Tighe, Mary, 1772-1810. Psyche, With Other Poems. London: Printed for LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN, PATERNOSTER-ROW, 1811. 314p.
- Psyche, WITH OTHER POEMS.
- To the Reader
- PREFACE TO THE COPIES OF PSYCHE WHICH WERE PRINTED IN 1805.
- Sonnet Addressed to My Mother
- Psyche [Canto I.]
- [Psyche] Canto II.
- [Psyche] Canto III.
- [Psyche] Canto IV.
- [Psyche] Canto V.
- [Psyche] Canto VI.
- Written in a Copy of Psyche WHICH HAD BEEN IN THE LIBRARY OF C. J. FOX. April, 1809.
- Written at Scarborough. August, 1799.
- Written in Autumn.
- Written in the Church-Yard at Malvern.
- To Time.
- Written at Rossana. November 18, 1799.
- Written at Rossana.
- Written at the Eagle's Nest, Killarney. July 26, 1800.
- Written at Killarney. July, 20 1800.
- On Leaving Killarney. August 5, 1800.
- To Death.
- To W. P. Esq. Avondale.
- Addressed to My Brother. 1805.
- Address to My Harp.
- The Vartree.
- A Faithful Friend is the Medicine of Life. SON OF SIRACH.
- Verses Written at the Commencement of Spring. — 1802.
- To the Memory of Margaret Tighe: TAKEN FROM US JUNE 7TH, 1804. — ÆTAT 85.
- Verses Written in Sickness. December, 1804.
- Written for Her Niece S. K.
- To Fortune.
- The Picture. WRITTEN FOR ANGELA.
- The Shawl's Petition, to Lady Asgill.
- To Lady Charlemont, in Return for Her Presents of Flowers
- Written at West-Aston. June, 1808.
- Bryan Byrne, of Glenmalure.
- Imitated from Jeremiah. — Chap: xxxi. v. 15.
- Hagar in the Desert.
- The Lily. May, 1809.
- Sonnet Written at Woodstock, in the County of Kilkenny, the Seat of William Tighe. June 30, 1809.
- On Receiving a Branch of Mezereon Which Flowered at Woodstock. DECEMBER, 1809.
- The concluding poem of this collection was the last ever composed by the author, who expired at the place where it was written, after six years of protracted malady, on the 24th of March, 1810, in the thirty-seventh year of her age. Her fears of death were perfectly removed before she quitted this scene of trial and suffering; and her spirit departed to a better state of existence, confiding with heavenly joy in the acceptance and love of her Redeemer.
BY THE LATE MRS. HENRY TIGHE.
THE THIRD EDITION.
LONDON: PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN, PATERNOSTER-ROW.
T. DAVISON, Lombard-street, Whitefriars, London.
TO possess strong feelings and amiable affections, and to express them with a nice discrimination, has been the attribute of many female writers; some of whom have also participated with the author of Psyche in the unhappy lot of a suffering frame and a premature death. Had the publication of her poems served only as the fleeting record of such a destiny, and as a monument[Page iv] of private regret, her friends would not have thought themselves justified in displaying them to the world. But when a writer intimately acquainted with classical literature, and guided by a taste for real excellence, has delivered in polished language such sentiments as can tend only to encourage and improve the best sensations of the human heart, then it becomes a sort of duty in surviving friends no longer to withhold from the public such precious relics.
The copies of Psyche printed for the author in her lifetime were borrowed with avidity, and read with delight; and the partiality of friends has been already outstripped by the applause of admirers.[Page v]
The smaller poems which complete this volume may perhaps stand in need of that indulgence which a posthumous work always demands when it did not receive the correction of the author. They have been selected from a larger number of poems, which were the occasional effusion of her thoughts, or productions of her leisure, but not originally intended or pointed out by herself for publication.
Psyche; OR, THE LEGEND OF LOVE.
— Castos docet et pios amores.
THE author, who dismisses to the public the darling object of his solitary cares, must be prepared to consider, with some degree of indifference, the various reception it may then meet. But from those who write only for the more interested eye of friendship,[Page x] no such indifference can be expected. I may therefore be forgiven the egotism which makes me anxious to recommend to my readers the tale with which I present them, while I endeavour to excuse in it all other defects but that, which I fear cannot be excused — the deficiency of genius.
In making choice of the beautiful ancient allegory of Love and the Soul, I had some fears lest my subject might be condemned by the frown of severer moralists; however, I hope that if such have the condescension to read through a poem which they may perhaps think too long, they will yet do me the justice to allow, that I have only pictured innocent love, such love as the[Page xi] purest bosom might confess. "Les jeunes femmes, qui ne veulent point paroitre coquettes, ne doivent jamais parler de l'amour comme d'une chose ou elles puissent avoir part," says La Rochefoucault; but I believe it is only the false refinement of the most profligate court which could give birth to such a sentiment, and that love will always be found to have had the strongest influence where the morals have been the purest.
I much regret that I can have no hope of affording any pleasure to some, whose opinion I highly respect, whom I have heard profess themselves ever disgusted by the veiled form of allegory, and yet[Page xii]
But if I have not been able to resist the seductions of the mysterious fair, who perhaps never appears captivating except in the eyes of her own poet, I have however remembered that my verse cannot be worth much consideration, and have therefore endeavoured to let my meaning be perfectly obvious. The same reason has deterred me from using the obsolete words which are to be found in Spenser and his imitators.
Although I cannot give up the excellence of my subject, I am yet ready to own that[Page xiii] the stanza which I have chosen has many disadvantages, and that it may, perhaps, be as tiresome to the reader as it was difficult to the author. The frequent recurrence of the same rhymes is by no means well adapted to the English language; and I know not whether I have a right to offer as an apology the restraint which I had imposed upon myself of strictly adhering to the stanza which my partiality for Spenser first inclined me to adopt.
The loves of Cupid and Psyche have long been a favourite subject for poetical allusion, and are well known as related by Apuleius: to him I am indebted for the outline of my tale in the two first cantos;[Page xiv] but even there the model is not closely copied, and I have taken nothing from Moliere, La Fontaine, Du Moustier, or Marino. I have seen no imitations of Apuleius except by those authors; nor do I know that the Story of Psyche has any other original.
I should willingly acknowledge with gratitude those authors who have, perhaps, supplied me with many expressions and ideas; but if I have subjected myself to the charge of plagiarism, it has been by adopting the words or images which floated upon my mind, without accurately examining, or being indeed able to distinguish, whether I owed them to my memory or my imagination,[Page xv]
And when I confess that all I have is but the fruit of a much indulged taste for that particular style of reading, let me be excused if I do not investigate and acknowledge more strictly each separate obligation.
The concluding poem of this collection was the last ever composed by the author, who expired at the place where it was written, after six years of protracted malady, on the 24th of March, 1810, in the thirty-seventh year of her age. Her fears of death were perfectly removed before she quitted this scene of trial and suffering; and her spirit departed to a better state of existence, confiding with heavenly joy in the acceptance and love of her Redeemer.
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T. DAVISON, Lombard-street, Whitefriars, London.