THOUGH Mrs. Opie may not excel in the sublime, she is eminently successful in the pathetic. Her amatory poems are unrivalled; they display as much delicacy of sentiment and refined allusion as Petrarch can boast; with as much warmth of imagination [text defective] [as is consist]ent with perfect purity. The poems which compose this little volume were written, as the author tells us, some years ago, some of them we recollect to have seen in the Annual Anthology. The first ballad must be admitted to be rather tame; text defective see, at the commencement, how the tale is to end, and thus all the pleasure produced by the sensation of surprise, is lost. – Julia, or the Convent of St. Claire, is a far more interesting poem than the Warrior’s Return. The count Clermont, in order to bestow the whole of his large fortune upon his son, condemns an only daughter to take the veil. Julia, at first, readily consents, but, at her brother’s marriage, is unfortunately placed next an accomplished young baron, who becomes enamoured of her charms, and for whose sake she now repents her destination. Montrose, the lover, proposes to her father, but is refused, although he offers to take the lady without any dower, Julia, in vain, supplicates the haughty Clermont.
[quotes “But vain remonstrance, tears, and prayers;” to “And bathed in blood, his Julia lies.”]
The poem might have closed here, as it was unnecessary to describe the despair of the lover, and the remorse of the father.
There are a number of songs and short love elegies contained in the present volume, many of which display great delicacy of feeling, and considerable command of language.