Probationary Ode

Miss Porden

Awake! my bosom’s dormant fire
Once more awake! my slumbering lyre
Thy tones of melting sweetness breathe
To win the envied Attic Wreath.
 The pendant willows pliant bough
Oft binds the hapless lover’s brow,
Or blest, he loves his wreath to twine,
Of myrtle and of gay woodbine,
The parsley crown the hero claims
Triumphant in funereal games
Or victor at Nemea, shows
The ash her black-rob’d judge bestows
The oak the civic hero wears
And peace her shining olive bears
Diana, ever fair and chaste
The Agnus castus garland grac’d
Yet tho’ such wreath might well befall
To fit a nymph of Tabby Hall,
Not this I seek to bind my brow,
Be mine the laurel’s brighter bough.
 Not this the laurel, dipped in gore
That Greek or Latin warriors wore,
Nor this the aspiring tree that shed
Unfading fame on Homer’s head
But borne from China’s distant strand
It proudly decks our happy land
And rear’d by ELLEN’s fostering care,
Her favor’d Attic bard shall wear.
Her call arous’d my minstrel-fire
And woke again my idle lyre,
Her hand bestows the meed of fame
Her bards with emulation claim,
And ah! against my simple lay,
What numbers stand in bright array,
A brother’s sense and humor there
In friendly strife the contest share,
Untir’d he views the noontide light,
And soars on eagle wings from sight.
And Anna’s wit is there display’d,
And fair Vardilla, dark-ey’d maid,
While wit and sense and sweetness throng,
Commingling in her flowing song,
A Scottish lassie next, who wears
The grace of youth in riper years,
Simple and sweet, her highland strain,
Flows from, and seeks the heart again.
There too a sage, at will who pours
The gems of learning’s classic stores,
His eloquence and kindness bind,
In friendship’s Bond each heart and mind.
There poignant wit and satire sly,
Lurk in the lawyer’s half-clos’d eye
There flows in Tiber’s stream imbued
The grace of Henry’s softer mood,
While Atticus, with eyes of fire
Impetuous strikes his sounding lyre,
Steals to the “crystal vase” and sips
The stream sublim’d by “Ellen’s” lips,
Displays his cookery lore, and then,
Still eats and writes, and eats again.
 All these, and these beside, are there
Yet never shall my Muse despair,
While still, (the poet’s best support)
She holds a powerful friend at court,
And knows her Stella’s hand were both,
To clip the wings of faithful Moth.