To Miss Eleanor Porden

Mr Porden

Aid me all ye Powers divine
While I sing my Valentine
Favourite of the tuneful nine
Is my sprightly Valentine
Sparkling are her hazel eyne
And the chin and forehead shine
Of my lovely Valentine
Lips that glow like ruby fine
Or the scarlett coralline
Cheeks that never knew carmine
Blushing like the nectarine
Grace my blooming Valentine
Not so sweet is eglantine
Nor the fragrant wild woodbine
Vi’let rose nor jessamine
As my sweet, sweet Valentine
If thy heart to mirth incline
Wit with humour arch combine
In my playful Valentine
And of higher themes are thine
Solid sense and judgment join
In my serious Valentine

Oh delightful treat to dine
With my mirthful Valentine
Fretful as the porcupine
I behold the rosy wine
Turkey fat or savoury chine
Or of beef the knightly loin
If without my Valentine
When I catch with net or line
Gudgeon, perch or fish marine
I the scaly prize assign
To my lovely Valentine
Yet no fish in sea Tyrrhine
Or the Danube, Meuse or Rhine
Silver Thames or coaly Tyne
Scottish Tweed or Irish Boyne
With the book in bone narine
Felt my torments, I opine,
Gudgeon to my Valentine.
When among my father’s swine
Bleating sheep or lowring kine
In some pasture I recline
With my buxom Valentine
While I in her looks entwine
Rose and pink and celandine
Oft I would a kiss purloin,
From my charming Valentine.
But with anger infantine,
Sweetly pouting (not feline).

She will check the bold design
Absent from my Valentine,
On a haycock laid supine,
Oft I at my fate repine,
Weeping tears of scalding brine,
Then had I a prince’s coin
I would give it to rejoin
Her I love — my Valentine.
I shall gladly life resign
From a post or lofty pine
Dangling like an alehouse sign
If my scornful Valentine
Shall my humble love decline
But what transport will be mine
If the stars in square or trine,
From th’ ethereal chrystalline
Tell that heavens decrees design
Me the elm and she the vine
Bending then at beauty’s shrine
I till health and life decline
Will fondly love my Valentine.