1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Tighe

W. P., "To Mrs. T.... on reading her beautiful Poem of Psyche or the Legend of Love" Poetical Register and Repository of Fugitive Poetry for 1806-07 (1811) 116-17.



When feeling, taste, and genius all conspire
To claim the undisputed meed of praise,
In vain, where all must envy or admire,
The feeble tribute of applause we raise.

For who shall paint her worth, whose matchless mind
Warm with the elegance of classic lore,
By reason strengthen'd, and by love refin'd,
Divides the palm which Spenser own'd before?

Blest page! where, whilst the varied graces shine,
Fair Virtue wears her most attractive hues,
Where glowing Wisdom stamps th' impressive line,
And Truth entwines the flowers which Fancy strews.

'Tis thine to bid incautious virtue fly
The paths, where fell deceits in ambush move,
Ambition's lure, Suspicion's venom'd eye;—
—And prize the calmer sweets of social love.

For thee, sweet muse, whose artless strains display
Each chaste affection of the female heart,
Thine are the joys which never can decay,
The joys which virtue, science, truth impart.

These, while the lighter pleasures of the hour
A sickly gleam of dubious rapture cast,
Shall yield their soft, consolatory power
To bless the future, and endear the past.