Silvia, let us from the crowd retire
For what to you and me
(Who but each other do desire)
Is all that here we see?
Apart we'll live, though not alone;
For, who alone can call
Those who in desarts live with One
If in that One they've All?
The world a vast Meander is,
Where hearts confus'dly stray;10
Where few do hit, whilst thousands miss
The happy mutual way:
Where hands are by stern Parents tied,
Who oft, in Cupid's scorn.
Do for the widowed state provide,
Before that Love is born:
Where some too soon themselves misplace,
And in another find
The only temper, wit, or face,
That could affect their mind. 20
Others (but O avert that fate!)
A well-chosen Object change:
Fly, Silvia, fly, ere 'tis too late;
Fallen nature's prone to range.
And though in heat of Love we swear
More than perform we can;
No Goddess you, but Woman are,
And I no more than Man.
The impatient Silvia heard thus long;
Then with a smile replied: 30
Those bands could ne'er be very strong
Which accidents' divide.
In ancient history we meet
A flying nymph betray'd,
Who had she kept in fruitful Crete,
New conquests might have made.
And sure, as on the beech she stood.
To view the parting sails;
She curs'd herself, more than the flood
Or the conspiring gales.40
False Theseus, since thy vows are broke,
May following nymphs beware;
(Methinks I hear how thus she spoke,
Who will not trust too far)
In love, in play, in trade, in war
They best themselves acquit,
Who though their interests shipwreck'd are,
Keep unreprov'd their wit.
"Anne Countess of Winchelsea, Authoress of the foregoing Poems, was the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill of Sidmonton, in the County of Southampton. She married Heneage, second son of Heneage Earl of Winchelsea, who on the death of his Nephew, Charles, succeeded him in the title of Earl. She died, without Issue Augst. 5th. 1720." see Poems by Eminent Ladies.
A passage in her "Petition for an absolute Retreat," not given in the Extract from that poem, and another in the "Fragment" page , prove that she was attached to James the second and suffered by the Revolution.