1754 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Judith Cowper Madan

John Duncombe, in The Feminiad (1754) 19-20 & n.



In nervous strains CORNALIA'S polish'd taste
Has Poetry's successive Progress trac'd,
From ancient Greece, where first she fix'd her reign,
To Italy, and Britain's happier plain.
Praise well-bestow'd adorns her glowing lines,
And manly strength with female softness joins.
So female charms and manly virtues grace,
By her example form'd, her blooming race,
And, fram'd alike to please our ears and eyes,
There new Cornelias and new Gracchi rise.
O that you now, with genius at command,
Would snatch the pencil from my artless hand,
And give your sex's portraits, bold and true,
In colours worthy of themselves and you!

This lady is author of a poem call'd the Progress of Poetry, publish'd in a miscellany, call'd the Flower Piece in 1731; wherein the characters of the best Grecian, Roman and English poets are justly and elegantly drawn.