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An undated Valentine to Eliza Pearson from an admirer known only as AS. Appalling doggeral in 12 stanzas over 6 pages all stitched together as 8 pages. This was stitched before it was written as in some cases he has had to squeeze the last word in.
There is no date to this letter only a p-paid and probably a very faint possible single line Ware. I looked for an Eliza Pearson on the censuses for 1841 and 1851 and there is a girl born in about 1836. Her father is a labourer. She doesn't appear in the 1861 census but there is a wedding for a Eliza Pearson in 1855 to a John Wren, not sure if that is her.
The spelling is as per the letter. Note the arcane use of the f style s where there is a double ss as in addrefs. I cannot replicate this on the computer.
To Miss E Pearson
This is St Valentines a day on which
Few heads there are that boast the nack of rhyming,
But what together will some verses stitch
Murdering plain lines to set their ends a chiming.
Today are seen Love-poets heavenward climbing
(God spare their mental necks!) to find what spheres
Radiant with light the ethereal vaults sublime in
Shine like the peepers of their pretty dears.
And thus extol their eyes while they insult their ears.
Then o'er their checks they pour the floods of praise
Painting with sable ink the bloom divine
That o'er each downy feature richly plays;
All which is very true and very fine.
“Such is the general method, but not mine”.
I'll speak of things just as they meet my view,
I'll not say charms of heaven are nought to thine,
And bid the vengeful pains of hell pursue
One soul, if what I say be as gospel true.
No, no. I'm quite another sort of person;
I'm not in love, and therefore what I say
May taken be for truth. To waste my verse on
Such nonsense as I've mentioned would betray
A scanty stock of intellect, and display
The idiot rather than what I intend
To be the object of my verse today,
Which is to serve a reasonable end;
Namely, to prove myself your fond admiring friend.
And now upon my subject to commence
Know such I am; Eliza, you can move
My Soul to fondness, and the truest sense
Of every tender feeling saving – love.
And here forbear my candour to reprove
For I acknowledge that if e'er this breast
Again, as once it did, that power could prove,
And with that joy of angels be impressed,
To fix it here again than art of charm possessed.
But I have loved before; tis past! Or else
I could impassioned gaze upon those eyes
Whose mirth awakening lustre sorrow quells,
Pierces the gazers heart and bids it rise
With half formed wishes – to subside with sighs
Of dear regret that e'er they felt their ray.
But steeled against their power, my soul defies
Their cheering influence, and prefers the sway
Of loveless life's dark gloom, to their enlivening day.
Yet off with admiration I've surveyed
Your charms observant, and with fondness seen
Them, when you strove to hid them, more displayed
As starts look purest when they shine serene
You're altogether pleasing. On your mien
Attendant graces always seem to wait
Your every smile Euphrosyne I ween,
Directs, and when with dignity elate
your move each motion speaks Thalia's lofty gait.
But this is flattery, and just the style
Which I myself a moment since condemned,
Yet ere I stop it may be worth my while
To give advice; which will not be condemned,
At least I hope so. Those keen eyes which hemmed
With fringings dark irradiate gleams that boast
Brilliance as prize as th’ orbs, (wherewith is jemmed
Heaven’s arch) dart effluent in a night of frost .--
(Gods! How my verse runs on! I vow, my breath is lost!)
Well then, Eliza, those same pretty eyes,
‘Bout which I’ve said so much, I’d recommend
(And here my freedom will not cause surprise,
Remember ‘tis the freedom of a friend)
That you would in a small degree suspend
Their power; there’s danger in them; more or less
I shall not say, but you may comprehend,
Without my taking trouble to express,
The why; and if you can’t, why you must try to guess.
Now to go on a little farther, I
Have felt much pleasure in beholding how
You, that sweet virtue, affability
Always to all delighted seem to show.
You’ll wonder much perhaps how I should know
So much about you who have ne’er enjoyed
Your company times more than one or two
And ne’er but once have strutted by your side;
But I all this before we ever spoke espied.
I like a pretty smile, and yours is one
Which, were it bent on me I’d deem a pleasure.
How lightly does it play your lips upon!
Sweet invitation for a lovers pressure!
Oh! If I had not had of Love my measure
I own I think myself would have been caught by it;
But from love’s mine coals were my only treasure
Love! Wondrous thing! What prodigies are wrought by it!
Alas! I too have been one serious lesson taught by it.
You’re altogether pleasing as I said
Before, & since it’s time I should conclude,
Thou all we wish to look for in a maid!
I hope you will not set me down as rude
Because this day I’ve ventured to intrude
These compliments. They’re plain beyond comparison
I’ll own, and therefore better understood
I hope they’ll be. Perhaps they’ll serve to garrison
Your mind ‘gainst love sick fools whose flattery would melt reason.
Enough! Adieu! I have not tried to touch
Upon the metal beauties which I’m told,
(And well believe) are yours. I’ve said thus much
To prove respect; ah! deem it not as cold.
Than this a warmer feeling ne’er must hold
Rule o’er my heart; once once ah! sadly crossed
O’er it no ore shall love’s pure tide be rolled;
To every earthly happiness ‘tis lost!
Adieu! The fit comes on! I’m sorrow’s fool at most!