1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Tighe

Margaret Oliphant, in The Literary History of England (1882) 3:256.



A very fair and gentle representative of poetry, Mary Tighe, the daughter of a clergyman, the wife of an Irish M.P., is another of the rare instances of literary production in Ireland. She was the author of a poem called Psyche, an extremely sweet and melodious rendering of the classical legend, the external form of which, in a slim and sumptuous quarto, with creamy pages as thick as velvet, enshrining in big margins a limpid stream of elaborate verse, give a very just idea of its merit. It is one of those essays in art which at any time it would be cruel to judge rigorously, all the more as it is the composition of a gentle creature who died young and knew nothing of the world — which, with a humane sense of the claims of weakness, generally does receive such gentle efforts tenderly. This lady lived all her short life in Ireland, an invalid for a great part of it, sometimes receiving the gay and brilliant Sydney Owenson, the Wild Irish Girl, in her sick-chamber, but not capable of much society, if indeed there had been any of the literary kind to resort to.