A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Unequal Fetters" 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 The Poems of Anne, Countess of Winchilsea From the original edition of 1713 and from unpublished ms., edited with an introduction and notes, by Myra Reynolds.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. pp. 150-151.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

The Unequal Fetters


Cou'd we stop the time that's flying
  Or recall itt when 'tis past
Put far off the day of Dying
  Or make Youth for ever last
To Love wou'd then be worth our cost.

But since we must loose those Graces
  Which at first your hearts have wonne
And you seek for in new Faces
  When our Spring of Life is done
It wou'd but urdge our ruine on

Free as Nature's first intention
  Was to make us, I'll be found
Nor by subtle Man's invention
  Yeild to be in Fetters bound
By one that walks a freer round.

Mariage does but slightly tye Men
  Whil'st close Pris'ners we remain
They the larger Slaves of Hymen
  Still are begging Love again
At the full length of all their chain.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom