A Contemplation

Anne Kingsmill Finch 1661 – 1720 (Westminster)

Indulg'd by ev'ry active thought
When upwards they wou'd fly
Nor can Ambition be a fault
If plac'd above the sky
When humbld first we meekly crave
Remission for the past
We from the fore-tasts which we have
May guesse our Joys at last

Then let my Contemplation soar
And Heav'n my Subject be
Though low on Earth in nature poor
Some prospect we may see

And now that scene before me stands
And large Possessions there
Where none usurps anothers Lands {1}
And Theives we do not fear

All Care all Sorrow all Surprise
Fly from that World of peace
Where tears are wip'd from clouded Eyes
And Sighs for ever cease

Decay or Sicknesse find no place
In that untainted Air
But still th'incorruptable Face {2}
Shall as at first be fair

Agility in pace or flight
The Blessed shall convey
Where e're the Lamb more fair then light {3}
Shall lead the radiant way

Whilst Praises in Seraphick Sounds {4}
The blisful road shall trace
And musick seem to passe the bounds
Even of unbounded Space

Such balmy Odours shall disperse
As from the Bridegroom's pores {5}
The holy Canticles rehearse {6}
Fell on the Bolts and Doors

When to his Spouse the well belov'd
More white then Jordans Flocks {7}
Spake whilest her hand the Barrs remov'd
And dew-drops fill'd his locks

The Crosse shall there triumphant rise
And ev'ry Eye shall scan
That promis'd Ensign in the skies
Close by the Son of Man

With Christ there Charles's Crown shall meet {8}
Which Martirdom adorns
And prostrate lye beneath his feet
My Coronet of Thorns

The Lord to whom my life is joyn'd
For Conscience here opprest
Shall there full retribution find
And none his Claimes molest

Hypocrisy and feign'd pretence
To cover foul Dissigns
Shall blusshing fly as far from thence
As to the deepest Mines

We there shall know the use of Foes
Whom here we have forgiven
When we shall thank them for those woes
Which pav'd our way to Heaven

There all good things that we have mist
With Int'rest shall return
Whilst those who have each wish possest
Shall for that fullnesse mourn

There Coventry of Tufton's Line {9}
For piety renown'd
Shall in transcending virtues Shine
And Equally be Crown'd

Around her shall the Chains be spread
Of Captives she has freed
And ev'ry Mouth that she has fed
Shall testify the deed

Whilst Scools supplied to mend our youth
Shall on the List be shown
A Daughter and a Mother both
In Her the Church shall own

The Gospell crosse the seas rehearst
By her diffusive aid
And fifty-thousand pounds dispers'd
Shall there be largely paid

My Heart by her supporting Love
In all its Cares upheld
For that, to see her Crown improve
With transports shall be fill'd

From Gratitude what graces flow
What endlesse pleasures spring
From Prayers whilst we remain below
Above whilst Praise we Sing

And Mammon wert thou well employ'd {10}
What Mansions might be wonne
Whilst Woolsey's Pallace lyes destroy'd {11}
And Marlbrough's is not done. {12}

Whilst to this Heav'n my Soul Aspires
All Suff'rings here are light
He travells pleas'd who but desires
A Sweet Repose at Night.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Anne Kingsmill Finch

Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (née Kingsmill), was an English poet and courtier. Finch's works often express a desire for respect as a female poet, lamenting her difficult position as a woman in the literary establishment and the court, while writing of "political ideology, religious orientation, and aesthetic sensibility". Her works also allude to other female authors of the time, such as Aphra Behn and Katherine Phillips. Through her commentary on the mental and spiritual equality of the genders and the importance of women fulfilling their potential as a moral duty to themselves and to society, she is regarded as one of the integral female poets of the Restoration Era. Finch died in Westminster in 1720 and was buried at her home at Eastwell, Kent.  more…

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