Appollo, as lately a Circuit he made
Title: The Circuit of Appollo
Primary Text: MS Folger, 43-75*.
Here is an excerpt:
Appollo, as lately a Circuit he made,
Throo' the lands of the Muses, when Kent he survey'd,
And saw there that Poets were not very common,
But most that pretended to Verse, were the Women
Resolv'd, to encourage, the few that he found,
And she that writ best, with a wreath should be crown'd.
A summons sent out, was obey'd but by four,
When Phebus, afflicted, to meet with no more,
And standing, where sadly, he now might descry,
From the banks of the Stoure, the desolate Wye,
He lamented for Behn o're that place of her birth,
And said amongst Femens was not on the earth,
Her superiour in fancy, in language, or wit,
Yett own'd that a little too loosly she writt . . .
But now to proceed, and their merritts to know,
Before he on any, the Bay's wou'd bestow,
He order'd them each, in their several way,
To show him their papers, to sing, or to say . . .
Secondary Eds: 1903 Reynolds prints Folger text, 92-4; rpts of 1903 Reynolds: 1930 Fausset, 49-51; 1979 Rogers AF, 72-4.
20C: rpt of 1713/1903: 1985 Ferguson, 250-2; 1985 Gilbert/Gubar 103-5.
Comment: A female version of popular "Sessions of the Poets" poems; refers to Alinda (appears in "Ardelia's Answer to Ephelia"); Laura (who wrote in praise of Orinda, perhaps Mrs Randolph? see Annotated Chronology, No 122, "Madam,
As when the Macedonian Conqu'rour dy'd" below); Valeria (may be the same woman Finch defended in a poem in the MS Wellesley, but it is also a pseudonym associated with Mary Astell), and "Mrs Behn" who Finch says was "a Daughter of a Barber who liv'd formerly in Wye."
Date: Terminus ad quo is 1696 when Gilden published life and works of Aphra Behn.
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