To Anna on Her Birthday

Miss Porden

Assist me Nymphs of song divine,
 With all your fervour fire my lays
Your soul should dwell in every line,
 That dares attempt your Anna’s praise.

Ah could my strain like hers but flow
 Pathetic sprightly, sweet sublime,
Long should my verdant laurels grow
 Nor dread the wintry rage of Time.

Hence Flattery, deck some idol’s shrine
 With all thy tinsel’s gaudy glare,
Truth here unfolds her golden mine
 And here shall lawful incense bear.

And here how vain were Flattery’s aid,
 When Truth’s pure gems would hers surpass,
In Phoebus ray as planets fade,
 As diamonds shame the brittle glass.

Smooth as the river’s silver stream,
 Fair Anna’s liquid numbers flow
And sparkling as the solar beam
 With Wit’s Ætherial brilliance glow.

With cadence musically wild,
 Like Zephyrs on the Eolian lyre,
Or her own strains, that care beguiled
 And stole Apollo’s tuneful fire.

The pearls of fancy deck her lay
 There learning’s polished diamond shines
While taste has cut the dross away,
 And pure religion’s touch refines.

And see! as now with sparkling eye,
 Of Human Life the joys she sings,
Ætherial forms around her fly,
 And hang in transport o’er the strings.

Ye youth that flutter life away
 Learn from her song how vain your joy
And think of pleasure’s purer day
 Eternal bliss beyond the sky.

And learn from her, ye cynics sour,
 Learn to be innocently gay,
Learn to enjoy the festive hour,
 For joy despised, disdains to stay.

Yet why! oh why to Anna’s name
 Should I attune my humble lays?
When every ear has heard her fame
 And every voice proclaims her praise.

And hark! e’en now her festive call,
 Her friends invite to join the dance,
See graceful thro’ the lighted hall,
 With measured step the Nymph advance.

But friendship’s offering, if sincere,
 Will ever win her ready smile,
Then let that smile reward my care,
 The sweetest guerdons of my toil.