SOoner I'd praise a Cloud which Light beguiles


To the Painter of an ill-drawn Picture of CLEONE, the Honourable Mrs. Thynne.

Primary Text:

No MS; 1713 Misc, 176-8*.

Secondary Ed:

Rpt of 1713: 1903 Reynolds, 59-60.


Many felicitous lines of description, tone and versification ("A soft Endearment, and a chearful Wit") looks forward to Pope in his early poem to Teresa Blount "with Works of Voiture." Cleone is Grace Strode Thynne, wife to Henry Thynne, at the time the eldest surviving son and heir to Thomas and Francis Finch Thynne, Lord and Lady Weymouth; she is then wife to Heneage's nephew.


Anne Finch says Mrs Thynne's beauty is "still the same," and her husband "still" loves her as before, now they are knotted "by the gentlest bands of human life;" the two were married in may 1695, the first surviving daughter, Frances (later "the Gentle Hertford"), born May 10, 1699; Mary (later Lady Brooke) March 29, 1701/2; the resemblance between this and the poem below when the two children were about 5 and 3 makes around 1704 a likely year; Henry Thynne is still very much alive as well, and we also know that Anne Finch visited Longleat at least once in that year (see August 10, 1704 below).
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