1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Jane West

A. H., "To the Author of The Gossip's Story, &c." Gentleman's Magazine 70 (May 1800) 466.



O West, in whose instructive page we find
Pourtray'd the duties of the female mind,
Accept these feeble rhymes, a tribute due
From gratitude, tho' far unworthy you.
Whilst, bending o'er a father's honour'd bier,
Louisa mourns with piety sincere;
We feel the comforts which religion gives;
She mourns the mortal, but th' immortal lives,
Lives to enjoy bright Virtue's well-earn'd crown
In that blest region, where no sorrow's known:
Where from all eyes each tear is wip'd away;
And Saints and Seraphs raise the choral lay:
Whilst in her character you've justly shewn
Each charm our Sex should strive to make their own;
With female weakness manly sense combin'd;
By pure religion every act refin'd,
Not by the transient gusts of feeling tost
'Till each strong energy of soul is lost;
'Till all the active charities of life
Sink in the storms of intellectual strife;
And the torn heart no longer learns to glow
For real sorrows 'midst ideal woe.
Whilst your strong pencil, with consummate art,
Paints the black workings of Fitzosborne's heart;
We see just retribution in his doom,
And Pity droops o'er Geraldina's tomb.
O form'd to draw Religion as it ought,
Far from each base, from each ignoble thought;
'Tis yours to caution unsuspecting youth:
Deep on their minds impress th' important truth:
That infidelity must end in woe;
'Tis Virtue only can give bliss below.
Norwich, Dec. 6.