Introduction to the Poems of
Maria Grace Saffery
References to Maria Saffery’s poetry first appear in the letters between the two sisters in the mid-1790s, and many of those poems have survived and are published in this volume. It also seems likely from some of the references in the letters that many have not survived. Few comments remain by Saffery herself pertaining to her poetry, but one of the most interesting occurs in a letter to Anne from November 1809. She has been travelling with her husband on one of his frequent short preaching tours, which included a stop at Heytesbury, a small village not far from Bratton. Maria writes that the ‘interview’ (and it is not clear exactly what she means by that) ‘was quite as agreeable as such an affair can well be to yr Maria who always seems to herself a mere intellectual Swindler when she is introduced in order to produce something for the entertainment of the company’, a statement expressing some typical self-deprecation but also suggesting that she was in the habit of carrying manuscripts of her poems with her and that by 1809 she had already gained a reputation, like Mary Steele at Broughton, as a gifted Baptist woman poet. Not only was the reading of poetry something for which Saffery was always prepared, but also the practice of composing poetry, even extemporaneously, was prevalent in the Saffery home, a frequent occurrence in the Steele home in the 1760s as well. Eliza Gregory of Woolwich, a former student or teaching assistant at Saffery’s school and daughter of the Baptist writer and mathematician, Olinthus Gregory (1774–1841), wrote to Saffery on 5 February 1829:
Last night I entertain’d them [her family at Woolwich] with repeating some of our Bouts rimes that I remember’d. They were very much pleased with, “A donkey much famed &c” and Mamma said that the one beginning “o’er the nations like a comet,” was quite poetic. I think that was Mr Samuel’s – I very much regretted that you would not permit me to copy all the Bouts rimes. They all say they feared or began to fear that I should not come back again! But this of course was mere joking.
Maria Saffery’s poetry, like that of Anne Steele and Mary Steele, covers a wide array of poetic genres, metrical patterns, stanzaic forms, topics and occasions. Her first and longest poem, Cheyt Sing, a politically charged historical narrative set in contemporary India told through heroic couplets laden with heavy doses of sentiment, was a formidable achievement nevertheless for a fifteen-year-old daughter of a miller and schoolmistress from Isleworth. More than forty years later, she would return to the historical narrative once again in Poems on Sacred Subjects (1834), this time chronicling the travails of another oppressed people, the Jews, and their journey from the bondage of Egypt through the tribulations of the wilderness en route to the promised land of Canaan. ‘The Exodus’, half the length of Cheyt Sing, was one of the few poems composed by Saffery in blank verse, a form used on numerous occasions by Mary Steele. Though she found only two histories she felt comfortable converting into long narrative poems, Saffery was always keenly aware of the significance of historical moments and, like her narrative characters Cheyt Sing and Moses, important historical personages in her own lifetime. Besides the sonnet ‘Lacock Abbey’ with its medieval setting of knights, countesses, and political intrigue, Saffery composed poems on the Treaty of London in October 1801; two poems celebrating the parliamentary career of the abolitionist William Wilberforce and the bill that finally passed the House of Commons just prior to his death in the summer of 1833 that abolished slavery throughout the British Empire; and four poems on British royalty: one commemorating the 50th anniversary of the coronation of George III in October 1810, a sonnet addressed to the Queen Dowager upon her receipt of a copy of Saffery’s Poems on Sacred Subjects, a poem celebrating the initial visit by the youthful Queen Victoria to the City of London in November 1837, and another sonnet describing her coronation in June 1838, the latter poem appearing in newspapers in London and Ireland.
Other public events and personages occasioned poems by Saffery as well, all of these coming from within her Baptist and evangelical Christian community and her work in support of the Abolition Society, Sunday Schools, Infant Schools, the Baptist Missionary Society, Religious Tract Society and the Western Association of Particular Baptist Churches, including ordinations and baptismal services as well as tributes to deceased ministers and missionaries. The Sunday school at Brown Street in Salisbury was organized by John Saffery in 1792, and occasioned two hymns by Maria, one dated 20 September 1802, the other 26 November 1809. The sordid fate of the children of England’s poor and working classes is not, as with William Blake, the result of their loss of a Rousseau-like innocence at the hands of a corrupt, exploitative society, but rather their state of ‘guilt and ignorance’ caused by original sin. Saffery’s ‘babes’, like Blake’s chimney sweeps, live in the darkness of ‘tenfold night’, but this darkness is not the result of being confined every day in ‘coffins of black’ but rather the ‘horror’ of their own ‘sin and shame’. Whereas Blake’s adult world inculcates into the innocent sweeps the virtue of ‘duty’ and ‘hard work’, virtues the evangelical community would emphasize in their moral tracts distributed among the poor and working classes, both instances tarnished by elements of exploitation, Saffery’s ‘helpless babes’ are to be nursed by the ‘pitying hands’ of the Sunday school teachers and workers to perform their proper spiritual duties, which, if effectual, will eventually replace social ills with ‘spiritual charms’.
When Saffery entered the Baptist community of the West Country in the mid-1790s, she would have been well aware of the massive efforts underway at that time by Hannah More (1745–1833) and her sisters, then living at Cowslip Green, Wrington, in organizing and financially underwriting scores of Sunday schools at Cheddar and throughout the Mendip Hills. Nor would Saffery have been unaware of the prodigious success of More’s work with the Cheap Repository Tracts (1795–8), especially since her friend Mary Egerton Scott was herself actively involved in the writing of moral tracts in the late 1790s and early 1800s. Whatever the case, the death in 1833 of this ‘Lady of Britain’, ‘Gem of the isle’, the ‘dear Moralist’ whose life ‘beautified and blessed’ England forever provoked two sonnets in her memory by Saffery, one included in Poems on Sacred Subjects and the other published in the Baptist Magazine. Saffery’s interest in education was lifelong, and near the end of her career included assisting in the creation of an Infant School in Salisbury in 1833 (a charity school for children four through seven years of age, an idea that originated with the philanthropist Robert Owen in 1816) for which she composed two poems. ‘A Plea for Infant Schools’ reflects a softer attitude toward the children of the poor than her earlier poems on Sunday schools:
And let the Babes of Poverty, be taught
The blessedness of wealth, without its woe.
Sunlight and dews refresh the herbage wild,
As freely, as the gayest garden flower;
So freely, let Instruction’s genial shower
Light on Life’s spring-buds in the Cottage bower,
And bless the house of every little child.
These children have now become, like Blake’s chimney sweeps, fragile flowers in need of Christian charity.
Accompanying her interest in Sunday schools and education, Saffery, as the wife of a significant figure among the Particular Baptists in England, was also intimately involved in the activities and programmes of her local church and of the larger denomination. She composed hymns that were sung at meetings of the Western Association of Particular Baptist Churches, ordinations of ministers and the opening of new Baptist chapels within the Association, and various baptismal services, some, no doubt, conducted in a village river. She also composed hymns on behalf of the work of the Baptist Missionary Society and the ordinations and deaths of certain missionaries and ministers who were close friends or correspondents of the Safferys, including two poetic tributes to the colossal figure among the first generation of Baptist missionaries, William Carey (1761–1834), an elegy on the death of Joseph Horsey (Elizabeth Horsey’s father) in 1802, an elegy commemorating the deaths of three of the founders of the Baptist Missionary Society – Samuel Pearce, John Sutcliff and Andrew Fuller – sometime after Fuller’s death in 1815, and a sonnet on the death of John Saffery, which, other than the epitaph for his gravestone, is the only poem by Maria addressed to her husband. Many of her poems were published in the Baptist Magazine, including one poem celebrating the beginning of the second volume of the magazine in 1810. She also composed nine poems for Sunday worship, possibly continuing an old tradition established by many Puritan writers (most notably, the American Edward Taylor) of composing meditative hymns and poems as part of one’s practice of religious meditation on Sunday, often in preparation for the Lord’s Supper.
As with some of the other women writers in these volumes, such as Hannah Towgood Wakeford, Mary Wakeford, Marianna Attwater Head, and Jane Attwater Blatch, Saffery also composed poems commemorating the close of one year and the beginning of a new one, as well as the practice of keeping a Pocket Book diary. Two early poems are given the title of a particular day – one from 1795, the other from 1797, suggesting that Saffery, like her sister Anne, was also keeping a daily spiritual diary. Other poems given specific dates in their titles usually celebrate anniversaries (primarily wedding anniversaries, with one sonnet noting the first anniversary of her removal from Salisbury to Bratton in 1836) and birthdays, this latter category comprising sixteen poems in this volume, written to her sis- ter, children, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren.
Though Saffery does not, like the women poets in the previous volumes in this series, employ pastoral noms de plumes to denote her friends and relations (no Theodosias, Sylvias, Myras or Myrtillas here), she is inextricably linked to her predecessors in that the second largest group of poems (more than fifty) are addressed to individuals, mostly family members and friends (though the subjects of several poems remain unidentified), but also political, religious and literary figures. As mentioned above, many of these poems celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, but a great variety of occasions can be fertile ground for Saffery’s imagination, especially events in the life of her children, which produced such poems as her popular hymn ‘Fain, O my babe, I’d have thee know’; a clever yet touching verse epistle from Saffery to her daughter Jane, her ‘sweet little Lassie’, on the latter’s first trip to London at the age of nine without her mother; a short poem attached to a letter to her son, Samuel, in London, in 1822 about a package of peaches; an 1822 poem celebrating the upcoming marriage of Alfred Whitaker and Sarah Waylen and a similar poem from 1841 about the marriage of Mary Attwater and Edwin Whitaker, both poems reminiscent of Mary Steele’s poem to Marianna Attwater on the latter’s wedding in 1773; a poem about the smile of Edith Whitaker, infant daughter of Alfred Whitaker; a hymn composed for Rosalie Anne Green, another of Anne’s granddaughters; a poem depicting the new responsibilities acquired by Saffery’s daughter, Jane, upon the birth of her first child, Anna Jane Whitaker, in 1838; a charming poem ‘To an affectionate Domestic in the family of a friend with Spectacles once my own’; or a poem on a sleeping butterfly. Among literary figures, besides her poems to Hannah More, Saffery addressed poems to Alaric Watts (1797–1864), poet and editor of several popular poetry annuals in the 1820s and ’30s; William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850), Vicar at Bremhill, Wiltshire, 1818–50, who achieved considerable recognition for his early publication, Fourteen Sonnets (1789), a volume that influenced Wordsworth and Coleridge and Maria Saffery as well; the artist/engraver David Charles Read (1790–1851) of Salisbury; and Edward Phillips (1770–1851), Incumbent of East Tytherley and editor of An Octave of Catholic Prayers for the Eventful Year 1851, by a Protestant Catholic (1851).
Three other links to the women poets in Volumes 1–4 of Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840, are Saffery’s poems on friendship, death and religious meditation, though the themes of retirement and solitude so prominent in the poetry of Anne and Mary Steele are largely missing in Saffery’s canon. Some twenty poems would easily qualify as friendship poems, many of them written expressly for friendship albums, a device Mary Steele and Mary Scott utilized on many occasions between themselves and other friends.84 Among Saffery’s friendship poems is one to her long-time live-in friend, Ann Salter, a situation similar to that experienced by Mary Steele and Lucy Kent; one to her friend and early spiritual mentor, the famed biblical commentator Thomas Scott; poems to her sister’s daughter-in-law, the second Mrs Philip Whitaker, and her friends E. M. Betts and Margretta Macdonald; and several to unnamed individuals, one described as a friend ‘from early childhood’, others as ‘young’, ‘deaf ’, and ‘dejected’.
Three friendship poems, composed between 1823 and c. 1840, are addressed to her sister Anne, poems that express similar sentiments to those found throughout their long correspondence. The first poem, a sonnet, was placed into Anne’s friendship book in March 1823, and opens with the same language, ‘sacred to Friendship’, used by Mary Steele in several of her friendship poems, language suggestive of the high esteem in which the women in the Steele and Saffery circles valued female friendship. The other two were most likely entered into the same book. One sonnet celebrates Anne’s 63rd birthday on 23 June 1837, Saffery reminiscing with her of their ‘infant home’ where they shared both ‘youthful gladness’ and ‘early tears’ and reminding her that there is ‘no sunset hour to friendship’ in this life or the next. The third poem, in particular, exhibits some striking similarities to one composed by Mary Steele in honor of Anne Steele. Saffery acknowledges the role her sister played during their teen years in encouraging her to write poetry, much like Anne Steele mentoring her niece during her teen years in the mid- 1760s. The simpler form and language of Saffery’s tetrameter quatrains,
Thou wert my Childhood’s gentle friend, The partner of my infant sigh,
And thought must fail a charm to lend Ere I forget the tender tie.
Thou wert the Muse within my bower When first the simple lyre I strung,
Companion of my youthful hour What time of sacred lore I sung.
contrast sharply to the more elaborate poetic diction of Mary Steele’s iambic pentameter lines from her 1771 poem, each poem reflecting nevertheless similar sentiments regarding the role of each writer’s ‘Muse’. Steele writes:
And when I lisp’d my artless Infant Lays
Thy smile indulgent fed the growing fire,
(Tho’ harsh my strains, tho’ rude my faint Essays,
And bade me still attempt the trembling Lyre.)
Thy skillful Hand attun’d each uncouth strain,
Rais’d the low thought, inspir’d the languid Line;
Nor were these kind Instructions quite in vain,
Thy forming Hand my untaught lays refine.
Saffery similarly declares to her sister that since
in Childhood’s sportive day
I called my heart and lyre thine own,
To thee I dedicate the lays
Of ampler thought and deeper tone.
By the date of the above poem, Maria and Anne were neighbours in Bratton, their physical and geographical presences united for the first time since their days in Isleworth just after the death of their mother in 1791. Now ‘the whispers of departed years’, like the wind through the aeolian harp, take on a new life in Bratton and ‘breathe like Music through the song’. These friendship poems of Saffery and Steele, separated by nearly seventy years and a vastly altered spectrum of poetic styles, nevertheless exhibit a similar strain of gratitude regarding the spiritual benefits each poet has received from these revered friendships. Just as the ‘precepts’ of Anne Steele not only taught Mary Steele’s ‘feet fair Virtues way’ but also how ‘to shun each fatal lurking snare’ and mind ‘the path to Realms of endless Day’, so Maria Saffery boasts that, at least after 1792, she and her sister have shared ‘one faith – one hope – one goal’, fueled by an ‘immortal flame’ that still burns within them after nearly seventy years of sisterhood.
Death was as constant a reality in Saffery’s life as it was for Steele, with some fifteen poems dealing with the subject, none, however, reflecting the emotional intensity of some of Steele’s poems upon the death of her aunt, uncle and her father.89 Four poems contemplate the subject itself, but most of the poems, as with those by Steele, describe the death (or the poet’s emotions about the death) of a friend, relation or famous figure of great importance to the poet. Aside from her two elegies and the poems commemorating the deaths of Scott, More, Wilberforce, Carey and some other missionaries (mentioned above), most of the poems in this category eulogize the deaths of family members and friends, several of which were children, such as young Mary Shoveller in the late 1790s; her five-year-old great-nephew, Alfred Romilly Whitaker, in 1835; or an unnamed child in a poem from Poems. Other poems concern the deaths of adults, both young and old, such as Alfred Whitaker’s new bride, Sarah Waylen, in 1823; or Saffery’s former live-in companion, Lucy Ryland Stapleton, sometime in the late 1830s; or an unnamed ‘Long-suffering Saint’ from Poems. A few poems are addressed to those left behind, such as an unnamed mother mourning the death of her infant child, a poem that recalls Mary Steele’s poem by a similar title also addressed to an unnamed recipient; a group of ministers (most likely those of the Western Association) after the death of one of their leaders; or an unidentified female friend ‘distinguished for Benevolence’.
