1748 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Lyttelton

W. D—n, "On Mr. Lyttelton's Treatise on St. Paul's Conversion" London Magazine 17 (1748) 231.



As in the arms of sleep revolving o'er
The various actions of the day before,
Methought some gay delusion me convey'd,
To Lethe's banks and the Elysian shade:
There as I gaz'd around with wond'ring eyes,
And view'd each different object with surprize,
A lovely nymph my wand'ring steps pursu'd,
And led me on where Truth's fair temple stood.
There sate the goddess, deck'd with every grace,
A majesty serene adorn'd her face:
Reclin'd upon her arm, with studious look,
She seem'd attentive to some favourite book;
I ask'd what author did her thoughts engage;
They said, 'twas Lyttelton's delightful page.
All silent stood; at length the goddess rose,
And in these words her thoughts she did disclose:
No more let man with doubts perplex his brain,
Nor of the ways of Providence complain;
Here let him see, at once, distinct and clear,
The paths of truth in fullest light appear;
Here learn St. Paul's example to pursue,
And each unruly passion to subdue.
Then as he reads each truth so well exprest,
Let him admire the man, whose pleasing page
Thus taught him how to tread life's slipp'ry stage.
Let every Briton tune the trembling string,
And all ye muses! join his praise to sing.
Let Fame's shrill trumpet spread abroad his fame,
And Albion's cliffs resound the patriot's name.