Page:Poems of Anne Countess of Winchilsea 1903.djvu/91

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INTRODUCTION Ixxxvii ���and I sent for it. It proved to be a vast collection of the poems of my beloved Anne Finch. I immediately communicated with the bookseller and asked him whence it came. He replied that it had been sold, with furniture, pictures, and books, at the dispersing of the effects of a family of the name of Creake. �The progress of the gentle lady from the sumptuous retire- ment of the library at Eastwell Park down the long proces- sion of the years had been lonely and unheralded, but it was surely a gracious and benignant fate that brought her at last to the company of her peers in the library of the man who had years before constituted himself her champion. And now two hundred years after the last words were added to the book by the pen of the scribe, the poems speak for the first time from the printed page. �In 1713 Lady "Winchilsea published a volume of selec- tions from her poems. There was apparently but one edition The Volume ^ this book, yet in the slow progress of publi- ofi7l3 cation two title-pages were used. The one �dated 1713 has, in the center of the page, a wood-cut of two flying cherubs bearing palm branches and laurel wreaths. The title reads Miscellany Poems on Several Occasions. Written by a Lady. The second title-page is dated 1714. It omits the cherubs. Written by a Lady is changed to Written by the Right Hon ble Anne, Countess of Winchilsea, a change showing probably a favorable reception of the earlier volumes, and certainly an advance in self-confidence. Of the eighty-one poems in this volume, forty-five are in neither of the manuscripts. It would not be entirely safe to assert that these new poems were all written between 1702 and 1713, but the four to which dates may be assigned do belong after 1708. �Still other poems by Lady Winchilsea are to be found scattered through various publications. In Steele's Miscel- lany, 1714, there is one poem, To Mr. Jervas, by the Countess ��� �