A Celebration of Women Writers

"Jupiter and the Farmer" 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. pp. 49-51.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

Jupiter and the Farmer.

When Poets gave their God in Crete a Birth,
Then Jupiter held Traffick with the Earth,
And had a Farm to Lett: the Fine was high,
For much the Treas'ry wanted a Supply,
By Danae's wealthy Show'r exhausted quite, and dry.

[Page 50]

But Merc'ry, who as Steward kept the Court,
So rack'd the Rent, that all who made Resort
Unsatisfy'd return'd, nor could agree
To use the Lands, or pay his secret Fee;
'Till one poor Clown (thought subt'ler than the rest,
Thro' various Projects rolling in his Breast)
Consents to take it, if at his Desire
All Weathers tow'rds his Harvest may conspire;
The Frost to kill the Worm, the brooding Snow,
The filling Rains may come, and Phoebus glow.
The Terms accepted, sign'd and seal'd the Lease,
His Neighbours Grounds afford their due Encrease
The Care of Heav'n; the Owner's Cares may cease.
Whilst the new Tenant, anxious in his Mind,
Now asks a Show'r, now craves a rustling Wind
To Raise what That had lodg'd, that he the Sheaves may bind.
The Sun, th'o'er-shadowing Clouds, the moistning Dews
He with such Contrariety does chuse;

[Page 51]

So often and so oddly shifts the Scene,
Whilst others Load, he scarce has what to Glean.

  O Jupiter! with Famine pinch'd he cries,
No more will I direct th' unerring Skies;
No more my Substance on a Project lay,
No more a sullen Doubt I will betray,
Let me but live to Reap, do Thou appoint the way.

[Next]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom