« PreviousContinue »
Roving thro' meads of everlasting bloom Fann'd by the breath of every sweet perfume, . See Genlis * comes and waves in air her hand, And bids the fairies bow at her command. Lo! at her call two matchless knights appear, Mount the barb'd steed and couch the deathfulspear; Lo! at her call appears the Queen of Charms, And welcomes Valour to her gentle arms; 180 See, at her call the bleeding spectre rise, Fix on the warrior-knight, her gloating eyes, Rove by the glimpses of pale Luna's beam, And chill the midnight with her hideous scream.
By Fancy crown'd, to every bosom known, Amid those scenes which Truth and Nature own, See Burney † more, with her creative wand, And bind our passions with her silken band!
* This celebrated French lady is remarkable for the versatility of her talents. She is jastly entitled to a place in the first rank of literary females. She is sometimes a sentimentalist, risionary, and erroneous, but always ingenious. Her Theatre of Education is a pleasing instructor to the early years of life. Her Tales of the Castle, her Rival Mothers, and Knights of the Swan discover sensability, talents of description and invention.
This writer is justly an universal farourite. In her manner of novel-writing she is unrivalled. The three novels which she has written, bare each pecalier merits. Camilla manifests the greatest extent of observation.-Erelina
Draw Evelina from her native shade,
190 Bid us to follow all her devious way, To own and feel the impulse of her sway. [die,
While Nature howls, and Mirth's gay whispers Her eye on fire----her soul in ecstasy! See bolder Radcliffe * take her boundless fight, Cloth'd in the robes of Terror and of Night! O'er wilds, o'er mountains, her high course extends, Thro’ darken'd woods, and thro' banditties' dens! At length she lights within some ruin’d tower, While, from the turret, tolls the midnight hour! A thousand phantoms follow at her call, 201 And groans ascend along the mouldering wall! Dim shadows flutter o'er the sleeping vale, And ghostly music comes upon the gale! has most simplicity---but I think that Cecilia manifests nuost genius, and excites greatest interest.
* This lady, who has been called a mighty magician, soars amid the wild regions of romance. Her imagination is strong and daring; and, though it sometimes fails in its attempt, it is generally successful. In her department of genius, in the present day, none can approach her. She leaves far behind her the monks and castle spectres. It is remarkable of this writer, that, from her first performance to the last, she has been advancing to greater excellence. Her Italian is the noblest production of her pen, and one which I think she will never exceed.
A light appears----some hollow voice is near--Chill terror starts----and every pulse is fear! To man not only has kind Nature given Genius, which rolls her piercing eye on Heaven, Enchanting woman bears an equal claim, To her unfold the golden doors of Fame. 210 This truth, those names which we have past declare, Whom Fiction wafts transported thro' the air.. ----Where falln Palmyra moulders with the ground, And Terror spreads its misty robe around; The great Zenobia held her powerful sway, And with stern virtue bade her realms obey. Her mind unshaken all the world admire, And Pity, weeping, sees the queen expire. ----Hapless in love, in Sorrow's moving strain, Hear Sappho mourn her unrequited pain. 220 ----Cold-hearted youth, where wanders Phaon now? Ah! youth neglectful of thy former vow Behold thy maid on bleak Leucadia's brow Bend o'er the waves which beat the rock below; Hear her to winds her injur'd love declare, See her wild tresses streaming in the air, See her rais'd hands, her blue uplifted eye, A suppliant pleading with the gods on high, ---Fly cruel youth---haste, Phaon, haste to saye, To snatch thy Sappho from the raging wave. 230
Corinna ; Mary Queen of Scots.
---All aid is vain--ye rolling billows cease!
* It is said that Corinna was the instructor of Pindar; and often, in competition with him, bore away the prize.
+ Who does not wish to vindicate the character of Mary, queen of Scots ? What heart bas not bled over her interesting history? Who does not lament her thoughtless levities, her criminal follies? Who does not execrate the stern policy, the hardened vices of Elizabeth, which doomed to the scaffold this enchanting woman, unrivalled in loveliness, accomplishments, and distresses? Who, that has read her
Colonna; Dacier; More; Barbauld.
How sweet and musically flows that lay, Which now in murmurs softly dies away; 250 Colonna * bending o'er her husband's bier, Breathes those sad numbers hallowed with her tear. With active zeal, with honest thirst of fame Hear Dacier vindicate her Homer's name. Hear Montague repel light Voltaire's rage, Who like a butcher mangled Shakespeare's page. Hear from the bosom of the pious Rowe The tender strain and warm devotion flow. In Woolstonecraft's strong lines behold confest The fatal errors of the female breast.
260 Behold enforc'd in More's instructive page, Lessons of virtue for this careless age. Hear Seward weeping over Andre's grave; And call for Cook the spirit of the wave. To Smith's romances fairy scenes belong And Pity loves her elegiac song. Carter both Science and Invention own And Genius welcomes from her watchful throne. On Barbauld's verse the circling muses smile, And hail her brightest songstress of the British isle.
beautiful lamentation on her unhappy fate, does not feel the fervour and pathos of her genius ?
• Criticism has called this lady the first poetess of Italy.