« PrejšnjaNaprej »
PROGRESS of LOVE.
IN FOUR ECLOGUES.
By GEORGE LORD LYTTELTON a.
UNCERTAINTY. ECLOGUE I.
To Mr. P OPE.
OPE, to whofe reed beneath the beechen fhade,
The Nymphs of Thames a pleas'd attention paid;
This noble author was born in the year 1709. He was the eldest fon of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, of Hagley in Worcestershire, and received his education at Eton, where he was so much diftinguished, that VOL. II. A his
While yet thy Muse, content with humbler praise,
Warbled in Windfor's grove her fylvan lays ;
Though now fublimely borne on Homer's wing,
Of glorious wars, and godlike chiefs she fing:
Wilt thou with me re-vifit once again
The crystal fountain, and the flow'ry plain
Wilt thou, indulgent, hear my verse relate
The various changes of a lover's state;
And while each turn of paffion I pursue,
Afk thy own heart if what I tell be true?
To the green margin of a lonely wood,
Whofe pendent shades o'erlook'd a filver 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 favage a defencelefs prey;
No fenfe of int'rest could their master move,
And every care feem'd trifling now but Love.
his exercifes were recommended as models to his fchool-fellows. From Eton he went to Chrift Church, Oxford, but ftaid there only a short time. He then travelled through France and Italy; and, foon after his return to England, in 1735, obtained a feat in Parliament, where he became a violent oppofer of Sir Robert Walpole's adminiftration. Ia the year 1741, he married Mifs Lucy Fortefcue, the lady to whom feveral of the following Poems are addressed; and in 1744, was made one of the Lords of the Treasury. He frequently after this period was in place, and fupported the measures of the Court. In 1756, he was created a Peer; and died at Hagley, August 23, 1773, aged 64 years.
Awhile in penfive filence he remain'd,
But though his voice was muté, his looks complain'd;
At length the thoughts within his bofom pent,
Forc'd his unwilling tongue to give them vent.
Ye Nymphs, he cry'd, ye Dryads, who fo long
Have favour'd Damon, and infpir'd his fong;
For whom, retir'd, I fhun the gay reforts
Of Sportful cities, and of pompous courts;
In vain I bid the reftlefs world adieu,
To feek 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 fhades,
Nor Calumny your innocence invades,
Yet cruel Love, that troubler of the breaft,
Too often violates your boasted rest ;
With inbred ftorms difturbs your calm retreat,
And taints with bitterness each rural fweet.
Ah lucklef's day! when first with fond surprize
On Delia's face I fix'd my eager eyes;
Then in wild tumults all my foul was toft,
Then reason, liberty, at once were loft:
And every with, and thought, and care was gone,
But what my heart employ'd on her alone.
Then too fhe fmil'd: can fmiles our peace destroy,
Those lovely children of Content and Joy?
How can foft pleasure and tormenting woe,
From the fame fpring at the fame moment flow?
Unhappy boy, thefe vain enquiries cease,
Thought could not guard, nor will restore thy peace:
Indulge the frenzy that thou must endure,
And footh the pain thou know'ft not how to cure.
Come, flatt'ring Memory, and tell my heart
How kind she was, and with what pleasing art
She ftrove its fondeft wishes to obtain,
Confirm her pow'r, and faster bind my chain.
If on the green we danc'd, a mirthful band,
To me alone she gave her willing hand;
Her partial tafte, if e'er I touch'd the lyre,
Still in my fong found fomething to admire.
By none but her my crook with flow'rs was crown'd,
By none but her my brows with ivy bound:
The world that Damon was her choice believ'd,
The world, alas! like Damon was deceiv'd.
When last I saw her, and declar'd my fire,
In words as foft as paffion could inspire,
Coldly fhe heard, and full of fcorn withdrew,
Without one pitying glance, one sweet adieu.
The frighted hind, who fees his ripen'd corn
Up from the roots by fudden tempeft torn,
Whofe fairest hopes deftroy'd and blafted lie,
Feels not fo keen a pang of grief as I.
Ah! how have I deferv'd, inhuman maid,
To have my faithful fervice thus repay'd?
Were all the marks of kindness I receiv'd,
But dreams of joy, that charm'd me and deceiv'd ?
Or did you only nurfe my growing love,
That with more pain I might your hatred prove?
Sure guilty treachery no place could find
In fuch a gentle, fuch a gen'rous mind:
A maid brought up the woods and wilds among,
Could ne'er have learnt the art of courts fo young:
No; let me rather think her anger feign'd,
Still let me hope my Delia may be gain'd;
'Twas only modefty that feem'd disdain,
And her heart fuffer'd when she gave me pain.
Pleas'd with this flattering thought, the love-fick boy
Felt the faint dawnings of a doubtful joy;
Back to his flock more chearful he return'd,
When now the fetting fun lefs fiercely burn'd;
Blue vapours rofe along the mazy rills,
And light's last blushes ting'd the distant hills.