1803
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

XIIIth and LXXVth Sonnets of Spenser modernized.

Gentleman's Magazine 73 (February 1803) 159-60.

Elizabeth Trefusis


Two of Spenser's Amoretti recast in Shakespearean form; "modernized" does not quite do justice to the changes made. The poems are not signed; four additional modernizations appear in Gentleman's Magazine 77 (February 1807) 152, and eight were eventually collected in the poet's posthumous Poems and Tales (1808). The poems are not signed.

Samuel Austin Allibone: "Miss Elizabeth Trefusis, sister of the late Lord Clinton, (17th Baron, d. 1832,) d. 1808, shortly after the publication of Poems and Tales, by Miss Trefusis, Lond., 1808, 2 vols, 12mo. Chiefly devoted to male coquets and their fair victims. See Lond. Mon. Rev., 1808, iii. 206; Rowton's Female Poets of Great Britain, 204. She left in MS. novels, pastoral romances, dramas, &c., never published. In Beloe's Sexagenerian Miss Trefusis figures as the eccentric poetess, — Ella" Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1858-71; 1882) 3:2447.



The laughing Amoret may fail to charm
The winning Melicerta cease to please;
The tender Delia wake no soft alarm,
Tho' grac'd with mildness, elegance, and ease;
But that proud port which high Dione bears,
Pourtrays the mind, from earth-born passions free;
And when her haughty head to Heav'n she rears,
She seems to soar above mortality.
For her what numbers waste in hopeless fires!
Yet, Lycon, 'tis not pride exalts the faire:
Her purer thoughts from earth to Heav'n aspires;
Love, and its follies, are not worth her care.
But O, since Heav'n to pity is inclin'd,
Dione must not, cannot, be unkind.

Once on the sand Dione's name I trac'd;
The rising wave soon wash'd that name away;
Again I wrote, again the wave effac'd
The signature of love from prying day.
"Poor youth (she cried) all vainly hast thou strove
To give a mortal immortality:
Alas! this object of thy tendrest love
She, too, shall sink into obscurity!"
No, my soul's joy! tho' vulgar beauties fade;
Immortal honours wait Dione's name:
Her Bard, her Damon, sings his angel maid,
And future ages shall record her fame:
Yes! they shall tell of happy Damon's truth,
Dione's sweetness, sense, and blooming youth.

[pp. 159-60]