1749 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Lyttelton

Phares, "To the Hon. George Lyttelton, Esq; on his Monody to the Memory of his Lady" British Magazine 4 (March 1749) 105-06.



O LITTLETON! to Hagley's shades retir'd,
Attend these accents which thy woes inspir'd.
Can I refuse my sympathizing lays,
My share of sorrow, and my debt of praise;
When to all ears thy well-sung story roves,
Melts every soul, and a whole kingdom moves:
Attentive to thy sadly-pleasing tale,
See how each happy new-made pair turn pale:
How the fond bridegroom mov'd with tender care,
Eyes each disorder'd beauty of his fair.
Then both exchange this sympathy of heart,
"Thus may we love, but O, thus never part."
There the fair virgin, that has learn'd to prove
The soft emotions of alternate love,
Feels at each line her panting bosom rise;
And graceful sorrows steal into her Eyes.
Th' admiring critick praises while he hears
The well-sung tale, but praises with his tears;
Here the hard libertine untaught to know
The generous sorrow, at another's woe,
Wonders to find the melting numbers win
His soul; and feels he knows not what within.

Thus Orpheus each obdurate soul o'ercame,
Like thine his sorrows, and his strains the same.
O'er breasts unknown to melt, soft pity crept,
All Pluto's kingdom heard his moan, and wept.