My Dear Elizabeth - revolving years
Like fleeting dreams, to me appears,
In vain I try to trace the time
And mark its progress in my rhyme,
Near twenty years has told its tale
Since you and I pronounced "Farewell",
[20 years since their daughter Emily's
And oh! how much of worldly care
Since then has fallen to our share
My portion here I will not trace
To throw a gloom upon your face
For still I'm spared to good old age
And still my pen can fill a page
And scribble, as in days of yore
For thanks to God, those days are o'er
In blest retirement, here we dwell
Upon the whole, all wondrous well.
Now let me think, what you have done
Since these long years have passed and gone,
Your first born son was then in frocks
And Willy, with his curling locks
Was then a baby in your arms
Dreaming not then of "War's Alarms"
But since these years have taken flight
Your hero bold has learned to fight
And Arthur has become a man
His pilgrimage on earth to plan
While Margaret, your companion, smiles
At Hymen's snares and Cupid's wiles [Margaret still unmarried at this point]
freely does confess
She is a happy Baroness!
Your husband lives, and loves his wife
With all his soul and strength and life
And here you are, I trust in health
With just enough of worldly wealth
To keep the wolf from off your door
And to assist our scanty store,
Oh! May we daily think and say
"As is our strength, so is our day"
Our trials and our cares are given
To lead us on the road to Heaven.
Now let me thank you for your letter
(We think, we never read a better)
Your time will very nicely suit
So in your next pray tell your route,
Your valued friend, we joy to hear,
Has welcomed you with kindly cheer.
Her open hand, and generous heart,
I hope true pleasure will impart
And Arthur, and his sister Maggy,
Make rich and gay, and truly happy.
In simple prose, I shall relate
The doings we have had of late.
The carpet has returned once more
To what it was in days of yore!
Your Pictures have been duly dusted
And China bowls anew adjusted.
With rapid flight, the time has flown
Preparing all at Ellangowan
To welcome you, our valued guest
With every thing we fancy best.
And now adieu, let Arthur know
Pitfoddels hill requires a Beau.
[Hill of Pitfoddels, near Ellengowan]
Your monster trunk we'll try to keep
Beside the bed on which you sleep
With perfect ease, our little cottage
Can furnish beds, and cream and pottage,
So come with speed, and come together
And bring for God's sake, better weather,
The box I hope is now with you
So dear Elizabeth, again adieu.