To Miss Flaxman

Miss Porden

It is my ardent wish to twine
A wreath for you my Valentine
But neither rose nor eglantine
Nor pink, nor starlike jassamine
Nor lily fair, nor gay woodbine
Nor amaryllis can be found
In all the gardens ample round
To grace the day of Valentine.

By winter chased, those lovely flowers
Now only bloom in southern bowers
Blest by the sun’s perfecting beams
Who on our isle but faintly gleams
Their charms with rival lustre shine
To grace the day of Valentine
Through orange and through citron groves
There the happy lover roves
Whose unnumbered flowerets bloom
Shedding around a rich perfume
While fruit Hesperian from above
He culls a present for his love
And with ardent haste does twine
A garland for his Valentine
Tho’ you never may behold
On their stems those fruits of gold
Yet in Albion’s vessels borne
They your table shall adorn
Tho’ of such flowers it is not mine
Wreaths ambrosial to entwine
Beauteous in our clime are seen
Many a valued evergreen
Sacred to the Queen of Love
Here the myrtle decks the grove
And the glossy laurel here
Scorns the tyrant of the year
Of these my garland I’ll compose
Nor mourn the absence of the rose
Honour, Love, and constancy
Thus shall form a wreath for thee
To which the snow drop pure I’ll join
Fair emblem of my Valentine

Feb 14th 1809