To Miss Porden

Mrs Richardson

Those whom the Muses still invite
Imagine it no task to write
Their sprightly Fancies can resist
Sol’s scorching Ray — November’s mist
Alike in country, or in town
Alike if fortune smile or frown
While such as only can aspire
By casual starts to touch the lyre
Oft slight the boon when it is lent
And soon diverted from their bent
Find in each change, impediment.

To Eleanor all seasons smile
Winter’s harsh hours she can beguile
Can, in the nerve relaxing heat
With various lay, flowing and sweet
The Ear enchant, inspire the feet
And place the languid frame and soul
Under Terpsichore’s control
To her the sound of London’s cries
From “Sweet Briar” to “Hot Meat Pies”
For Pastorals can give a hint
As steel can strike our fire from flint
While her conservatory’s flowers
Shall sketch out fair Arcadian Bowers
But no such inspiration shines
O’er her when Friendship pens these lines
Partly to show she has the will,
Could she but animate her quill,
Partly to shield her taste from blame,
And as a member hold her claim;
Praying that should she be away
On Hermes’ next propitious day
Ellen would smile on this Essay.