Enigmatical Valentine

Miss Vardill

Well! tho’ St Valentine’s is past
The claims of Ellen longer last:
Science, by wit and taste befriended
Is every day by me attended!
Yes; when from Ellen’s jet-black eye
The frolic fires of youth shall fly:
When with the bloom of gay sixteen
No more her dimpled cheek is seen;
When the fresh rosebud’s balmy dews
No more her damask lip suffuse,
Her ready smile and converse bland
Shall more than beauty’s pow’r command!
Then mine her active hand shall arm,
With me her Attic wit shall charm:
Let me her soft commands fulfill
And Ellen shall be sov’reign still!

On you, fair fav’rite of the fates!
A true, unpurchas’d servant waits:
From turban’d Turkey’s clime I come,
On orator, tho’ deaf and dumb!
My ink-black visage well might suit
The office of a Turkish mute;
But tho’ my slender face is grim,
My coat is smooth, my shape is slim.

Not Roncevalle’s nor Mancha’s knight
With bolder constancy could fight;
To prove my zeal and shew my wit
My tongue is worn, my heart is split!
For you a thousand times I feel
The wounds of unrelenting steel:
And twice in every circling moon,
I humbly bring my votive boon:
A boon of little price, ’tis true,
For all its worth depends on you!
But if the humble gift you take,
I’ll be a servant for your sake;
And ev’ry year devoutly sign
Myself your truest