1802
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Complaint of an Arabian Lover. Ode.

Poetical Register, and Repository of Fugitive Poetry for 1802 (1803) 170-71.

Anna Seward


Three undated irregular Spenserians (ababcC) — after William Collins's Persian Eclogues, perhaps. Anna Seward also writes in the oriental vein in her lyrics Song of Roxanna, and Song of Zilla.

Note to stanza 2: "A critical Friend of the Author's seemed to doubt whether a 'frown' kindling fire was just metaphor; — but since it is poetically a 'smiling' eye, that of jealousy may certainly be said to enkindle from the lightning of a 'frowning' one. There are lurid and dismal fires, as well as bright and cheerful ones" 170n.

Seward also admired Chatterton's African eclogues: "Collins's eclogues probably suggested to Chatterton the idea of these, which are, I doubt not, wholly his.... I yet prefer the tenderness and native scenery of the imitation, to the oriental descriptions and flowing numbers of the original" to Dr. Gregory, 25 March 1792; Letters, ed. Scott (1811) 3:126-27.

Melesina Chenevix Trench to Mrs. Leadbeater: "Her genius seemed of an order calculated to take much higher flights than she ever accomplished. The growth of her wing was impeded by 'too much cherishing.' She lived in the relaxing atmosphere of a country town, where she was indubitably superior to all the women and most of the men in mental gifts and attainments, and though not absolutely beautiful, her personal attractions were considerable — two circumstances adverse to the expansion of talent" 8 August 1819; in Remains of Mrs. Richard Trench (1862) 403-04.



Wide o'er the drowsy World, incumbent Night,
Sullen and drear, his sable wing has spread!
The waning Moon, with interrupted light,
Gleams cold and misty on my fever'd bed!
Cold as she is, to her my bursting heart
Shall pour its waste of woe, its unavailing smart.

Thro' the long hours — ah me! how long the hours!
My restless limbs no balmy languors know;
Griev'd tho' I am, yet grief's assuaging showers
From burning eye-balls still refuse to flow;
Love's jealous fires, kindled by Aza's frown,
Not the vast watry world, with all its waves, can drown.

Slow pass the Stars along the night's dun plain!
Still in their destined sphere serene they move;
Nor does their mild effulgence shine in vain,
Like the fierce blazes of neglected love:
But this — this pang dissolves the galling chain!
Aza, a broken Heart defies thy fix'd disdain!

[pp. 170-71]