1717 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Finch

Alexander Pope, "Impromptu, to Lady Winchelsea" 1714 ca.; Miscellanies, the Fourth Volume (1742); Minor Poems, ed. Ault and Butt (1964) 120-21.



In vain you boast Poetick Dames of yore,
And cite those Sapphoes we admire no more;
Fate doom'd the fall of ev'ry female Wit,
But doom'd it then when first Ardelia writ.
Of all examples by the world confest,
I knew Ardelia could not quote the best,
Who, like her Mistress on Britannia's Throne,
Fights and subdues in quarrels not her own.

To write their Praise you but in vain essay,
E'vn while you write, you take the praise away,
Light to the Stars the Sun does thus restore,
But shines himself till they are seen no more.