Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Mary Stevenson, [December 1769]

From Mary Stevenson2

AD: American Philosophical Society

To Dr. Franklin with a pair of Ruffles Decr / 69

These flowers Dear Sir, can boast no lively bloom,

Nor can regale you with a sweet perfume,

This dreary season no such present yeild’s,

The Trees are naked, unadorn’d the fields,

The Gardens have their sweets and beauty lost

But Love and Gratitude, unchill’d by frost;

Put forth this foliage—poor indeed I own

Yet trust th’intent will for the faults atone.

Altho’ my produce not with nature vies,

I hope to please a friend’s indulgent eye’s,

For you my fancy and my skill I tried

For you my needle with delight I plied

Proud even to add a triffling grace to you

From whom Philosophy and Virtue too

I’ve gain’d—If either can be counted mine

In you they with the clearest lustre shine

My noble Friend this artless line excuse

Nor blame the weakness of your Polly’s muse

The humble gift with kind compliance take

And wear it for the grateful givers sake

NB Dr Franklin to whom these verses

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Verses which accompanied her Christmas gift to BF.

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