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gives us no intimation; and these pages commence with the birth of infancy, and close with the end of life, when takes place that birth yet to come, of which Sophocles declared his expectation in his last tragedy,-an idea that has been re-echoed through all the ages since by hosts of the greatest minds. Between these two momentous birthdays there are several periods whose anniversaries have for all of us, more or less, an affecting interest; whilst in the case of royal personages, that day on which they first entered upon the cares and grandeurs of sovereignty must always be a prominent anniversary of their lives.

And there is one day, figuratively so called, of unspeakable importance to all the denizens of a fallen world—“the new birth,” so solemnly appointed by our Saviour: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” This is celebrated here in the one joyful birthday of our redemption—that of the nativity and incarnation of Christ.

From this happy starting-point we trace the journey of life by the milestones, pausing here or there, by the principal stations, to consider the country we are travelling through, and that towards which we are hastening. The very

farthest limits of the journey measure for us but a hundred birthdays; and which of us

As

can hope to reach that?

Threescore years and ten is the natural terminating point.

And such is human life ; so, gliding on,
It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone ;
Yet is the tale, brief though it be, as strange,
As full, methinks, of wild and wondrous change, z

any that the wandering tribes require,
Stretch'd in the desert round their evening fire;
As any sung of old, in hall or bower,
To minstrel-harps at midnight's witching hour!

ROGERS.
This
strange

“ tale that is told” is divided here into three parts—youth, middle age, and later life ; which mark the natural changes that present themselves to every eye, and are experienced by every one who lives to be old.

A word or two on the poems themselves. It has been said by an ancient writer, speaking of the lighter forms of poetry,“ These things commonly go under the title of poetical amusements, but these amusements have sometimes gained as much reputation to their authors as works of a more serious nature. It is surprising how much the mind is entertained and delighted by these little poetical , compositions, as they turn upon subjects of gallantry, satire, tenderness, politeness, and everything in short that concerns life and the affairs of the world.”

Our Book of Birthdays is, of course, principally occupied with these “poetical amusements," which

are of various degrees of literary merit, although none have been admitted that are not marked by refinement of feeling or of thought.

Thus the favour of the public is hoped for on a double basis. The poetry of human life here commends itself to all cultivated minds, whether they do or do not keep or enjoy actual birthdays; and the Book of Birthdays, as a collection of anniversary poetry never before brought together in a volume, must be acknowledged to be at once curious and of some permanent value.

M. B.

CONTENTS.

PAGE 210

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Hood 197

Kazineski 135

Abide with
Action

Wilcox 106 Adieu to all that is Perishable in Love Campbell 179 Against Distrust of our Maker

John Fletcher 104 Albert the Good .

Tennyson 164 Angelo, Michael, Last Poems of

234 Angels' Song, The

37 Another Life Spring Apparent Shortening of our Years

Campbell 98 Aspirations of Youth

James Montgomery 70 At South Kensington on the Prince Consort's Birthday

M. R. C. 266 Babe in the House, The

Tupper

45 Bacon's, Lord, Sixtieth Birthday

Ben Jonson 194 Baillie, To Miss Agnes, on her Birthday Joanna Baillie 204 Barbauld, Mrs., Death of

230 Bark of Life, The Birthday, The

240 Birthday Epigram

Hook

49 Birthday Epigram

Sir W. Jones Birthday Epigram on late-acquired Wealth Cowper 195 Birthday Gift of a King of France Birthday Gift, The

Landon 67 Birthday of a Conqueror

Dryden 132 Birthday of Christ

Tennyson 17 Birthday of Love, The

Cartwright 77 Birthday of the Soul in Love .

Bulwer Lytton 108 Birthday of the World Birthday Poem to Maria Brontë by her Husband . 117 Birthday Reflections

Moore 228 Birthday Thought, A

86 Birthday Verses Birthday Verses to Miss Logan

Burns 80 Birthnight in Later Life Bishop, To Mrs., on her Birthday Samuel Bishop 116 Blount, To Martha, on her Birthday

Pope

78 Boundary of Middle Life, The Burning Babe, The

Southwell

5 Burns's Sonnet on his Thirty-fourth Birthday

146

.

46

131

Hood 139

Hood 120

210

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Burns 147

are of various degrees of literary merit, although none have been admitted that are not marked by refinement of feeling or of thought.

Thus the favour of the public is hoped for on a double basis.

The poetry of human life here commends itself to all cultivated minds, whether they do or do not keep or enjoy actual birthdays; and the Book of Birthdays, as a collection of anniversary poetry never before brought together in a volume, must be acknowledged to be at once curious and of some permanent value.

M. B.

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