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While Cocles leaning on his warlike spear,
'Midst adverse legions and encount'ring foes, .
SEEING with the partial eye of enthusiastic Friendship, I can discern very few defects in the following Poetry of Mrs. Day, but to those who see through a different medium, I think it necessary to say this, which I can vouch for the truth of; that Mıs. Day wrote almost all the following pieces of Poetry, between eleven and fifteen,during her vacations from Mrs.Dennis's justly celebrated Female Boarding School, in QueenSquare, and therefore, her juvenile age, and her having no professional Master or Mistress to correct what she had written, will, I trust, be a sufficient apology for any imperfections that may appear in the language, versification, or ideas.
As to her Themes, and miscellancous Prose producductions, which I mean to publish some time or other, Mrs. Day, or more properly speaking, Miss Milnes, wrote with such fuency and perspicuity, that they rea quired scarce any correcting. . The clearness and fers tility of her understanding, her chaste judgment, and volubility of language, made her almost infallible in Prose.
Like Cowley, the Muse inspired Miss Milnes at a very early period, but she did not, like that much admired Bard, continue through life to cultivate her genius furi making verses. Though she was to her death passionatelj fond of the poetic Muse, I cannot find a single piece of her Poetry written after sixteen.
Probably Miss Milnes's poetical flowering shrub, never having the oak like vigour of Cowley's, was exhausted by blossoming so early, and from its premature growth, united to its extreme delicacy, the frequent result of shrubs or plants growing too fast, at the first rude touch of envious criticism, shrunk up, withered, and died...
- Or, Apollo thinking the poor puny shrub not worth shining upon, might withdraw, in a fit of contemptuous passion, his all fustering rays, and by that, occasion Miss Milnes's poetical blossoms, like the flower of the convolvolus, to close their petals, as if for grief at the sun's departure. And her poetical shrub might not re-blossom, because Apollo seemed, in her mind, to have set, never again to irradiate her Mase.
Indeed, it is most probable Miss Milnes, being naturally very diffident, had such a humble opinion of her poeti. cal-talents, as induced her to imagine she should never arrive at that perfection she wished to attain to, in every thing where the mind was concerned, and therefore bid an eternal adieu to poetising. .
From whatever cause it has proceeded, I must own I have been equally astonished and sorry that so early a poetical impulse, and of so promising a nature, should have been so soon blighted ; and I was the more surprised, as Master Apollo has not deigned to illume my poetry for some years, if ever he darted a single ray of light upon it, which I much doubt myself, when I read it ;