To Ellen

Miss Vardill

Yes! Love a Sybil’s book possesses,
But scarce one spotless leaf remains;
Time ev’ry glowing line effaces,
And oft a tear its beauty stains!
But friendship boasts a safer treasure — 
A Chest with guiltless trophies fraught;
She lends the key to Wit & Pleasure,
And guards the gifts by Wisdom brought.
There, by refining Taste selected,
Lie gems from Fancy’s purest mines:
There from oblivion’s dust protected,
Wit, like Etruria’s marble shines.
But first with skillful hand she places
Truth’s modest opal in her store;
Her touch the dross of Science chases,
And lifts to light its secret ore.
’Midst treasures won from wits and sages
This humble gift may entrance claim;
Tho’, like the coin of long-lost ages,
It bears no semblance of a name.
This gift, with richer tributes blending
Their brightness and their praise may share;
As dew on beds of pearl descending,
May seem a kindred brilliant there.