On the Portable Pens

Mr Bond

Lines written by the Command of Miss Eleanor Porden on the Evening of the 11th day of March 1806

Ye sacred pens! which rul’d by Elen’s hand
The Muses’ noblest treasures can command,
On your poor supplicant some share bestow
Of those bright images which richly flow.
If some sad poet in a distant age,
Whose feeble verse may soil the sickly page,
By happy chance your tuneful store shall find,
He’ll feel new energies usurp his mind:
Then fancy follow’d by her mystic train
And thoughts of fire shall rap his fever’d brain,
A new creation to his sight appear
Whilst nature her poetic dress shall wear:
But when you shall his trembling hand have left,
Behold th’ enthusiast of his skill bereft.
The antiquary whose erudite lore
Can read the pillar 1 plac’d on Egypt’s shore
Can tell the tomb where Alexander lay,
Or where great Ammon held prophetic sway
Who knows the rocks whence Memphis’ wonders sprung
Sepulchral monsters! Theme of many a tongue:
To him your wondrous pow’rs would be unknown
E’en could he read the words on Pluto’s throne,
Could he describe the chain that Cerb’rus wears
Or show the rod that antient Atinos bears.
 But come blest pens! O come! to me impart
A humble portion of your Elen’s art.

  1. Pompey’s pillar.