From MS Harleian 7316, p 55 r, the sixth in a series of poems by, to and describing the intimate circle of people surrounding Heneage and Anne Finch. For full listing of series, see 'To Coleshill Seat of Noble Pen'.
See also Annotated Chronology No. 268. I offer this for the reader's perusal as possibly by Anne Finch. It also occurs with Finch's "Cupid, on day, ask'd his mother" (see 1709) in 1724 Hive; a final poem on drink, love and false coquets. That the poem occurs twice with others by Anne is suggestive. It also recalls Finch's dislike of sentimental endings in plays; Finch is irritated with "plaister'd fair" (reverse of usual situation in Finch's songs and fables where it is usually the man who is the "Drunkard"); poet dislikes of sentimental plays; poem includes a reference to "Glastonbury Thorn" Anne and Heneage did travel to Somerset where the belief in the efficacy of Glastonbury Thorn still survived; also to Shakespeare's Midsummer's Night Dream (the lady can only return his "Kiss/Like Thisbe through the Wall" of drink). Crude or heavy-handed in the manner of Finch's poems on foolish "beaux." Cosmelia said to be "three score" as Finch was in 1720; perhaps refers to some contemporary woman friend whose behavior provoked Finch's disgust.
[Untitled Song]:, pp. 55r
Cosmelia's charmes inspire my Lays,
Who fair in Nature's scorn
Blooms in the Winter of her Days
Like Glasstonbury Thorn.
Cosmelia cruel at three score,
Like Bards in modern Plays,
Four Acts of Life past guiltless 'ore,
But in the fifth she lays.
If 'ere impatient of the Bliss,
Within her Arms I fall,
The Plaister'd fair returns the Kiss
Like Thisbe through the Wall.
Further comment: Possibile final song on coquettes; mention of 60 years old harshness like her in her late fables; perhaps grown angry at some contemporary she had to endure or at some compliment of herself. Male voice speaking of female in her early way of clearly differentiating sex of speaker. Same irritation with drunkenness found in above sounds in her imitation of La Fontaine's fable, "Reformation." Reference to "Glastonbury Thorn," the new sudden turnabouts in fifth act of plays; Shakespeare's MND ("The Plaister'd fair returns the Kiss/Like Thisbe through the Wall"). Also again date: 1720, she is herself "three score." Although conventional and handled by other women, the bitter attitude towards loss of beauty is found in other of Finch's poems, e.g., "Parting with Beauty:" "Now age came on and all the dismall traine . . . " (where I link an imitation/translation in the same vein, "Melinda on an Insippid Beauty").