Partly Reconstructed Poem:
From MS Finch-Hatton 283, pp 36-38, with the help of a previous reconstruction of first stanza by Reynolds (p. xxvi) and attempt at whole poem by WJCameron, Chapter 18, Note 1. See Entry No. 29 in my Annotated Chronology (August 17, 1685).
Title: A Letter to Mr. Finch from Tunbridge wells, August 17th 1685.
Daphnis no more your wish repeat
For my return nor mourn my stay,
Lest my wise Purpose you defeat,
And urg'd by Love I come away
My own desires I now can resist
But blindly yield if you persist
Not the reflections on . . . p[...]
Or Singing . . . which I ad[...]
But that my Love will . . . the y[...]
Thus Separate . . . Daphnis . . .
Restor'd to health . . . I
May all my Soul . . . Love apply.
Diss . . . did with . . . but Love
And by Prevailing in the Strife
Make . . . Joyfull . . . approve
Wee taste and find the Springs of Life
And thought the Muses . . .
Not . . . from Heaven . . . [...]d y[...]
All . . . d[...]y . . . expire
And . . . bus[...] . . . by [hk ..ss] [hurt?]
Joy with its . . . into the Fire
And beauty Triumphs . . . [inexpert?]
Then . . ., beautous, . . . justly Charmes
Which . . . she'll yield to Daphnis armes.
Comment: every attempt has been made to obliterate this poem; heavy crossed hatchwork, crosscrossing over this, covers each line; yet she could have ripped the sheet out. The poem suggests that Anne Finch had chosen what both she and Heneage regarded as a temporary separation; they were living apart and she argues this momentary respite (to restore her health?) is necessary. She has been hurt again, although she says that "reflections" on things she admires (poems, singing?), did not lead to her "Wise Purpose" (the separation). She promises to return to his bed once she has gotten over some (inward) strife. There is an allusion here to the myth of Proserpina. Anne makes an analogy between Heneage and Diss, the ruler of the underworld who ruthlessly carried off Anne as Proserpina: "Diss ... did with ... but Love/And by Prevailing in the Strife/Make ... Joyfull ... approve/Wee taste and find the Springs of Life". She also seems to deprecate some compliment on beauty. Every young couple has its problems; why should the young Finches living at a backbiting intrigue-filled ambition-driven court on a limited income be any different?