The Pretious hours of flying Youth


A song

Primary Text:

No MS; 1701 Gilden, 293-4.


1724 The Hive I, 251-2.


This is possibly by Finch. It is one of a series of nine poems in this volume connected to Ann, the first a collaboration with her nephew, the next a poem from Nicholas Rowe to Catherina Fleming in praise of Ann's pindarics, "The Spleen" and "All is Vanity," followed by four known to certainly be Finch's (identified as "by the author of The Spleen," a series of three in a row (of which this is one), each of which recall's Finch's poetry in various ways, and a final separate pastoral dialogue later in the book ("When my Aminta weeps 'tis sure"), on all of which see below; also an article by Iolo Williams, "Some Poetical Miscellanies of the Eighteenth Century," The Library 10 (1930), showing that precisely those pages which contain the not-very-enigmatic attribution have been tampered with or pulled out and that there have been other clear afterthoughts in the compositing surrounding the pages on which "The Retirement" appears; in the case of this poem, Thirsis tells Marcella any man who "hast's not to possess" is not worth having; who wants "thinking Sots" with their "Gravity" and "Reason, "lazy lovers"?; she'd better take the "faithless Thirsis," or the world will not think her fair.
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