Monday, February 13, 2017


Verses for a 68th Birthday Card

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), "Sixty-Eighth Birthday," Heartsease and Rue (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1888), p. 218:
As life runs on, the road grows strange
With faces new, and near the end
The milestones into headstones change,
'Neath every one a friend.

More lugubrious birthday verses, these written on his 24th birthday by George Crabbe (1754-1832), "My Birth-Day," Poetical Works, Vol. II (London: John Murray, 1834), pp. 313-314:
                                       Aldborough, Dec. 24. 1778.
Through a dull tract of woe, of dread,
The toiling year has pass'd and fled:
And, lo! in sad and pensive strain,
I sing my birth-day date again.

Trembling and poor, I saw the light,
New waking from unconscious night:
Trembling and poor I still remain
To meet unconscious night again.

Time in my pathway strews few flowers,
To cheer or cheat the weary hours;
And those few strangers, dear indeed,
Are choked, are check'd, by many a weed.
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