1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Katherine Philips

Bryan Waller Procter, in Effigies Poeticae, or, the Portraits of the British Poets (1824) 41.



From an original Picture in the possession of the Dutchess of Dorset.

CATHERINE PHILLIPS, "the matchless Orinda," was the origin of the next portrait. There is a placidity in the countenance, which well consists with the account that we have of her character. She was an amiable, quiet woman, and wrote on friendship, and touched a little upon morals, in verse. She was beloved by the poetical and the eloquent in her life-time; and lamented by poets after her death. — The reader will observe that this portrait, taking into consideration the dress and the figure which it embraces, is perfectly beautiful as a work of art. Had the face, indeed, worn a different character, the fine voluptuous turn of the shape is such as might have belonged to a matron Venus. The robe is loose and graceful; (she is quite a poetess — "zonis solutis;") the hair is parted, shewing a breadth of white forehead, and falls down, curling like hyacinths, towards her rounded shoulders; and her bosom is like a rose full-blown.