A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Bird and the Arras" by Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661 - 1720)
From Winchilsea, Anne (Kingsmill) Finch, Countess of. The Poems of Anne, Countess of Winchilsea From the original edition of 1713 and from unpublished ms., edited with an introduction and notes, by Myra Reynolds. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1903. p. 51.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

The Bird and the Arras


By neer resemblance see that Bird betray'd
Who takes the well wrought Arras for a shade
There hopes to pearch and with a chearfull Tune
O're-passe the scortchings of the sultry Noon.
But soon repuls'd by the obdurate scean
How swift she turns but turns alas in vain
That piece a Grove, this shews an ambient sky
Where immitated Fowl their pinnions ply
Seeming to mount in flight and aiming still more high.
All she outstrip's and with a moments pride
Their understation silent does deride
Till the dash'd Cealing strikes her to the ground
No intercepting shrub to break the fall is found
Recovering breath the window next she gaines
Nor fears a stop from the transparent Panes.

But we degresse and leaue th' imprison'd wretch
Now sinking low now on a loftyer stretch
Flutt'ring in endless cercles of dismay
Till some kind hand directs the certain way
Which through the casement an escape affoards
And leads to ample space the only Heav'n of Birds.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom