As mourning the unhappy doom,
Which tears it from so sweet a home!
The life of Susan Evance, afterwards Hooper, is now obscure. Reviews of her
1808 Poems were generally favorable.The British Critic praised the “elegance
and sensibility” of the poems, among them many sonnets, but worried that
real misfortune might have inspired their melancholy. James Clarke, the ed-
itor of Evance's Poems, remarks in his preface on the similarities between
Evance's sonnets and those of Charlotte Smith, particularly in their melan-
choly tone and intense expression of emotion. Her last book, published in
1818, received little attention; she had dropped out of sight by the 1820s.
When wintry tempests agitate the deep,
On some lone rock I love to sit reclined;
And view the sea-birds on wild pinions sweep,
And hear the roaring of the stormy wind,
That, rushing through the caves with hollow sound,
Seems like the voices of those viewless forms
Which hover wrapped in gloomy mist around,
Directing in their course the rolling storms.
Then, Melancholy! thy sweet power I feel,
For there thine influence reigns o'er all the scene;
Then o'er my heart thy “mystic transports” steal,
And from each trifling thought my bosom wean.
My raptured spirit soars on wing sublime
Beyond the narrow bounds of space or time!
As 'mid these moldering walls I pensive stray,
With moss and ivy rudely overgrown,
I love to watch the last pale glimpse of day,
And hear the rising winds of evening moan.
How loud the gust comes sweeping o'er the vale!
Now faintly murmurs midst those distant trees;
The owl begins her melancholy wail,
Filling with shrieks the pauses of the breeze.