Poems of Anne Countess of Winchilsea 1903/Upon Ardelia's Return Home

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(After to[o] long a walk in Eastwell Park) in a water cart driven by one of the under-keepers in his green Coat, with a Hazel-Bough for a whip. July, 1689

What Fate within itts Bosome carry's
For Him thats born, or Him that Marry's
Though Fate itts self does not unfold

Is by Prognosticates told,
And some have spent their Days in terrour
Of what has sprung from canting errour
From Gypsies who their speech confounding
Have threaten'd Hanging, Horn or Drowning
In hints where doubtfull sence has hover'd
Which caused but laughter when discover'd. 10
So had Ardelia sure been troubl'd
If when of piece of silver bubl'd
T' had been in broaken terms imparted
That e're her Death she shou'd be Carted.
Yett see how Time had turn'd the Story
And tun'd itt to Poetick Glory
When once reveal'd that Phœbus gave itt
And own'd the Cart and Swayne that drave itt
In his peculiar colours seen
Both whip and man array'd in Green 20
That 'twas the Engin that did bring
The water from his darling spring
Which for repose was now convey'd
Beneath a Beeche's secret shade.
When poor Ardelia weak and faint
Invades the air with this complaint
That she from Home so far had stray'd
By the aluring Muse betray'd
By Fancies light of Nymphs and Faries
Romantick Notions and figary's 30
Of Fawns and Sylvans dark abodes
Of Heroes rushing from the woods
Till length of way no strength had left her
And both of feet and breath bereft her
Who now must take for Bed and Cover
Cold earth and boughs which dangl'd over
Nor cou'd return in sheets to slumber

No more then she the stars con'd number,
Yett loth this wretched course to follow
For once resolv'd to move Apollo. 40
Misled by Him and his vain Rabble,
To try his Curtesie and Stable
She then implor'd that for this time
And to be sure she sue'd in Rime
That he his Chariot wou'd but spare her
Which in a moment home might bear her
Scarse miss'd by him or his nine lasses.
But he reply'd she'd break the Glasses,
That late he saw such Fate attend her
And vow'd that his he n'ere wou'd lend her 50
That fitter 'twere she took the air
Like Country Doll to neighb'ring Faire
Like harvest Gill or stroling Player
For he'd not bear the World's reproaches
If Poets were allow'd their Coaches
Who spar'd on foot (with empty Purses)
Nor Prince nor Prelat in their verses
That Homer poor his spite to smother
Made fighting Fooles revile each other
Who had he but been back'd with Pelf 60
He had call'd Dogs and Rogues himself
Lampoon'd Queen Hellens well sung Flame
And giv'n Her but her coarsest Name
For which good cause and more 'twas hinted
The Tribe shou'd be kept bare and stinted
Shou'd eat by manners and good Nature
Or starve on Epigram and Satir.
She finding him thus hott proceed
Desir'd then but his winged steed
But he reply'd 'twou'd much disgrace him 70
To lett a female rider pace him

That Pegasus, what e're they fancy'd
Had ne're for them one step aduanced
Yett if that she like Quaker tir'd
But a conveniency desir'd
There shou'd from neer a verdant bush
With foot cloath matt and seat of rush
Be drawn a rev'rend grave Machine
As slow as if for Spanish Queen
As safe as Litter gently led 80
With Lady sleeping in her bed
And tho' the form some might dispise
Who view'd itt but with outward Eyes
Yett Quixotts Brancart till he built itt
A Velvett roof and richly gilt itt
With Fancy's Pencil was not braver
And with th'invention which he gave her
She might convert wou'd she not spare itt
This Roulo to tryumphant Charret
Turn wood to steel and ropes to Leather90
And forehead bough to Ostritch Feather
Since all was as opinion made itt
Not as the Artists hand ore-laid itt.
This said, he mixt with shining Day
And left her to persue the way
Exalted high to all beholders
As Burgesse on ellecting shoulders
On totterring chair in Tumbrill's middle
And wanting but fore-running Fiddle
To guide the wond'ring Rabble right 100
And pick their Purses for the sight.