Pretty Nymph within this Shade


A Pastoral Dialogue Between two Shepheardesses

Primary Text:

MS Folger, 246-8.

Secondary Eds:

1713 Misc, 179-83; rpt of 1713: 1903 Reynolds, 144-7.


1709 Tonson, 225-31.


Rpt of 1709/1713/1903: 1990 Lonsdale, 9-11.


A disillusioned debate: a woman may choose between solitude, chastity, peace of mind, ennui, uselessness -- or the court and love and inevitable betrayal. Dorinda says a woman must use her beauty when she's got it; Silvia implies that this use is painful and solitude is much better. There is a delicate couplet towards the end: "Till no Streak of Light is seen./Nor footstep prints the flow'ry green." Before she turned to the 1713 Miscellany Finch had begun to write pastoral as if it were a form of fable with a moral.
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