Lines addressed by F.R. from Dawlish, Devon to Miss Porden in London on her birthday.
Tho distant the country and wide be the space,
And weary the way which between us we trace,
Yet mem’ry still constant will sojourn with me
My trav’lling companion forever to be
And your birthday dear Ellen will ne’er be forgot
And more than it would, if I were on the spot
To the poles if from India may waft a sad sigh1
Fain from Devon to you thy good wishes may fly
Tho no muse would lend wing for poetical flight
Friendship aided by truth happly ’ll guide me aright
Were wishes so gifted that they could impart
The blessings abundant that spring from the heart
Oh who w’d by poor and of blessings bereft
As long as a friend to wish blessings was left!
But yet to the mind if gives pleasure untold
To waken the sympathy words but unfold
Then to joy giving speeches an ear while you lend
Reject not a line from a far distant friend
May each year more confirm the fair promise of youth
And the praises you meet still be given with truth
But for Ellen a blessing or good can I trace
Which does not her parents and kindred embrace?
No in them her grail’s bounded while she is their treasure
And to nothing blessings valued, they still must keep measure
Then long, very long may you live to impart
The joy that still springs from your own guileless heart
And may each coming birthday still find you as gay
As I trust this will find you dear Ellen today.
“And waft a sigh from Indus to the Poles” — Pope’s Abelard and Eloise ↩