Saffery was a practitioner of frequent, even daily, religious meditation, from which the writing of poetry flowed as ‘effusions’, to use Mary Steele’s expression, from the feelings and thoughts generated by the particular meditation. Steele often linked these meditations with brief escapes into solitude and retirement, escapes easily procured for Steele prior to 1797, when she lived as a single woman at Broughton House surrounded by its spacious grounds and extensive lands owned by her father, as well as the rural estate she inherited from her uncle at Yeovil and where she composed poems with her friend Mary Scott of nearby Milborne Port. Such retreats into the solitude of nature were rare for Saffery after 1801, for her duties as schoolmistress to a large group of students, as pastor’s wife to a growing congregation, and as a mother precluded the retired leisure enjoyed by Steele. In her early poem, ‘Pensive Desire’, most likely composed prior to her marriage, the poet bewails her ‘cold’, ‘forlorn’ heart saddened by the presence of an overcast sky and ‘stormy blast’, longing instead for the ‘pleasure’ of ‘a nobler scene’ beyond ‘earth’s beclouded ray’, where nothing can ‘dim’ the vision of ‘an immortal eye, / Or stain celestial roses with a tear’ (below, poem 8). Saffery composed some twenty-five meditative poems, some of her best coming early, such as ‘The Wish’, ‘Conflict’, ‘Consolation in Christ’, ‘Perfect Love’, ‘Evening’ and ‘Thought before Sunset’, the latter two poems representing a time of day that provoked numerous meditative poems by Anne and Mary Steele. In ‘True Liberty’, like John Donne in his Holy Sonnets, Saffery claims that ‘Freedom is sweet from every chain, | But that of Jesus’ love’, a state produc- ing the oxymoronic ‘sweet captivity’; forty years later, in one of her last poems, ‘Retrospect’, she employs the same device but with a more humanistic, Dickinsonian bent, lamenting the inescapable fact that on earth it is ‘Mem’ries that make thy sweetness sad | And Hopes that make thy sadness sweet’.
Of her 234 poems, the largest category are poems employing religious subjects taken directly from biblical texts, the majority being found in her 1834 publication, Poems on Sacred Subjects, a title not far removed from Anne Steele’s Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional (1760). As she wrote in her Preface, though she experienced some ‘whispers of self-distrust’, she still maintained a ‘confidence for observation’ bespeaking a woman who had been publishing poetry for more than forty years. Though she had lived in relative ‘seclusion’ for most of those years, her name was not unknown, partly derived from the reputation of her deceased husband and her son, P. J., between them ministers at Brown Street from 1790 to 1836. Since these poems were based upon scripture, they were designed less for aesthetic pleasure and more for spiritual edification. The Eclectic Review noted that her poems ‘breathe a pure and elevated feeling, and occasionally approach to the highest order of excellence’, comparing her to two of the leading poets of that decade, Felicia Hemans and Lydia Sigourney. The reviewer for the Gentleman’s Magazine compared her to John Keble (1792– 1866), a leader of the Oxford Movement, whose The Christian Year: Thoughts in Verse for the Sundays and Holydays throughout the Year had appeared in 1827. ‘Enshrined in this clear and crystal vase of refined expression’, the reviewer commented, ‘is seen the flower of pure and unaffected piety’. ‘Piety’ and an ‘elegant and well-cultivated taste’94 were common qualities of women’s poetry held in high regard by critics and readers steeped in the highly gendered criticism of the late Romantic and early Victorian periods. Yet in the midst of such criteria for women’s poetry, criteria to which many women writers clearly acquiesced, Saffery reads her scripture with an eye for women. In her three-sonnet sequence ‘Hagar in the Desert’ (all three poems employing different rhyme schemes), Hagar becomes a symbol both of the abused woman and the powerful woman, the woman of ‘promise’ who, in her despair and rejection, hears the voice of the angel, ‘A sound that sinks like silence on the soul’ but also has the power to hush the ‘thunder’s roll’. Other female figures in Poems include the Widow of Zarephath, Mary and Martha of Bethany, and the mother in Matthew 9:24 whose child is restored to life by Christ. The poems in her 1834 volume employ a variety of metrical patterns (iambs and anapests are the dominant metrical feet, mostly in pentameter and tetrameter lines) and stanzaic forms, utilizing four, six, nine and ten-line stanzas. The main sequence of poems traces the Messianic line from Abraham through David to Christ, including the latter’s nativity, crucifixion and resurrection taken from texts from the Gospels, followed by a series of poems espousing a moderate Calvinist view of the doctrine of Christ and his continuing work in the life of the believer taken from passages in various New Testament epistles. Within Poems are also several hymns, some of which had already appeared in some form in various hymnals, but Saffery had been composing hymns long before 1834. At least twenty-five poems in this volume are titled or qualify as hymns, placing Saffery just behind Mary Scott’s thirty hymns, but well short of Anne Steele’s impressive collection of 170 hymns. Saffery, like her sister hymn writer, Maria de Fleury, deserves more study and recognition in the history of women’s contributions to hymn writing in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
