1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anna Seward

Anonymous, "Miss Seward" Public Ledger (20 September 1811).



A costly monument is to be shortly placed in the recess of the northern transept of Litchfield Cathedral. The intention is to represent female piety, by a female figure weeping over the tomb of her parents and relatives, and the poet's neglected harp hanging on a willow. — The inscriptions following will shew the application of these symbols:—

Anna Seward, died March 25, 1809, aged 66.
By her order this monument is erected
To the Memory
Of her Father, the Rev. Thomas Seward, M.A.
Canon Residentiary of this Cathedral,
Who died March, 1790, aged 81.
Of her mother, Elizabeth, his wife,
Who died July, 1780, aged 66.
And of her sister, Sarah, their youngest daughter,
Who died June, 1764, aged 20.

Amid these aisles where once his precepts showed
The heav'nward path-way, which in life he trode,
This simple Tablet marks a father's bier;
And those he lov'd in life, in death are near,
For him, for them, a Daughter bade it rise,
Memorial of domestic Charities.
Still would you know why, o'er the marble spread,
In female grace the willow droops her head;—
Why on her branches, silent and unstrung,
The minstrel harp is emblematic hung;
What Poet's voice is smother'd here in dust,
Till wak'd to join the Chorus of the just;
Lo! one brief line an answer sad supplies—
Honour'd, belov'd, and mourn'd, here Seward lies:
Her worth, her warmth of heart, our sorrows say—
Go seek her genius in her living lay.