To Death

By Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea 1661–1720 Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea
O King of terrors, whose unbounded sway
All that have life must certainly obey;
The King, the Priest, the Prophet, all are thine,
Nor would ev’n God (in flesh) thy stroke decline.
My name is on thy roll, and sure I must
Increase thy gloomy kingdom in the dust.
My soul at this no apprehension feels,
But trembles at thy swords, thy racks, thy wheels;
Thy scorching fevers, which distract the sense,
And snatch us raving, unprepared, from hence;
At thy contagious darts, that wound the heads
Of weeping friends, who wait at dying beds.
Spare these, and let thy time be when it will;
My bus’ness is to die, and thine to kill.
Gently thy fatal scepter on me lay,
And take to thy cold arms, insensibly, thy prey.

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Poet Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea 1661–1720

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

 Anne  Finch, Countess of Winchilsea

Biography

Although she has always enjoyed some fame as a poet, Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, has only recently received greater praise and renewed attention. Her diverse and considerable body of work records her private thoughts and personal struggles but also illustrates her awareness of the social and political climate of her era. Not only do Finch’s poems reveal a sensitive mind and a religious soul, but they exhibit great . . .

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POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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