To [EAP] on Her Birthday

Miss Vardill

July 14th

While others grace thy natal day
 With festive dance and song
A pilgrim leaves his silent way
 To mingle in the throng.
When thou are near, a haggard face
A lonely lock, a ling’ring pace
 No more to me belong;
For only souls like thine can prove
How swift my ample pinions move.

I will not boast how oft and bright
 That day I mean to bring,
For many a downy plume last night
 Thy bounty gave my wing.
Thy mirth my rosy crown bestow’d,
To thee my sparkling glass I ow’d — 
 Now take my offering:
Thou canst not find so pure a prize
In Pleasure’s gayest paradise!

’Midst sands which glisten in my glass
 No richer gem I find;
The rest may glimmer, break, and pass
 But this remains behind:
Pride may the modest pearl disdain
And Love a brittle semblance feign,
 But Pride and Love are blind;
They mock my pow’r — yet I alone
Their fraudful counterfeits make known.

Receive my gift! — of Nature’s wealth
 Thy soul has ample store;
Of Wisdom, Honour, Hope and Health
 I cannot give thee more:
But that which Wealth can never buy
Shall Youth’s electric glow supply
 When thou, like me, are hoar:
I bring what Fortune cannot lend — 
Time, only Time reveals a Friend!