When such a day, blesst the Arcadian plaine


An Invitation to Dafnis. To leave his Study and usual Employments--Mathematicks, Painting, &c. and to take the Pleasures of the feilds with Ardelia.

Primary Text:

MS Folger, 41-3 (in Heneage's hand)*.
When such a day, blesst the Arcadian plaine,
Warm without Sun, and shady without rain,
Fann'd by an air, that scarcely bent the flowers,
Or wav'd the woodbines on the summer bowers,
The Nymphs disorder'd beauty cou'd not fear,
Nor ruffling winds uncurl'd the Shepheards hair,
On the fresh grasse, they trod their measures light,
And a long evening made from noon, to night.
Come then, my Dafnis, from those cares descend
Which better may the winter season spend.
Come then, my Daphnis, and the feilds survey,
And throo' the groves, with your Ardelia stray.

Reading the softest Poetry, refuse,
To veiw the subjects of each rural muse;
Nor lett the busy compasses go round,
When faery Cercles better mark the ground.
Rich Colours on the Vellum cease to lay,
When ev'ry lawne much nobler can display,
When on the daz'ling poppy may be seen
A glowing red, exceeding your carmine;
And for the blew, that o're the sea is borne,
A brighter rises in our standing corn.
Come then, my Dafnis, and the feilds survey.
And throo' the groves, with your Ardelia stray.

Come, and let Sanson's World, no more engage,
Altho' he gives a kingdom in a page;
O're all the Vniverse his lines may goe,
And not a clime, like temp'rate brittan show.
Come then, my Dafnis, and the feilds survey.
And throo' the groves, with your Ardelia stray.

Nor plead that you're immur'd and cannot yield,
That mighty bastions keep you from the feild;
Think not, tho' lodged in Mons, or in Namur,
You're from my dangerous attacks secure.
No, Louis shall his falling Conquests fear,
When by succeeding Courriers he shall hear
Appollo, and the Muses, are drawn down
To storm each fort, and take in ev'ry town.
Vauban. the Orphean lyre, to mind shall call,
That drew the stones to old Theban Wall,
And make no doubt, if itt against him play,
They, from his works, will fly as fast away,
Which to prevent, he shall to peace persuade,
Of strong confederate Syllables affraid.
Come then, my Dafnis, and the feilds survey.
And throo' the groves, with your Ardelia stray.

Come, and attend, how we walk along,
Each chearfull bird shall treat us with a song,
Not such as fops compose, where wit, nor art,
Nor plainer Nature, ever bear a part;
The Christall springs, shall murmur as we passe,
But not like Courtiers, sinking to disgrace;
Nor, shall the louder Rivers, in their fall,
Like unpaid Saylors, or hoarse Pleaders, brawle;
But all shall form a concert to delight,
And all to peace, and all to love, envite.
Come then, my Dafnis, and the feilds survey.
And throo' the groves, with your Ardelia stray.

As Baucis and Philemon spent their lives,
Of husbands he, the happyest she, of wives,
When throo' the painted meads, their way they sought,
Harmlesse in act and unperplext in thought,
Let us, my Dafnis, rural joys persue,
And courts and camps not ev'n in fancy view,
So, let us throo' the groves, my Dafnis, stray,
And so, the pleasures of the feilds, survey

(MS Folger, pp. 41-43).

Secondary Eds:

1903 Reynolds prints Folger text, 28-30; rpts of Reynolds: 1928 Murray, 43-5; 1930 Fausset, 15-6; 1979 Rogers, AF, 38-9; 1987 Thompson, 38-40.


A joyous poem whose refrain is that of Spenser's Epithalamion; wholly successful, it is analyzed by McGovern who suggests Finch is also writing with Herrick's "Corinnna's going a Maying" in mind.


While there are allusions in the poem to the famed battle of Namur (1699) and to Nicholas and Guillaume Sanson's Description de tout l'Univers (1700), there is also an allusion to Mons (then Flanders, today Belgium) which was continually fought over during the war against France and first surrendered in 1709. This means the probable date for some of the composition of the poem is not 1700 but sometime between then and something like 1706, the peak of the war's military actions in Flanders.
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