Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO LADY B- W-, PRESENTING THE AUTHOR WITH A MOIETY OF A LOTTERY TICKET, by JOHN BYROM



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TO LADY B- W-, PRESENTING THE AUTHOR WITH A MOIETY OF A LOTTERY TICKET, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This ticket is to be divided;' - well
Last Line: Nor blanks the grateful sentiments efface.
Subject(s): Gifts & Giving; Lotteries; Money; Numbers


"THIS Ticket is to be divided;"—well,
To Lady Betty let these presents tell
How much I value, chances all apart,
This gentle token of her friendly heart.
Without regard to prizes or to blanks,
My obligation is immediate thanks;
And here they come, as hearty and as free
As this unlook'd-for favour came to me.

"Five thousand Pounds, perhaps;—a handsome Sum!"
Aye, but in Specie five may never come.
That as you please, Dame Fortune! In my mind
I have already taken it in kind,
Am quite contented with my present lot,
Whether you're pleas'd to second it or not;
Chance is but Chance, however great or small;
The spirit of a loving gift is all.

"Three Tickets offer'd to make choice of one,
"And write the memorandum thereupon,
"Spread in successive order as they lie,
"May all be prizes for her sake!" thought I.
That upon which my fancy chose to fix,
Was, let me see, Four hundred fifty-six;
Four, five, and six;—they are, if I can read,
Numbers that regularly should succeed.

Thou backward Fortune, that, in days of yore,
Hast read from six to five, from five to four,
Once for the Lady's sake reverse thy spight,
And trace a luckier circle to the right!
If thou art angry that I should despise
Thy gifts, which never dazzled much my eyes,
Now speak me fair, nor let th' occasion slip
Of such an honourable partnership.

Stand still a moment on thy bridge's pier,
While the conditions of success we hear;
Say what the bard shall offer at thy shrine,—
Any thing less than worship,—and 'tis thine.
Thou'rt not, as they describe thee, quite gone blind,
Our names thou canst see here together join'd;
I'd rather they Ten Thousand Pounds should own,
Than court thee for ten Million Pounds alone.

"For poets, seldom conversant in Pounds,
"Millions and Thousands, Sir, are pompous sounds,"—
Yes; but I'm only viewing the event
As corresponding to a kind intent.
Should it turn out its Thousands, more or less,
I should be somewhat puzzled, I profess;
I must upon a case so new, so nice,
Fly to my benefactress for advice.

"What shall I do with such a monstrous prize?"
But we'll postpone the question till it rise;
Let its to-morrow manage that.—To-day
Accept the thanks which I am bound to pay;
I'm rich, if you permit me still to share
Your wish of welfare, and your gen'rous care:
The greatest bliss, if I have any skill,
Of human life is—mutual good-will.

This without question has your hand confess'd;
This, without flatt'ry, warms your willing breast.
So much good nature shewn with so much ease!
Bestow your sums, Dame Fortune, where you please,
That kind of satisfaction which I feel,
Comes not within the compass of your wheel;
No Prize can heighten the unpurchas'd grace,
Nor Blanks the grateful sentiments efface.





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