What may well be Saffery’s finest poetic achievement are her forty-five sonnets, far surpassing Mary Steele’s total of ten. As Saffery’s correspondence reveals, she met Mary Steele on several occasions, visited her in her home in Broughton, was close friends with Jane Attwater by the mid-1790s and her relations at Bodenham, most likely knew Elizabeth Coltman, and by 1800 well aware of the Steele circle and its West Country tradition of female nonconformist poetry. ‘You heard of my visit to Broughton’, Maria writes to her sister Anne on 28 September 1810. ‘I did not go to Southampton merely because it appeared I could only have gone to an Inn wh for two or three nights in my own view would have been ineligible.’ Elizabeth Coltman of Leicester was visiting Mary Steele (now Mrs Thomas Dunscombe) at this time, and it seems likely that meeting Coltman, whose children’s books and other writings were most likely known to Saffery the educator through their mutual friend Jane Attwater Blatch at Bratton, was Saffery’s chief aim for her journey that day to Broughton. During her visit to the West Country, Coltman also visited Anne Steele Tomkins, Mary Steele’s half-sister, formerly of Abingdon and now living at Southampton, a journey in which Coltman apparently sought Saffery’s company, though, as the letter reveals, she did not take up the offer, if one was indeed presented to her. The next September Saffery breakfasted with the Dunscombes at Broughton just two weeks prior to Thomas Dunscombe’s death,99 another indication that the two women poets had become close friends and, most likely, were sharing their poetry with each other. Some of Steele’s finest poems are her sonnets composed in the 1790s and the first decade of the nineteenth century, the very period when Saffery, almost twenty years Steele’s junior, began composing her first sonnets. Saffery’s first published sonnets, ‘Christian Heroism’ and ‘Sonnet’, appeared in the Theological and Biblical Magazine (1807) and the Baptist Magazine (October 1810), the latter publication occurring just one month after her visit to Broughton. The first poem is a traditional English sonnet, but the second, though titled ‘Sonnet’, breaks from both English and Italian patterns, employing three quatrains of common meter with a closing couplet in iambic pentameter, the only time Saffery used such a form. It is tempting to think that Steele may have offered some advice on the poem. The closing couplet, with its subtle complexities, embraces the emblem of the child as flower, a symbol put to great effect by the Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet in her elegies on the deaths of her grandchildren in the late 1660s and recast now in Saffery’s poem:
Spirit of life! I cry, my flowers pervade,
Nor let them perish – tho’ they bloom to fade.
Both her 1823 sonnet for Anne’s ‘album’ (abba accd efef gg) and her 1831 poem to her great nephew playing on the plain before Stonehenge (abba acca ded- eff) employ odd combinations of English and Italian sonnet rhyme schemes but without the final alexandrine. Saffery is creative with her language as well, searching Alfred Romilly Whitaker’s face to see if any ‘shadowy trace’ of Stonehenge’s ‘dark meaning glooms [his] infant grace’. The stones form a ‘rude memoir of time’, for young Alfred’s ‘wildly sportive’ experience as a child, like the narrator’s ‘boyish days’ in Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’,101 will form a ‘strange contrast to [his] manhood’s musing smile’ when Alfred returns as an adult. Sadly, that would not happen, for death claimed young Alfred in a few years, provoking a companion sonnet (in the same rhyme scheme) by Saffery in 1835 that sought to explain the failure of her earlier imaginative vision for young Alfred, not recognizing that, in many respects, her earlier sonnet, like Stonehenge, has become its own ‘rude memoir of time’. She prefaced her Poems on Sacred Subjects with a sonnet to the memory of her husband, whose ‘soul for melody’ has not been silenced, just relocated: Maria’s is still ‘tun’d on Earth – and [his], in Heaven’. Her sonnet to William Lisle Bowles, an influential writer of sonnets himself and someone Saffery most likely met in the early 1830s at Bremhill, uses the unusual rhyme scheme abba aacc deeff. Saffery finds in Bowles’s sonnets and poetry, some having been in print nearly fifty years by this time, a ‘magic breathing sound | For pensive natures’. Bowles is truly the ‘Time honoured Bard’, his poems exhibiting the ‘pure, simple, and sub- lime’, qualities that will one day create heavenly ‘Harp-notes’ but in the present sublunary world of the poet make ‘deep Melody’ within [his] heart!’, and, by implication, within the spiritual and aesthetic heart of Maria Grace Saffery.