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To a Lady, on Receiving from her a Sprig of Myrtle
80 To a Virtuous Young Lady
71 To a Young Lady on her Birthday Dr. Johnson 79 To Catharine of Braganza on her Twenty-fifth Birthday
Waller 127 To Julia on her Birthday
Moore 81 To Miss C., on her Birthday
Cowper 71 To my Betrothed
Mary Lundy Duncan To my Daughter on being Separated from her on her Marriage
Mrs. Hunter 108
Mrs. Hemans 75
Browne Willis 231
Southey 113 True Love never Grows Old
Campbell 181 Twentieth Birthday, The
99 Verses to his Wife, by Haynes Bayley
116 Verses to Maria
Cowper 85 Verses written in Captivity by Edward II. and Mary Queen of Scots
131 Victoria, To Queen
Leigh Hunt 129 We live in Deeds, not Years
W.C. Bennett 232
62 Wife and Children in Middle Life, a Matthew Arnold 114 Wisdom of Cheerfulness
Dunbar 107 Wordsworth, Death of, at Eighty
227 Work in the Night
Horne 221 Wren, Sir Christopher, Death of, at Ninety-one. 237
ACROSTIC AND SONNET
To Her Majesty the Queen,
ON HER 47TH BIRTHDAY, MAY 24, 1866,
QUEEN of our hearts as of our lands, thou knowest
VICTORIA, a nobler power is thine,
BIRTHDAYS OF EARLY LIFE.
BIRTHDAYS! A magical sound for the young and happy. At that sound their eyes sparkle with anticipations of delight; their cheeks kindle into warmer, lovelier life; and their feet are ready to bound from the earth in a thousand light and airy motions of fantastic grace.
Charles Lamb, in one of his admirable essays, regrets that “ in the gradual desuetude of old observances, this custom of solemnizing our proper birthday hath nearly passed away, or is left to children, who reflect nothing at all about the matter, nor understand anything beyond the cake and the
orange.” There is just matter for regret that birthday observances are not kept up among us with more earnestness, if only for the sake of the children, who still represent to us all that is pure, fresh, bright, loving and lovely—“ for of such is the kingdom of Heaven,"--and who, I think, with all respect for Elia, do understand something of birthdays beyond the cake and the orange; they
do understand on these occasions something of the importance of their own existence, though they cannot enter into its mysteries; something of the sweetness and preciousness of the love of the family ; something, too, of the progress of time towards eternity, and perhaps much more than we can know, for childhood itself is a mystery.
CHILDHOOD. O thou bright thing, fresh from the hand of God, The motions of thy dancing limbs are swayed By the unceasing music of thy being ! Nearer I seem to God when looking on thee. 'Tis ages since He made His youngest star, His hand was on thee as 'twere yesterday, Thou later revelation! Silver stream, Breaking with laughter from the lake divine, Whence all things flow. O bright and singing babe, What wilt thou be hereafter?
That is the question which makes the birthdays of childhood so touching to those who look on the bright groups gathered under the evening lamps, dressed like so many fairies, and bubbling over with innocent mirth. Hope and Fear alike suggest the solemn thought, What will these be hereafter ?
No doubt the cake and the orange are the chief things to be considered in childhood's birthdays; and plentifully they should be provided, too, with all the exhilarating accessories; for children are, one and all, of the mind of Mendelssohn, the great musician, who did not like “a half-and-half celebration.”
It is true that,