1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Lyttelton

John Williams ("Anthony Pasquin"), "Verses written at Hagley, on the 4th of December, 1788" Felix Farley's Bristol Journal (20 December 1788).



When Philip's son that sepulchre survey'd,
Where palsied time the stern Achilles laid:
He view'd the pile with reverential awe,
Whose frail contents had given nations law;
Upheld the recreant Greeks with godlike might,
And wrote in blood th' establishment of right.
If a rude Pagan thus could step aside,
To hail the dust once warm'd by human pride,
How much should I regard this hallow'd spot,
Where wealth the indigence of worth forgot;
Where LYTTELTON with honour pass'd his days,
And Bards bestrew'd the threshold with their bays:
Where THOMSON led the motley hours along,
And drew the Seasons in immortal song:
This is the bank where POPE his heart explor'd,
And wove a theme which BOLINGBROKE ador'd:
This is the vernal avenue he trod,
Imbibing thought to venerate his God:
Each tinkling rill, each mount, each dale, each tree,
Are sacred all, as Israel's ark, to me:
Or Jubal's timbrel or the Delphic hall,
Or the Palladium on the Trojan wall.
In scenes like these by inspiration fed,
Imbower'd at Tusculum the Roman read:
Impell'd by love and hope I rove around,
Yet dread to violate the classic ground;
Or wound some flow'ret by my vagrant feet,
Rais'd from a root that deck'd the muses seat.
So pale, so panting, mov'd the steel-wrapt bands,
Who drove the savage Turk from Syria's lands:
And pierc'd with fearful zeal thro' Salem's gloom,
To lay their trembling hands on JESUS' tomb.