"Let Girlish Nymphs and Boyish Swains, Their amorous Ditties Chant! Make vocal Echoing Hills and Plains; And Loves frail Passion Paint. But Friendships steady flame as far; Out shines that transient Blaze; As Mid Day suns a glimmering Star Which faintest Beams displays."
Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson
colonial poet + scholar | host of "attic evenings"
Elizabeth was courted by Benjamin Franklin's acknowledged illegitimate son William when she was just 17. Her father + Ben collaborated to found a Pennsylvania hospital and the colonies' first fire insurance company. But, their partnership had since soured, and both looked unfavorably upon a prospective partnership between their children. Regardless, Elizabeth consented to William's marriage proposal on the condition that he would stay out of factional politics. William broke her heart by not keeping his promises, re: politics or romance. Instead, he went to London to study law and returned as an outspoken British Loyalist with a British wife. Elizabeth channeled her grief into her work ~ a brilliant French-to-English translation of Fenelon's "Telemachus."