1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anna Seward

Francis Noel Clarke Mundy, "On Miss Seward's Sonnets, published in 1799" European Magazine 36 (July 1799) 47.



Critic, hast thou fastidiously proclaim'd
(Misjudging from such humble verse as mine)
The lyre's lost energy, the sad decline
Of genius in this island, early nam'd
In classic heraldry, and foremost fam'd?
From Greece, from Latium, came th' impatient Nine,
Here to revive their laurels, and entwine
Their shoots; reward, of envy only blam'd,
And here they still rejoice; here still abides
Imagination in her mountains strong,
While harmony, beneath, her stream divides.
And thou wilt blush, vain Critic, for thy wrong,
Tasting these sweets, which the Queen-Muse provides,
With rarest elegance of sex and song!
Markeaton, April 25, 1799.