1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Felicia Hemans

Anonymous, in "A Familiar Epistle to Mrs. Hemans" Edinburgh Magazine NS 8 (January 1821) 63-64.



Say why, when nature's wants are all supplied,
Are not her restless children satisfied?
When all is given that modest want required,
They must be known, applauded, and admired.
If frugal nature has the powers denied,
By what expedient is the want supplied,
What pining wretchedness, what cruel care,
Is borne to make the fools of fashion stare,
What coaches, jewels, pictures are displayed,
The feeble aims of vanity to aid?
How limited must admiration be,
Since none, alas, admire but those who see!
Thrice blest Felicia from the world retir'd,
Yet in seclusion by the world admir'd,
Thou need'st no costly carriage to display,
Round thee no jewels shed a needless ray,
Enough, that every pure and virtuous mind,
Enrich'd by culture, or by taste refin'd,
A warm unenvying tribute pays the thee,
Exulting in thy growing fame like me.
Thy sex are proud of sister excellence,
Even lettered men ungrudging praise dispense;
Those soften graces which thy lays diffuse,
Have taught them to endure a female muse.
Some too, with more than manly candour own,
Thy verse as chaste and classic as their own,
And joy amidst thy varied wreath to see,
The amaranth of immortality.