1754 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Katherine Philips

John Duncombe, in The Feminiad (1754) 12-13 & note.



Nor need we now from our own Britain rove
In search of genius, to the Lesbian grove,
Tho' Sappho there her tuneful lyre has strung,
And amorous griefs in sweetest accents sung,
Since here, in Charles's days, amidst a train
Of shameless bards, licentious and profane,
The chaste ORINDA rose; with purer light,
Like modest Cynthia, beaming thro' the night:
Fair Friendship's lustre, undisguis'd by art,
Glows in her lines, and animates her heart;
Friendship, that jewel, which, tho' all confess
Its peerless value, yet how few possess!
For her the never-dying myrtle weaves
A verdant chaplet of her odorous leaves,
Her praise, re-echo'd by the Muse's throng,
Will reach far distant times, and live as long
As Cowley's wit, or fam'd Roscommon's song.

Mrs. Catherine Phillips, the celebrated Orinda, was distinguish'd by most of the wits of King Charles's reign, and died y oung; lamented by many of them in commendatory verses prefix'd to her poems. Her pieces on Friendship are particularly admir'd.