"When Phoebus, at declining of the day": "From the French Translation of Petrarqu'188th Sonnet". MS F-H 283, pp. 53-54; MS Folger p. 119-20. See Annotated Chronology No. 60. See also An Annotated Bibliography: Primary and Secondary Sources for all Finch's translations (paraphrases), imitations and adaptations.


Quand Phoebus en la mer baignant a sa retraite
La char doré, nostre air & mes sens obscurcit;
Du ciel & de la Lune & des astres la nuit
Pleine d'angoisse & mal pour arres je conqueste:

Puis je racompte a tel qui me tourne le teste,
Helas tout un a un le travail qui me nuit,
Et avecque l'Amour, madame, & mon esprit
Et le monde & mon fort aveugle je cacquette.

Le sommeil est banni, reposer je ne puis,
Mais plaignant jusqu'a l'aube, & en souspirs je fuis,
Et en larmes, que l'ame ainsi des yeux convie

Puis apres l'aube vient l'air tenebreux blanchir,
Non moy, mais le Soleil, qui ard, & fait plaisir
A mon coeur, rendre peut seul doux ce qui m'ennuie.

[Commentary] Il escrit icy, que sa miserable vie est la nuit, & comment toute la nuit il alloit vacillant avec soy-memes en souspirs, lamantations & larmes. Et que l'aube vient qui esclarcit l'air, & ceste dit il, ne me rend cler, mais le Soleil, qui ard le coeur, & luy donne plaisir, qui seul luy peut oster le dueil.

From Le Petrarque en Rime Francoise avec Ses Commentaries, traduict par Philippe de Maldeghem, Seigneur de Leyschot. A Douay: Chez Francois Fabry, Libraire iure. l'An MDCVI. Avec permission, 280. The original text does not include accents.

Today this sonnet is No. 203 (e.g., Petarch's Lyric Poems: The Rime Sparse and Other Lyrics, trans., ed. Robert M Durling [Cambridge: Harvard Univ Pr, 1976], pp 378-9), from the ordering first established in 1899 by G. Carducci and S. Ferrari; for earlier numberings (in some early editions of Petrarch's poems "Quando 'l sol bagna i mar l'aurato carro" was 187) and various popular commentaries that accompanied these see J. G. Fucilla, "The Present Status of Petrarchan Studies," Francis Petarch: Six Centuries Later, ed. A. Scaglione (Chapell Hill: Univ. of N. Carolina, 1975), particuarly pp 31-3.

Since Finch's paraphrase- imitation has not been reprinted since Reynolds's edition and the (unacknowledged) reprint of all the non-dramatic poetry that is to be found in Hugh I. A'Fausset's 1930 Everyman Minor Poets of the Eighteenth-Century, I include the whole text here:

When Phoebus, at declining of the day
His golden Chariot plunges inthe Sea,
Leauing my Soul, and this forsaken air
With darknesse cover'd, and with black dispair,
I by the rising streaks of Cynthia's light,
My griefs bewail, and dread th'approaching night.
I to the Heav'sn, and to the Stars relate,
That hear me not, the Stories of my fate.
What wonder, if by them unheard I be,
Since all things, are insencible to me?
Fortune to me, alas! is doubly blind,
My Mistresse cruel, and the world unkind;
With these, with love, and with myself I chide,
Nor will one pleasing thought, with me abide;
Sleep, from my weary, restlesse temples flyes,
And falling tears, prevent my closing eyes.
My soul, till morning, thus her anguish shews,
When soft Aurora cheerfull light renews.
But still, behind the Cloud, my Sun remains,
'Tis she must give me light, and ease my pains.

It is clear Anne Finch saw in this poem a mirror of her own nightly depressions and through it expressed her grief.

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