1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Jane West

Anna Seward to Christopher Symth, 2 April 1792; Letters, ed. Scott (1811) 3:131.



Scarcity of leisure had prevented me from having examined Mrs. West's poems with sufficient attention when I wrote to you last. Their merit rises upon me. They possess more Aonian fire than I had then perceived. The natural tenderness in the third elegy, and the energetic spirit and bold landscape-painting in the third pastoral, delight me. Her tragedy is too much of the cold declamatory school. Jephson is the only fine tragedy writer of this day; and our wise public critic either effect to despise his writings through envy, or are really insensible of the meed to genius and true dramatic fire.