The Amelia Alderson Opie Archive
1834 Lays for the Dead
Monthly Review, 4, 2 (1834): 538.


[omnibus review of Philip van Artevelde by Henry Taylor, Scenes and Hymns of Life with other Poems by Mrs. Hemans, Poems by William Stanley Roscoe, and Lays of [sic] the Dead by Amelia Opie, extending from 527- 538]

            The last work we have to notice, is a volume of sacred poetry, by Mrs. Opie, of which little can be said in its favour.  Some of the pieces, nevertheless, are very sweet and tender.  We give the following very pretty verses as a specimen.

[quotes “There was an eye whose partial glance” to “From future ills to guard – but now!” ie “A Lament”]

            Could we estimate the present condition of our poetical literature by the number of works which are daily increasing its bulk, we should have a favourable prospect to contemplate.  In every succeeding month we have to exercise our discretion in choosing from a vast pile of minor poems, which are worth of precedence in notice, and which a worthy of noticing at all.  But unfortunately, it is seldom we are not disgusted with the appearance of either an intolerable vanity or a crude fancy.  The works which we have taken the advantage of Mr. Taylor’s production, to bring before our readers, are far more worthy of attention than is often the case with the species of writing to which they belong.  But though they possess a certain degree of merit, they are weak in the highest essentials of poetry.


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