Ombre and Basset laid aside



Primary Texts:

MS's: Lansdowne, 852 (with ascription to the Countess of Winchilsea, line 17 is, according to Ault, "gayer passions of the mind"); Harleian 7316, 70r* (no ascription, line 17 has "guiane passions of the mind"); 1724 Hive (reads the word as "genuine," see below)


Ombre and Basset laid aside
New Games employ the Fair,
And Brokers all those hours divide
Which Lovers used to Share.


The Court the Park the foreign Song,
And Harlequins Grimace
Forlorn amidst the Citty throng
Behold each blooming face.


With Jews and Gentiles undismay'd,
Young tender Virgins mix,
Of Whiskers nor of Beards affraid,
Nor all their Cousening tricks.


Bright Jewels polished once to deck
The fair ones rising Breast
Or sparkle round her Ivory Neck
Lie pawn'd in Iron Chest.


The Guiane passions of the mind
How Avarice controuls,
Even Love does now no longer find
A Place in female Souls.

Secondary Eds:

Rpt of 1938 Ault: 1987 Thompson, 80.


1724 Hive I, 96 (line 17 persuasive: "The genuine passions of the mind").


1938 Ault prints Lansdowne, 299 (for line 17 he guesses "gayer"); rpt of 1938 Ault: 1984 Lonsdale, 106-7; 1990 Lonsdale, 26.


In 1938 Norman Ault entitled the poem: "A Song on the South Seas". This is apparently securely Finch's on the basis of Ault's judgement and the attribution in MS Lansdowne 852. It also occurs in the series of 14 poems in MS Harleian 7316. It is relevant to add that the printer of The Hive almost placed it with Finch's early song "PERSUADE me not" (see linking word at bottom on 96); the two may have come in one MS, but in accordance with the thematic patterning of the two volumes "Persuade me not" was moved to a series of love songs. See poem it appears with in MS Harleian, The South Sea affair is what I now Sing, possibly also by Finch.

It has been suggested to me by Dwight Douglas Codr that "'guiane' is a possible neologism, signifying the adjectival form of 'guinea' (which does not have an proper or attested adjectival form according to the OED) which as a currency had been relatively recently admitted into circulation (1663). Moreover, the spelling variants for 'guinea' and its forms were quite vast and irregular. 'Guiane passions' would thus be passions for currency or money, certainly thematically to the point of the poem even if accepting it as an interpretation creates a redundancy (obviously 'Avarice' and 'guiane passions' would be much the same)."


As above, between January and August 1720.
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