A Celebration of Women Writers

"A Suplication for the joys of Heaven" by Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661 - 1720)
Manuscript Source: Wellesley College, Margaret Clapp Library, MS. 108-9
This Edition: Anne Finch and Her Poetry: A Critical Biography by Barbara McGovern. Athens & London: University of Georgia Press, 1992.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

A Suplication for the joys of Heaven

To the Superior World to Solemn Peace
To Regions where Delights shall never cease
To Living Springs and to Celestial shade
For change of pleasure not Protection made
To Blissfull Harmonys o'erflowing source
Which Strings or stops can neither bind or Force
But wafting Air for ever bears along
Perpetual Motion with perpetual Song
On which the Blest in Symphonies ascend
And towards the Throne with Vocal ardours bend
To Radial light o'erspreading Boundless space
To the safe Goal of our well ended race
To shelter where the weary shall have rest
And where the wicked never shall molest
To that Jerusalem which ours below
Did but in type and faint resemblance shew
To the first born and ransom'd Church above
To Seraphims whose whole composures love
To active Cherubins whom wings surround
Not made to rest tho' on imortal ground
But still suspended wait with flaming joy
In swift commands their vigour to employ
Ambrosial dews distilling from their plumes
Scattering where e'er they pass innate perfumes
To Angells of innumerable sorts
Subordinate in the etherial Courts
To Men refin'd from every gross allay
Who taught the Flesh the Spirit to obey
And keeping late futurity in view
Do now possess what long they did persue
To Jesus founder of the Christian race
And kind dispenser of the Gospell grace
Bring me my God in my accomplish't time
From weakness freed and from degrading crime
Fast by the Tree of life be my retreat
Whose leaves are Med'cin and whose fruit is meat
Heal'd by the first and by the last renew'd
With all perfections be my Soul endued
My form that has the earthly figure borne
Take the Celestial in its Glorious turn
My temper frail and subject to dismay
Be stedfast there spiritualiz'd and gay
My low Poetick tendency be rais'd
Till the bestower worthily is prais'd
Till Dryden's numbers for Cecilia's feast
Which sooth depress inflame and shake the breast
Vary the passions with each varying line
Allow'd below all others to outshine
Shall yeild to those above shall yeild to mine
In sound in sense in emphasis Divine
Stupendious are the heights to which they rise
Whose anthems match the musick of the skies
Whilst that which art we call when studied here
Is nature there in its sublimest sphere
And the pathetick now so hard to find
Flows from the gratefull transports of the mind
With Poets who supernal voices raise
And here begin their never ending layes
With those who to the brethren of their Lord
In all distress a warm relief afford
With the Heroick Spirits of the brave
Who durst be true when threatn'd with the Grave
And when from evil in triumphant sway
Who e'er departed made himself a prey
To sanguine perils to penurious care
To scanty cloathing and precarious fare
To lingring solitude exhausting thoughts
Unsuccour'd losses and imputed faults
With these let me be join'd when Heaven reveals
The judgment which admits of no appeals
And having heard from the deciding throne
Well have ye suffer'd wisely have ye Done
Henceforth the Kingdom of the blest is yours
For you unfolds its everlasting doors
With joyfull Allelujahs let me hail
The strength that o'er my weakness cou'd prevail
Upheld me here and raised my feeble clay
To this felicity for which I pray
Thro' him whose intercession I implore
And Heaven once enter'd prayer shall be no more
Loud acclamations shall its place supply
And praise the breath of Angells in the sky.

Finisht February 6th I717/18

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom