ページの画像
PDF

There Study shall with Solitude recline;
And Friendship pledge me to his fellow-swains ;
And Toil and Temperance sedately twine
The slender chord that fluttering life sustains:
And fearless Poverty shall guard the door ;
And Taste unspoil'd the frugal table spread;
And Industry supply the humble store;
And Sleep unbribed his dews refreshing shed:
White-mantled Innocence, ethereal sprite,
Shall chase far off the goblins of the night;
And Independence o'er the day preside,
Propitious power ! my patron and my pride.

306

GEORGE LORD LYTTELTON.

GEORGE LORD LYTTELTON, born at Hagley, in Jan. 1708–9, was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, Bart. of the same place. He received his early education at Eton, whence he was sent to Christ-church College, in Oxford. In both of these places he was distinguished for classical literature, and some of his poems which we have borrowed were the fruits of his juvenile studies. In his nineteenth year, he set out on a tour to the Continent; and some of the letters which he wrote during this absence to his father are pleasing proofs of his sound principles, and his unreserved confidence in a venerated parent. He also wrote a poetical epistle to Dr. Ayscough, his Oxford tutor, which is one of the best of his works. On his return from abroad he was chosen representative in parliament for the borough of Oakhampton; and being warmed with that patriotic ardour which rarely fails to inspire the bosom of an ingenuous youth, he became a distinguished partisan of opposition-politics, whilst his father was a supporter of the ministry, then ranged under the banners of Walpole. When Frederic Prince of Wales, having quarrelled with the court, formed a separate court of his own, in 1737, Lyttel

ton was appointed secretary to the Prince, with an advanced salary. At this time Pope bestowed his praise upon our patriot in an animated couplet :

Free as young Lyttelton her cause pursue, Still true to virtue, and as warm as true. In 1741, he married Lucy, the daughter of Hugh Fortescue, Esq. a lady for whom he entertained the purest affection, and with whom he lived in unabated conjugal harmony. Her death in child-bed, in 1747, was lamented by him in a “ Monody," which stands prominent among his poetical works, and displays much natural feeling, amidst the more elaborate strains of a poet's imagination. So much may suffice respecting his productions of this class, which are distinguished by the correctness of their versification, the elegance of their diction, and the delicacy of their sentiments. His miscellaneous pieces, and his history of Henry II., the last, the work of his age, have each their appropriate merits, but may here be omitted.

The death of his father, in 1751, produced his succession to the title and a large estate ; and his taste for rural ornament rendered Hagley one of the most delightful residences in the kingdom. At the dissolution of the ministry, of which he composed a part, in 1759, he was rewarded with elevation to the peerage, by the style of Baron Lyttelton of Frankley, in the county of Worcester. He died of a lingering disorder, which he bore with pious resignation, in August 1773, in the 64th year of his age.

THE PROGRESS OF LOVE.

IN FOUR ECLOGUES.

1. Uncertainty. To Mr. Pope. 2. Hope. To the Hon. George Doddington. 3. Jealousy. To Edward Walpole, Esq. 4. Possession. To the Right Hon. the Lord Viscount

Cobham.

UNCERTAINTY.

Eclogue I.

TO MR. POPE Pope, to whose reed beneath the beachen shade, The nymphs of Thames a pleas'd attention paid; While yet thy Muse, content with humbler praise, Warbled in Windsor's grove her sylvan lays; Though now, sublimely borne on Homer's wing, Of glorious wars and godlike chiefs she sing : Wilt thou with me revisit once again The crystal fountain, and the flowery plain ? Wilt thou, indulgent, hear my verse relate The various changes of a lover's state; And, while each turn of passion I pursue, Ask thy own heart if what I tell be true ?

To the green margin of a lonely wood, Whose pendant shades o'erlook'd a silver flood, Young Damon came, unknowing where he stray'd, Full of the image of his beauteous maid : His flock, far off, unfed, untended, lay, To every savage a defenceless prey ;

No sense of interest could their master move,
And every care seem'd trifling now but love.
Awhile in pensive silence he remain'd,
But, though his voice was mute, his looks coni-

plain’d;
At length the thoughts, within his bosom pent,
Forc'd his unwilling tongue to give them vent.

“ Ye nymphs," he cried, “ye Dryads, who so long Have favour'd Damon, and inspir’d his song ; For whom, retir'd, I shun the gay resorts Of sportful cities, and of pompous courts; In vain I bid the restless world adieu, To seek tranquillity and peace with you. Though wild Ambition and destructive Rage No factions here can form, no wars can wage: Though Envy frowns not on your humble shades, Nor Calumny your innocence invades : Yet cruel Love, that troubler of the breast, Too often violates your boasted rest; With inbred storms disturbs your calm retreat, And taints with bitterness each rural sweet.

“ Ah, luckless day! when first with fond surprise On Delia's face I fix'd my eager eyes ! Then in wild tumults all my soul was tost, Then reason, liberty, at once were lost : And every wish, and thought, and care, was gone, But what my heart employ'd on her alone. Then too she smil'd : can smiles our peace destroy, Those lovely children of Content and Joy ? How can soft pleasure and tormenting woe From the same spring at the same moment flow? Unhappy boy! these vain inquiries cease, Thought could not guard, nor will restore, thy peace,

« 前へ次へ »