A Wretch long tortur'd with Disdain



Primary Text:

No MS; 1714 Steele, 42-3*
A Wretch long tortur'd with Disdain,
That hourly pin'd, but pin'd in vain,
At length the God of Wine addrest,
The Refuge of a wounded breast.

Vouchsafe, oh Pow'r, thy healing Aid,
Teach me to gain the cruel Maid;
Thy Juices take the Lover's Part,
Flush his wan Looks, and chear his Heart.

Thus to the Jolly God he cry'd;
And thus the Jolly God reply'd,
Give shining o'er, be brisk and gay,
And quaff this sneaking Form away.

With dauntless Mein approach the Fair;
The Way to conquer is to Dare
The Swain pursu'd the God's Advice;
The Nymph was now no longer Nice.

She smil'd, and spoke the Sex's Mind;
When You grow Daring, We grow Kind:
Men to themselves are most severe,
And make us Tyrants by their Fear.


1724 The Hive II, 124.


This is a poem by Anne Finch. It is in two series of poems by Finch. The first is the series of ten poems beginning with "To Mr Jervas," ending on "Upon a Company of bad Dancers to good Musick" in Steele's 1714 Poetical Miscellany. The second is in the series of 16 (or possibly 17) in the anonymous 1724 Hive. See Myra Reynolds, p. lxxxviii. Like Finch's other anacreontics, the poem's wry idea is the man who hesitates to pursue is not worth having; moreover, having gotten drunk, he's impotent. This one is also masculinist: women love to tyrannize; the way to subdue them is to be a tyrant yourself. An unpleasant piece.
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