When my Aminta weeps 'tis sure


A Dialogue

Primary Text:

No MS; 1701 Gilden, 332-4*.
He. When my Aminta weeps 'tis sure
Some might cause affects her so
That Equal temper is secure
Against what common ills can do
Why does the Lovely Nymph complain,
Since both have One United heart;
She shou'd in Jusice tell her pain,
I'le Ease your Grief by bearing part

She. Forgive my weakeness if concern
Do's in my clouded face appear;
Too soon you may the cause discern,
For tender love is apt to fear.
When to the faithless court you go,
And Thousand dazling Beauties see.
Charm'd with the Artificial show
You'le soon forget your Vows and me.

He. Blest innocence my Souls delight,
For you unmov'd I'de Courts despise
Th'alluring prospect's not so bright,
Nor yeilds a lustre like your Eyes.
May the great Gods confirm my Vow,
And I their utmost Vengeance feel
When at another Shrine I bow,
Or with unhallowed Incence kneel.

She. Then from the hurry let's retire
And quit Ambition for the Grove,
Honour's at best a painted Fire,
There is no Sollid joy but Love.
Pan will approve of our retreat,
On the soft grass supinely laid
We'l pitty those that dare be great
And make a Palace of the Shade.

Chorus of both

Far from the Hurry wee'll retire &c


From my Apollo's Muse:
Anne's poetry and her earlier life with Heneage, and his too show the same dissensions, ambivalences, and disquiets as our own today. At court she complained he drank and flirted too much, stayed away from home for too long, and behaved jealously when she flirted with others. In one of her poems she writes that alcohol had made such 'an Island' of his heart, one 'So inaccessible, and cold/That to be his, is to be old' ('The nymph in vain, bestows her pains,' MS F-H 283, p. 60). At Godmersham and Wye, he found the continual tension in her face and her crying depressing, puzzling and alienating. In an as yet little known poem, 'When my Aminta weeps 'tis sure', Anne dramatises a scene in which a woman apologises to a man who complains her weeping only makes things worse but if she can explain why she cries, he will 'ease her grief by bearing part'. She excuses herself on the grounds that she cries because she fears her continual state of anxiety will drive him to some other woman. When he then says that they can only find peace away from others, the woman produces another invitation which we may hope Daphnis took up.


Attributed as probably by Finch. It is one of the nine poems in this volume either by or connected to her. It Finch's use of pastoral dialogue in MS Folger and the 1713 Miscellany, e.g., "Pretty Nymph within this shade" and A Female Friend advis'd a Swain. These are all partly autobiographical and partly generic, e.g., read generically we have the story of a shepherdess who tells her shepherd how she fears he will not be faithful to her if he goes out into the world, and she urges him to "hurry" from "ambition," to "retire" to the "Grove" with her, that "Honour's at best a painted Fire,/There is no Sollid joy but Love," and with her to "make a Palace of the Shade." There is still a line of argument that coheres with Finch's other pastoral poems.


The name "Aminta" recalls Finch's translation from Tasso and suggests there may have been an earlier version or this was written shortly after Anne put aside the translations of Tasso.

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