To Miss Maria Denman

Miss Porden

When Cupid last by Venus sent
Around the Earth a sportsman went
To London Town the archer came
A cover always stocked with game
Against the best the noblest hearts
He still addrest his venomed darts.
Or poacher like his viewless snares
He spread to catch them unawares
From end to end from side to side
He spread destruction far and wide
And turned at length his roving feet
Sweet maid to Buckinghamo Street
In at thy open window flew
And in a corner lay perdue
In sportive mood to dress you came
And made the urchins bricks your game
The string which ready strained he held
Incensed the god let go impelled
By his immortal hand the dart
Hissed on, and sought they heedless heart
But Phoebus, with protecting power
Preserved thee in that fateful hour
Deprived the arrow of its force
And turned it from its destined course
The baffled archer sees with pain
His skill by higher powers made vain
And quits his quiver, bow, and darts
For secret snares and fraudful arts
The spreads his toils where you must pass
To his confederate — your glass
The heavenly habitants on high
Your danger view; and from the sky
Swift Dian hastens to thy aid
And with her came the blue-eyed maid
The wily urchin sees again
His craft by higher powers made vain
Vexed from you chamber he withdrew
And weeping straight to Paphos flew
No more I wonder that my love
Should fail your frozen breast to move
Since Cupid both by force and art
Has vainly tried to catch your heart
Yet still by hope inspired I try
This morn to catch your favouring eye
For oft ’tis said coy maids incline
To pity on St Valentine.

Pambo now tired of eating tarts
Steals for his food the ladies’ hearts
(One in his mouth he now is stuffing
And eating as you’d eat a muffin)
Unhappy me, he’s stolen mine
And will not be my Valentine.

See here of hearts the empress stand
Her ruby sceptre of command
High holding in her lily hand
O’er all with uncontested sway
She reigns and makes e’en Pam obey
For Cupid shot at him a dart
And pierced the rogues unguarded heart
Not has he need to fret & pine
She is to day his Valentine.

Valentines under the Knave and Queen of Hearts

Feb 14th 1809