1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Tighe

Leigh Hunt, in Review of Dyce, Specimens of British Poetesses; The Companion (2 July 1828) 382-83.



The Psyche of Mrs Tighe has a languid beauty in it, probably resembling that of her own person. This lady, who was the daughter of the Rev. William Blachford, died in her 37th year; we believe, of consumption. The face prefixed to her poem is very handsome. The greater part of her poem is little worth, except as a strain of elegance; but in the more voluptuous scenes, here quoted (and not improperly so, by the editor), the fair author is more at home; and now and then, from the languour, she warms into the imagination of Spenser. Cupid, as he lies sleeping, has a little suffusing light, stealing from between his eyelids.

The friendly curtain of indulgent sleep
Disclos'd not yet his eyes' resistlesa sway,
But from their silky veil there seem'd to peep
Some brilliant glances with a soften'd ray,
Which o'er his features exquisitely play,
And all his polish'd limbs suffuse with light.
Thus thro' some narrow space the azure day
Sadden its cheerful rays diffusing bright,
Wide darts its lucid beams, to gild the brow of night.

This is the prettiest "peep o' day boy," which has yet appeared in Ireland.