Given to Eliza

D. Grant

>Given to Eliza, on Valentine’s Day

Hear me Eliza! while I pray
On Venus’ fav’rite holiday —
May it be me propitious shine!
O take me for thy Valentine!

True I cannot with varnish’d art
Speak the no— anguish of my heart;
And, feeling nothing, sigh & whine
Like a false modern Valentine.

But I can love with love so true
As e’en almost to merit you.
With thine my heart-strings I can twice
O take me for thy Valentine!

For I can watch thy speaking eyes,
Can catch thy wishes as they rise,
Can make thy joys & sorrows mine,
And be thy real Valentine.

Each care, each sigh that breaks my rest,
Shall meet its brother in my breast.
With thee I’ll smile, with Thee I’ll pine,
In joy or grief thy Valentine.

The kindest turtles of the grove
Nor do, nor can more truly love,
E’en while their glowing beaks they join,
Than my Eliza’s Valentine:

For blended in my constant heart,
Friendship, & love devoid of art,
In cordial unison combine
To make me a true Valentine.

Ah! may the dear illusion last
Till life’s short various day be past:
May we Eliza! ne’er refrine,
But feel each day is Valentine.

At last, when age’s shrivel’d hand
Untwines the gentle rosy band,
I’ll press my clay-cold lips to thine,
And die Eliza’s Valentine.


These lines were written 40 years ago. For the credit of dear Love, your correspondent wishes she had not the mortification of relating the sequel — But truth is truth, & so she will relate it.

The parties were at Bath, & very soon after the lines were sent to Eliza, she went off to Gretna Green, not with Edwin, but with an Irish Jontleman of 6 feet 2. Edwin, when he heard it, ran in despair to the banks of the Avon, determined by one plunge to end his life & love. But luckily, recollecting the proverb Look before you leap,” he did look, & did not leap, but returned quickly home; & after flirting with, & quitting me, I wish the fellow had taken his leap. Young Edwin was in a fortnight joined in the holy bands of Matrimony with a rich Dowager of 65!

Lord, what is Man! aye, or Woman either! And worst of all worsts, what is Love itself! Alas! now nothing to your humble servant

Bellamina Barnacles

Your Correspondent will be at the Readings this Evening.

Tuesday Morning.