How is it that my lifted Eyes


At first Waking.

Primary Text:

MS Wellesley, 141*.
How is it that my lifted Eyes
Again behold the Morning light
How have I to my great surprise
Escap'd the terrours of the Night

When I lay down my leafe I took
So dreadfull did the Shade appear
Of all nor to arise did look
Such numerous Dangers waiting were

Is it then by my Art or Power
That no illusions have dismaid
Or Spirits watch'd my Sleeping hour
And throo' my flesh my Soul betray'd

O no it is the Staff the Rod
In the defensive mighty hand
Of my protecting gracious God
Which only can Hells power withstand

Secondary Ed:

1988 Ellis d'Alessandro prints Wellesley text, 171; McGovern & Hinnant, 134.


This reads as a continuation of Snatch'd from the verge of the devouring grave. It has the same simplicity, directness, and sincerity. Finch wakes in the morning hardly able to believe she has been "spar'd the terrours of the Night." This poem differs from the two previous in that Finch seems to be referring not so much to sickness as to a recurring nightmare ("no illusions have dismaid ... numerous Dangers waiting were").
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Page Last Updated 8 January 2003