains a number of Finch's lyrics.
The first of the pair taken from MS Finch-Hatton, pp 57-58 (the Folger text divides the narrative as song into three stanzas, emphasizing the lyric nature of the piece. See Annotated Chronology No. 8. In the MS Finch-Hatton text, the uninterrupted lines emphasize the narrative thrust).
Whilst Thirsis, in his Pride of Youth,
To me alone, professt,
Dissembl'd Passion, drest like truth,
He Tryumph'd in my breast.
I Lodg'd him, neare my Yeilding heart,
Deny'd him but my arms,
Deluded with his pleasing art,
Transported with his charmes.
The wand'rer now, I lose, or Share
With ev'ry Lovely maid,
Who make the hearts of men their care,
Shall have their own, betray'd.
Our Charmes on them wee vainly prove,
And boast, wee Conquest gaine.
Where one, a victim fall's to Love,
A thousand Tyrants reign.
The second which in the manner of Finch's later pairs closely imitates the prosody and structure of the first is a warning to the female speaker of the first, now identified as Marcella; the irritation with drinking and word "Sots" is found in Finch's drinking songs, the emphasis on eyes is heres, the approve/Love, "Cautious fool." In my view this poem is by Anne Finch.
The Pretious hours of flying Youth
Marcella wast no more,
Fed with vain hopes of Love and Truth,
Which faithless Thirsis swore.
When from thy Arms the Swain is fled,
And views thee with disdain,
'Twill be too late, mistaken maid,
Of Falsehood to complain.
Can'st thou the Cautious fool approve,
Who could defer his Bliss?
Can he have left the pow'r of Love,
Who hast's not to possess?
Love Scorns the thinking Sots, and hates
Their Gravity and Reason;
Is always ready, and ne'er waits
Conveniency and Season.
Fly from this lazy lover, fly,
Who lengthens out the chase;
Who pleasures in pursuing ly,
And fears to nigh to press.
Marcella vindicate with care
The Empire of your eyes,
The World will think you not so fair
If Thirsis is so wise.
Page Last Updated: 17 May 2004