Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · GLOSSARY · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
The Change
By Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661–1720)
 
POOR River, now thou’rt almost dry,
What nymph, or swain, will near thee lie?
Since brought, alas! to sad decay,
What flocks, or herds, will near thee stay?
The swans, that sought thee in thy pride,        5
Now on new streams forgetful ride:
And fish, that in thy bosom lay,
Chuse in more prosp’rous floods to play.
All leave thee, now thy ebb appears,
To waste thy sad remains in tears;        10
Now will thy mournful murmurs heed.
Fly, wretched stream, with all thy speed,
Amongst those solid rocks thy griefs bestow;
For friends, like those alas! thou ne’er did’st know.
 
  And thou, poor sun! that sat’st on high;        15
But late, the splendour of the sky;
What flow’r tho’ by thy influence born,
Now clouds prevail, will tow’rds thee turn?
Now darkness sits upon thy brow,
What Persian votary will bow?        20
What river will her smiles reflect,
Now that no beams thou can’st direct?
By wat’ry vapours overcast,
Who thinks upon thy glories past?
If present light, nor heat we get,        25
Unheeded thou may’st rise, and set.
Not all the past can one adorer keep,
Fall, wretched sun, to the more faithful deep.
 
  Nor do thou, lofty structure! boast,
Since undermined by time and frost:        30
Since thou canst no reception give,
In untrod meadows thou may’st live.
None from his ready road will turn,
With thee thy wretched change to mourn.
Not the soft nights, or cheerful days        35
Thou hast bestowed, can give thee praise.
No lusty tree that nears thee grows,
(Tho’ it beneath thy shelter rose)
Will to thy age a staff become.
Fall, wretched building! to the tomb.        40
Thou, and thy painted roofs, in ruin mixt,
Fall to the earth, for that alone is fixt.
 
  The same, poor man, the same must be
Thy fate, nor fortune frowns on thee.
Her favour ev’ry one pursues,        45
And losing her, thou all must lose.
No love, sown in thy prosp’rous days,
Can fruit in this cold season raise:
No benefit, by thee conferred,
Can in this time of storms be heard.        50
All from thy troubled waters run;
Thy stooping fabric all men shun.
All do thy clouded looks decline,
As if thou ne’er did’st on them shine.
O wretched man! to other worlds repair;        55
For Faith and Gratitude are only there.
 
 
CONTENTS · GLOSSARY · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors