To Miss Porden on Her Birthday

Mr Flaxman

July 14th 1810

By sea, or land, as various fancy strays,
We seek renown, and prosperous days;
The merchant quits his peaceful home
O’er the wide ocean’s boundless deep to roam.
He brave the bellowing storm, the lightning’s flash,
The swelling wave, whose furious dash
O’erwhelms the mariners with dread,
That in the watery vale they are lodged among the dead!
In distant climes, thro’ distant lands,
O’er Arabia’s burning sands,
In the long caravan, he winds his weary way,
To bring his treasures home,
And store them in his loved paternal dome;
The patriot soul whom glory fires
No dangers start, no labor tires,
His toilsome days, his watchful nights,
Secure the civil social rights;
But should the daring foe invade his dear loved land
He quick as lightning heads his martial band
His furious onset leaves no time to fly,
And at his feet the villains gasp and die!
The patriot band a wide destruction spread,
And each invader’s quickly slain, or fled,
His grateful country crowns, & and blessings gives,
And in her heart, his virtue ever lives; —
The rougher lot to man belongs
To turn the globe, to guide the prow
To face the storm, to stem the foe, —
To thee a gentler task’s assigned.
Fair wisdom’s laws, the graces of the mind;
May science’s unbounded skill,
In every good instruct thy will!
And pour on thee such mental store,
As leaves the wealthy merchant poor!
And may thy virtuous labours prove
They country’s gratitude and love —