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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles

Ann and Jane Taylor

“HYMNS for the Nursery” (1806) and “Hymns for Infant Minds” (1809), both by Ann and Jane Taylor, deserve mention, as early attempts to reach the child-level in simple verse. Besides these works the sisters collaborated in “Original Poems” (1805), and Ann, afterwards Mrs. Gilbert (1782–1866), published separately “Hymns for Sunday-School Anniversaries” (1827) and “Hymns for Infant Schools” (1827), Jane (1783–1824) publishing separately “Display: a Tale” (1815) and “Essays in Rhyme” (1816). Jane also contributed to the annuals and to the Youth’s Magazine, from which a number of her essays were reprinted as the posthumous contributions of “Q. Q.” in 1824. An authorised edition of the “Hymns” was published by Mrs. Gilbert’s son, Josiah Gilbert, the artist, in 1886. Of these, those of Mrs. Gilbert are the stronger, the best being “Great God, and wilt Thou condescend,” “Jesus, who lived above the sky,” and “Lo, at noon ’tis sudden night.” Of Jane’s hymns, “There is a path that leads to God” and “When daily I kneel down to pray” are perhaps the best. Her “Essays in Rhyme” are interesting and well written, her poem “The Squire’s Pew” having a pathos in it which has not altogether evaporated with the years. The following is from the pen of Mrs. Gilbert.