Why are my steps with held. What bids me stay
Title: On these Words--for as much as ye did it unto the last of these my Brethren ye did it unto me. Sceane. The Door of a Cathedral. Persons. A Rich and Poor man.
Primary Text: MS Wellesley, 125-7*.
Secondary Ed: 1988 Ellis d'Alessandro prints Wellesley text, 156-8; McGovern & Hinnant, 114-7.
Source: Matthew 25:33-40, as figuring forth what Christ will say to those he accepts into heaven.
Comment: Beautiful yet sharp and realistic. It appears to record a real incident witnessed by Finch one day at church. It is successful partly because the genre as conceived by Finch (a dramatic narrative from a brief group of words) does not work at cross-purposes against her moral; for once the 18th century paraphrase of original gospel lines works very well. Finch has returned to the attitudes and materials of her verse in 1696 Tate and the autobiographical Biblical paraphrases also written during the later 1690s (see Annotated Chronology Nos. 46-52), but her techniques have been transformed by her experience of versifying since then and 18th century modes. One could call it religious satire.
Date: This and By strange Events to Sollitude betray'd occur together in the MS Wellesley, and are so strikingly similar in basic style and content, they were probably written in tandem.
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Page Last Updated 8 January 2003