"In the rich realms of polished taste, / Where judgment penetrates to find / The treasures of the unwrought mind, / Where conversation's ardent spirit / Refines from dross the ore of merit, / Where emulation aids the flame / And stamps the sterling bust of fame."
— West, Jane (1758-1852)
In the rich realms of polished taste,
Where judgment penetrates to find
The treasures of the unwrought mind,
Where conversation's ardent spirit
Refines from dross the ore of merit,
Where emulation aids the flame
And stamps the sterling bust of fame:
Can you, accustomed to behold
The purest intellectual gold,
Where genius sheds its living rays,
Bright as the sunny diamonds blaze,
Like idle virtuouso deign
To pick up pebbles from the plain?
Pleased if the worthless flints pretend
Fantastic characters to blend;
These in your cabinet insert,
And real excellence desert?
(ll. 1-18, p. 382 in Lonsdale; cf. p. 115-6 in 1791 ed.)
See Miscellaneous Poems, and a Tragedy. By Mrs. West. (York: Printed by W. Blanchard; and sold by R. Faulder, London; T. Burnham, Northampton; W. Harrod, Harborough; and N. Collis, Kettering, 1791). <Link to ESTC>
See also Poems and Plays. By Mrs. West (London: Printed by C. Whittingham; for T. N. Longman and O. Rees, Paternoster-Row, 1799). <Link to ESTC>
Text from Lonsdale, R. Ed. Eighteenth Century Women Poets (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989).