"An Epistle from a Gentleman to Madam Deshouliers" by Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661 - 1720)
URANIA, whom the Town admires,
Whose Wit and Beauty share our Praise;
This fair URANIA who inspires
A thousand Joys a thousand ways,
She, who cou'd with a Glance convey
Favours, that had my Hopes outdone,
Has lent me Money on that Day,
Which our Acquaintance first begun.
Nor with the Happiness I taste,
Let any jealous Doubts contend:
Her Friendship is secure to last,
Beginning where all others end.
And thou, known Cheat! upheld by Law,
Thou Disappointer of the craving Mind,
BASSETTE, who thy Original dost draw
From Venice (by uncertain Seas confin'd);
Author of Murmurs, and of Care,
Of pleasing Hopes, concluding in Despair:
To thee my strange Felicity I owe,
From thy Oppression did this Succour flow.
Less had I gained, had'st thou propitious been,
Who better by my Loss hast taught me how to Win.
Yet tell me, my transported Brain!
(whose Pride this Benefit awakes)
Know'st thou, what on this Chance depends?
And are we not exalted thus in vain,
Whilst we observe the Money which she lends,
But not, alas! the Heart she takes,
The fond Engagements, and the Ties
Her fatal Bounty does impose,
Who makes Reprisals, with her Eyes,
For what her gen'rous Hand bestows?
And tho' I quickly can return
Those useful Pieces, which she gave;
Can I again, or wou'd I have
That which her Charms have from me borne?
Yet let us quit th' obliging Score;
And whilst we borrow'd Gold restore,
Whilst readily we own the Debt,
And Gratitude before her set
In its approved and fairest Light;
Let her effectually be taught
By that instructive, harmless Slight,
That also in her turn she ought
(Repaying ev'ry tender Thought)
Kindness with Kindness to requite.
Notes originally by Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1713) are preceded by the notation [AF]. Notes by Myra Reynolds (1903) are credited with the notation [MR]. Uncredited notes are the addition of the page maintainer.