Finch, Anne Kingsmill

British, (1661-1720)

The Hog, the Sheep, and Goat, carrying to a FAIR

  1. Who does not wish, ever to judge aright,
  2. And, in the Course of Life’s Affairs,
  3. To have a quick, and far extended Sight,
  4.  
  5. Tho’ it too often multiplies his Cares?
  6. And who has greater Sense, but greater Sorrow shares?
  7.  
  8. This felt the Swine, now carrying to the Knife;
  9. And whilst the Lamb and silent Goat
  10. In the same fatal Cart lay void of Strife,
  11. He widely stretches his foreboding Throat,
  12. Deaf’ning the easy Crew with his outragious Note.
  13.  
  14. The angry Driver chides th’unruly Beast,
  15. And bids him all this Noise forbear;
  16. Nor be more loud, nor clamorous than the rest,
  17. Who with him travel’d to the neighb’ring Fair.
  18. And quickly shou’d arrive, and be unfetter’d there.
  19.  
  20. This, quoth the Swine, I do believe, is true,
  21. And see we’re very near the Town;
  22. Whilst these poor Fools of short, and bounded View,
  23. Think ’twill be well, when you have set them down,
  24. And eas’d One of her Milk, the Other of her Gown.
  25.  
  26. But all the dreadful Butchers in a Row,
  27. To my far-searching Thoughts appear,
  28. Who know indeed, we to the Shambles go,
  29. Whilst I, whom none but Belzebub wou’d shear,
  30. Nor but his Dam wou’d milk, must for my Carcase fear.
  31.  
  32. But tell me then, will it prevent thy Fate?
  33. The rude unpitying Farmer cries;
  34. If not, the Wretch who tastes his Suff’rings late,
  35. Not He, who thro’ th’unhappy Future prys,
  36. Must of the Two be held most Fortunate and Wise.

The Eagle, the Sow, and the Cat

  1. THE Que’encrease the Regal Stock,
  2. Had hatch’d her young Ones in a stately Oak,
  3. Whose Middle-part was by a Cat possest,
  4. And near the Root with Litter warmly drest,
  5. A teeming Sow had made her peaceful Nest.
  6. (Thus Palaces are cramm’d from Roof to Ground,
  7. And Animals, as various, in them found.)
  8. When to the Sow, who no Misfortune fear’d,
  9. Puss with her fawning Compliments appear’d,
  10. Rejoicing much at her Deliv’ry past,
  11. And that she ‘scap’d so well, who bred so fast.
  12. Then every little Piglin she commends,
  13. And likens them to all their swinish Friends;
  14. Bestows good Wishes, but with Sighs implies,
  15. That some dark Fears do in her Bosom rise.
  16. Such Tempting Flesh, she cries, will Eagles spare?
  17. Methinks, good Neighbour, you should live in Care:
  18. Since I, who bring not forth such dainty Bits,
  19. Tremble for my unpalatable Chits;
  20. And had I but foreseen, the Eagle’s Bed
  21. Was in this fatal Tree to have been spread;
  22. I sooner wou’d have kitten’d in the Road,
  23. Than made this Place of Danger my abode.
  24. I heard her young Ones lately cry for Pig,
  25. And pity’d you, that were so near, and big.
  26. In Friendship this I secretly reveal,
  27. Lest Pettitoes shou’d make th’ ensuing Meal;
  28. Or else, perhaps, Yourself may be their aim,
  29. For a Sow’s Paps has been a Dish of Fame.
  30. No more the sad, affrighted Mother hears,
  31. But overturning all with boist’rous Fears,
  32. She from her helpless Young in haste departs,
  33. Whilst Puss ascends, to practice farther Arts.
  34. The Anti-chamber pass’d, she scratch’d the Door;
  35. The Eagle, ne’er alarum’d so before,
  36. Bids her come in, and look the Cause be great,
  37. That makes her thus disturb the Royal Seat;
  38. Nor think, of Mice and Rats some pest’ring Tale
  39. Shall, in excuse of Insolence, prevail.
  40. Alas! my Gracious Lady, quoth the Cat,
  41. I think not of such Vermin; Mouse, or Rat
  42. To me are tasteless grown; nor dare I stir
  43. To use my Phangs, or to expose my Fur.
  44. A Foe intestine threatens all around,
  45. And ev’n this lofty Structure will confound;
  46. A Pestilential Sow, a meazel’d Pork
  47. On the Foundation has been long at work,
  48. Help’d by a Rabble, issu’d from her Womb,
  49. Which she has foster’d in that lower Room;
  50. Who now for Acorns are so madly bent,
  51. That soon this Tree must fall, for their Content.
  52. I wou’d have fetch’d some for th’ unruly Elves;
  53. But ’tis the Mob’s delight to help Themselves:
  54. Whilst your high Brood must with the meanest drop,
  55. And steeper be their Fall, as next the Top;
  56. Unless you soon to Jupiter repair,
  57. And let him know, the Case demands his Care.
  58. Oh! May the Trunk but stand, ’till you come back!
  59. But hark! already sure, I hear it crack.
  60. Away, away — The Eagle, all agast,
  61. Soars to the Sky, nor falters in her haste:
  62. Whilst crafty Puss, now o’er the Eyry reigns,
  63. Replenishing her Maw with treach’rous Gains.
  64. The Sow she plunders next, and lives alone;
  65. The Pigs, the Eaglets, and the House her own.
  66.  
  67. Curs’d Sycophants! How wretched is the Fate
  68. Of those, who know you not, till ’tis too late!

Miscellany Poems, on Several Occasions. London: printed for John Barber and sold by Benj. Tooke at the Middle-Temple-Gate, William Taylor in
Pater-Noster-Row, and James Round, in Exchange-Alley, Cornhil, 1713.

About the Poet

Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661-1720). Finch was one of the earliest published women poets in England. An excellent biography can be found at the “Celebration of Women Writers” section of University of Pennsylvania’s Digital Library. [DES-6/03]

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