in Small House at Allington

Chapter 52 – The First Visit to the Guestwick Bridge

he had wandered about the lanes of Guestwick as his only amusement, and had composed hundreds of rhymes in honor of Lily Dale

This image of John Eames invokes the bucolic images of love-lorn shepherds singing of their loves in the pastoral poetry of Vergil’s Eclogues and Theocritus’ Idylls.  [AM 2006]


There, rudely carved in the wood, was still the word LILY

John Eames’ carving of Lily’s name into the wood of the bridge recalls Vergil’s Eclogue 10 in which Gallus resolves to carve the name of his love on “tender trees.”  Trollope’s allusion to this poem further emphasizes John Eames’ pastoral love for Lily Dale.  Through this allusion, John Eames is being likened to the wandering shepherd who is consumed by thoughts of his love who is out of his reach.  [AM & RR 2006]

Sources:  Vergil, Eclogue 10.52-54