1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Jane West

Anonymous, "On reading Mrs. West's beautiful Poem, The Mother" Gentleman's Magazine 79 (May 1809) 454.



Whilst Vice and Folly blaze in open day,
And injur'd Virtue pines in shades away,
Is there no Muse to vindicate her cause,
Assert her beauty, and enforce her laws,
Prove all not sunk in guilt and lost to shame?
Yes! one survives who feels her purest flame;
One gentle breast yet breathes the living line,
Bends to her sway, and owns her power divine;
In every duty perfect, all performs;
Whose conduct, and whose verse alike informs;
And when the Mother's precepts meet our ear,
Her happy Children prove they are sincere.
Painting the sorrows that Affection feels,
Or in bright tints Maternal joy reveals,
In all she charms; for, colour'd from the heart,
They boast a power that Fancy can't impart,
"And the awaken'd heart must learn to flow,
When virtuous tears from virtuous sorrows flow."