A Celebration of Women Writers

"Alcidor" by Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661 - 1720)
From Winchilsea, Anne (Kingsmill) Finch, Countess of. Miscellany Poems, on Several Occasions, London: printed for J[ohn] B[arber] and sold by Benj. Tooke at the Middle-Temple-Gate, William Taylor in Pater-Noster-Row, and James Round, in Exchange-Alley, Cornhil, 1713. p. 184-187.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 184]


While Monarchs in stern Battle strove
  For proud Imperial Sway;
Abandon'd to his milder Love,
Within a silent peaceful Grove,
  Alcidor careless lay.

Some term'd it cold, unmanly Fear;
  Some, Nicety of Sense,
That Drums and Trumpets cou'd not hear,
The sullying Blasts of Powder bear,
  Or with foul Camps dispense.

A patient Martyr to their Scorn,
  And each ill-fashion'd Jest;
The Youth, who but for Love was born,
Remain'd, and thought it vast Return,
  To reign in Cloria's Breast.

[Page 185]

But oh! a ruffling Soldier came
  In all the Pomp of War:
The Gazettes long had spoke his Fame;
Now Hautboys his Approach proclaim,
  And draw in Crouds from far.

Cloria unhappily wou'd gaze;
  And as he nearer drew,
The Man of Feather and of Lace
Stopp'd short, and with profound Amaze
  Took all her Charms to view.

A Bow, which from Campaigns he brought,
  And to his Holsters low,
Herself, and the Spectators taught,
That Her the fairest Nymph he thought,
  Of all that form'd the Row.

[Page 186]

Next day, ere Phoebus cou'd be seen,
  Or any Gate unbarr'd;
At hers, upon th' adjoining Green,
From Ranks, with waving Flags between,
  Were soften'd Trumpets heard.

The Noon do's following Treats provide,
  In the Pavilion's Shade;
The Neighborhood, and all beside,
That will attend the amorous Pride,
  Are welcom'd with the Maid.

Poor Alcidor! thy Hopes are cross'd,
  Go perish on the Ground;
Thy Sighs by stronger Notes are toss'd,
Drove back, or in the Passage lost;
  Rich Wines thy Tears have drown'd.

[Page 187]

In Women's Hearts, the softest Things
  Which Nature cou'd devise,
Are yet some harsh, and jarring Strings,
That, when loud Fame, or Profit rings,
  Will answer to the Noise.

Poor Alcidor! go Fight or Dye;
  Let thy fond Notions cease:
Man was not made in Shades to lie,
Or his full Bliss, at ease, enjoy,
  To Live, or Love in peace.


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom