To Amanda

Miss Vardill

’Tis done — I take you at your word — 
 Receive my recantation!
For faith, the beauties I adored
 Were all my own creation.
Last month of love and you I talk’d
 And swore your smile was heaven — 
But when in Birchall’s shop I walk’d,
My phoenix seem’d a raven!

“Above the rose’s fading bloom
 The olive holds its station;
Above the blossoms’ brief perfume
 The fruit claims estimation:”
Amanda! thus in tuneful strain
 You made a sage reflexion;
For from the rarest fruits you gain
 Your never-changed complexion!

What saffron tints enrich your cheek
 Your quondam lover well knows — 
The olive triumphs in your neck,
 The plumb adorns your elbows — 

Forgive, Amanda, if my taste
 Affronts your rhyme and reason;
But fruits so comically plac’d
 To me seem out of season.

Once as the sun-beam charms our eyes
 I thought your smile could cheer me — 
For like the sun in northern skies
 You were not then too near me.

Yet with and truth my taste oppose;
 I own ’tis wondrous silly
To leave a nutmeg for a rose,
 And orange for a lily!

And why should humble red and white
 Of beauty be the sureties?
One colour may one eye delight
 But every one in yours is!

While orange tints enrich your hands
 What patriot will not court you?
The purple of your lip commands
 All King’s men to support you.

And were your eyes as Ellen’s bright
 A candle would be brighter;
Or was you hand as Mira’s white
 This paper would be whiter.

No more dame Nature’s favors claim,
 Most wisely she denies them;
Those favors would be lent in vain
 To you who never prize them.

Why give the arts of stealing hearts
 To you who always doubt them?
Why give a claim to love or fame
 To one so blest without them?