By strange Events to Sollitude betray'd


On these Words--thou has hedg'd my way with thorns. Scean. a Wood. An aged Father and yong Lady. Lady alone.

Primary Text:

MS Wellesley, 127-33.

Secondary Ed:

1988 Ellis d'Alessdandro prints Wellesley text, 159-64; McGovern & Hinnant, 118-124.


Hosea 2:6 and Milton's Comus.


Inconsistent, revised dramatic poem. She has in mind Miltons' Comus in the way she presents and handles the Lady. Like Annotated Chronology No. 220, this poem shows Finch returning to the preoccupations of the poetry of the 1690s with very changed techniques.

The poem begins autobiographically on Anne Finch's solitude and love of woods. It then turns into an argument addressed to a young girl (perhaps Mary Thynne who in the next year married William Greville, 7th Lord Brooke) not to be seduced into sex for love outside marriage. Finch ends on celebration of girl's coming marriage, a Biblical gallimaufry. Individual passages are interesting when read autobiographically and as women's protest poetry. Finch protests norms and contradictory demands forced on women.


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