1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Katherine Philips

Robert Southey, in "Sayers's Works," Quarterly Review 35 (1827) 190.



Other reputations, which had something more to support them, passed away as easily as they were made. The matchless Orinda was more generally known, and, consequently, more applauded in her day, than Mrs. Hemans is now, with all her superiority of natural talents and acquired power, or than the authoress of the Widow's Tale, and those sweet poems in the little volume of Solitary Hours, which for truth and depth of feeling, and for tenderness and holiness of thought, are among the most beautiful that have been produced in this generation. Orrery and Roscommon eulogized her in her life; and Cowley, who with a host of meaner poets had, in like manner, praised her while living, pronounced after her death, that if ever Apollo should appoint a woman-laureate, Orinda would be the person. Yet if her name had not been seen in the superscription to Cowley's Odes, it would soon have been forgotten that such a person as Katherine Philips (accomplished and truly excellent as she appears to have been) had ever existed, — or written a line.